Today, social media makes up a large part of any smart businesses advertising and marketing campaigns.
The very fact that so many people (read: your potential buyers) utilize social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube makes using them for business a critical component in setting and meeting sales goals.
Your Buyers Live Online
First and foremost, your business needs social media because these platforms make it extremely easy to interact with your target audience.
You gain vital usable information about what they like and don’t like, and what they need and want.
This data can help your business deliver to this audience exactly what they want, as opposed to what you think they want.
The end result is a stronger bottom line.
The engagement that social media platforms offer will also allow your business to have a strong presence online, which will translate into a perception of greater authority for you.
The more you, as a business owner, can communicate with your potential buyers, the greater the trust you will gain.
Someone who trusts your business and the products or services it offers is much more likely to purchase those products or services.
They are also much more likely to recommend your business to others.
Recent statistics have shown that approximately 71% of buyers will base their purchasing decision on what they’ve seen on social media.
Direct referrals through social media posts happen much more often than you’d assume, so having a solid presence on each of the major social media platforms is a strong and lucrative business practice.
In addition, it appears that women, especially, look to social media when compiling information before a purchase is made.
A smart business will not discount the power of “liking” and sharing posts, images, and videos on social media platforms.
This viral sharing costs the business owner nothing but the time it takes to make an engaging post to different social media platforms.
This “engagement” factor is of key importance.
Engagement equals greater interaction between your business and those who are becoming more and more interested in what it is that you offer.
Interaction with your buying audience in real-time will go a long way towards raising your perceived authority in your market.
A buyer will then feel secure in his or her buying decision based on knowing there is a real person behind the business façade.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and the like are all a necessary part of the successful business equation.
A business owner feeling overwhelmed with all of it can easily hire a social media manager to help them make the most of these platforms while taking some of the burden off the business owner themselves.
In sum, your buyers live on social media. Therefore, your business needs to be there, too.
Your Buyers Decide Online
In the United States, a person spends an average of 3.2 hours per day perusing social media websites and platforms.
Females spend an average of 3.6 hours, while males spend an average of 2.6 hours, exclusively on social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
New social media platforms are entering into the social media market on an almost weekly basis!
This means that there is no lack of platforms or applications on which to market your business and take advantage of the hours consumers are spending online each day.
It also means that you, the business owner, have a real need to keep up with social media trends and developments.
Businesses that get in on the ground floor of a new social media platform certainly get another marketing opportunity.
More importantly, they also get more “cutting edge” authority among the users of that platform.
While social media sites certainly haven’t replaced search engines like Google or Bing when a consumer is researching a potential purchase, they are quickly becoming an important part of this type of consumer research.
A buyer relies more heavily on the opinions and experiences of those they know and trust, so positing a question on Facebook such as, “Can anyone suggest a juicer they use and love?” will get dozens, if not hundreds, of responses as people share their own experiences.
The responses to these types of questions on social media sites greatly influence the buying decisions of any potential audience, so they shouldn’t be minimized.
In the same manner, a business owner can call attention to their own products and services on social media, and utilize these platforms to create engagement with their potential buyers.
What is the best use of your hours on social media, as a business owner?
Being in front of your audience when and where they “hang out” online will increase your following exponentially as your posts are “liked” and shared.
Leveraging the hours your audience spends online is a smart business decision for any business looking to strengthen their bottom line.
For instance, recent research has shown that the best time to post to Facebook for the greatest visibility is on Thursday and Friday at 1 pm for the most shares, and at 3 pm for the most clicks.
In addition, by researching your target demographic, you’ll be able to find statistics that will ensure you know when and where your audience is.
You can then utilize that data to get out in front of them with what they want to hear and see, and the products and services they want to buy.
There are several applications that can help a business owner find their own sweet spot time to post based on the demographics of their target audience.