Latest consumer research has highlighted that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase. 60% begin by using a search engine to find the products or service they want, and 61% will read product reviews before making any purchase or engaging any professional service.
This leads me to ask two simple questions of any business.
How do you feel about social media and how strong is your online presence?
Is it just limited to your website or do you utilise social media marketing using platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook?
I’d argue it’s never been more important for an advisory business to understand and utilise social media marketing effectively.
A recent article in the Times highlighted that 67% of small businesses use some sort of social media.
However, while it’s great to see an upward trend in social media adoption, many are just dipping their toe in the water, so what stops so many from fully embracing social media as a business marketing tactic.
I would contend that the main reasons are:
A closed mind
Some business owners have convinced themselves that social media platforms are foreign, alien things that you can only understand if you’re a teenager or a millennial. They haven’t taken a moment to learn how Facebook timelines work, or why Twitter is used for different types of interactions than LinkedIn.
They are overwhelmed by the choice available
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+, and Tumblr are just a handful of the most popular social media apps available. That number grows bigger every day, and to make things worse, there are multiple ways for businesses to use every platform.
Don’t worry you don’t need to be using every platform. A plan is essential as is careful selection of the mediums which are best for your business and which allow you to reach the people you want to communicate with.
They think they have to hire someone to do it
You don’t have to hire someone to run your social media marketing. For most small to medium sized businesses, social media responsibilities can be absorbed by your existing marketing team, or even split up and divided amongst your core team.
They don’t see how it can help them
Social media is what you make of it. The greater thought you put into a plan beforehand the more powerful its impact on your business. Social media is no magic wand, it’s another tool in your marketing plan and can complement your existing activity. In its simplest form it can be the ideal way to drive the people you want to your website. The challenge is obviously having a website that is powerful enough to convert visitors into customers and retain the clients you have.
They just don’t want to change
If you have built a successful business without social media then you might not want to change. I’d argue that it’s an evolution rather than a drastic change, as you can still keep doing what you have done in the past and then use social media to compliment and aid your existing activity.
The value isn’t clear to them
The Return on investment (ROI) on social media can sometimes be difficult to calculate. However, if you start with a simple plan and stick to it then you can decide the metrics you wish to employ and monitor your progress. I’d start with a very simple one, how many visitors does my social media drive towards my website?
They are worried it’s a fad
Social media is here to stay. Most people, especially millennials, are on their phones constantly; whether they’re checking their email, posting a selfie to Instagram or tweeting about a trending hashtag, most of them have fully integrated social media into our daily lives. In today’s interconnected world, marketing yourself online through social media is a critical tool for any business.
Next week, I’d like to share some ideas on how you can get started with social media.
Sources: statistics portal 2017
John Joe McGinley Glassagh Consulting May 2018
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