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Five reasons businesses can't afford to ignore social media

It’s estimated that 90% of businesses are now on at least one social media channel. If you are in the 10% that aren’t, unless you are Apple, you probably can’t afford to ignore it any longer.

1. People will talk about you whether you’re there or not

Many businesses are worried about the damage a social media fail could do to their business. The risk is real, but not being on social media could potentially be even more damaging.

People will talk about your business whether you are there or not – 70% of online content about brands is now user-generated, so it’s just not possible to control conversation about your business. But, by being able to reply, you can at least try to turn those negative comments around. When you attempt to remedy the situation on social media, disgruntled customers can sometimes become your biggest advocates, but that can only happen if you’re monitoring and ready to respond.

2. Purchase decisions increasingly involve a social element

People decide what to buy based on a myriad of information and sources, and a big source of information is on social media. As a nation, we now spend 22% of all time online on social media sites, so if your business is missing, you could be losing out on sales to your competitors.

3. It’s an important integrated marketing channel

If you’re investing in PR, SEO or content marketing and you’re not on social media, you could be losing out. An integrated approach has been proven to be more successful – content published on two or three channels had a 24% increase in engagement and campaigns integrating three or more digital channels outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%. Increasingly Google and other search engines are using social media presence and activity as part of their algorithms to rank pages in their search results.

4. You’re missing out on valuable opportunities

Social media is the perfect platform to: 

  • Reach new audiences and prospects.
  • Deepen your relationship with existing customers.
  • Keep yourself front of mind with customers and prospects.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.

5. It’s not just for B2C

Social media isn’t just for consumers, it’s also an opportunity to reach the other 90% of businesses that are on there.

And five things not to do once you’re on social media…

  1. Spread yourself too thin. Pick the channels which are the best fit for your business and focus on them.
  2. Send auto-responders. No one wants an automated message.
  3. Send inane updates. Don’t add to the noise, share useful content that your followers will be interested in.
  4. Only send promotional updates. Social media is a conversation, get involved and add value.
  5. Try to be something you’re not. If you’re a serious business, don’t suddenly adopt a quirky tone on social media. It comes across as inauthentic.

If you would like to understand how social media fits with the rest of your marketing, tweet us @cognique.

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