If it’s not already obvious that your business needs to be on social media, then let’s make it obvious for you. Get on social media, like, now.

The fact is your current, past and prospect customers will be using social media to research and engage with brands and businesses just like yours, and they’re probably talking about you without you even knowing it. However, simply being on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn is not going to cut it. Creating value, staying relevant and developing helpful marketing with your target audience clearly in mind, is key.

So, why will social media marketing change the way your business makes money? Here are our top three reasons:

1. Social Media lets you listen, respond and engage.

Social media monitoring tools, like mention, allow you to easily discover what your customers are saying about you on social media and the web. This is great for joining in the conversation, gaining honest feedback about your product or service or having the chance to turn disgruntled customers, into future brand ambassadors.

Let’s say you’re a mechanic and recently increased your service fees by 5% due to rises in electricity prices. A customer of yours is surprised by this small price rise and is not happy, telling everyone at the local pub what he/she thinks of your business and this price rise. In the past, you had no way of joining in on this conversation, and even if you did find out your customers were not happy, it was often too late.

When the same conversation happens on social media or the web, by using social media monitoring tools, you can now become proactive, rather than reactive. You now have the opportunity to explain yourself, humanise the situation and add value. You might talk about why you increased your fees or the new processes you might be implementing to get their vehicles back on the road faster.

By reducing the effects of negative word of mouth using social media, you now have the opportunity to retain the revenue that you would have otherwise lost, by simply being aware of what’s being said about your business when you’re not around and joining the conversation.

2. Social Media gives you free customer insights.

It’s amazing how often I analyse a client’s Facebook business page and they simply can’t believe the demographic profiles of the people engaging with their business online. I’ll then show them how they’ve been communicating with their perceived audience, which is either very rarely or to a completely different target customer with a different set of motivators, pain points and behaviours. Often, the business has been disruptive and shouting sales messages constantly, rather than conversing, listening and getting to know their audience.

The fact is, social media is a great tool which can help you to better understand who your ideal customer is and what their problems are. The sooner you can create helpful marketing content to solve their problems, the sooner you will add value to your paid service and stay front of mind, giving you a better chance of retaining customers and converting more sales in the future.

3. Social media lets you increase the time you spend with your customers and stay relevant.

Imagine a hairdresser who found that their customers loved the feeling of having their hair done because it was fresh, styled nicely and made them feel confident. However, they also found that this feeling only lasted a few days because they didn’t have the knowledge or technique to style their hair themselves every day.

This is the perfect opportunity for the hairdresser to add extra value, and continue the great feeling their customers experience after getting their hair done until the next cut. A simple video showing how to straighten hair the correct way is a perfect piece of helpful marketing, that positions the business as expert and keeps the customer engaging with the business, even when they’re not in the chair.

You’ll be surprised at how much customers want to engage with your business. Listen to them, and use the tools at your fingertips to give them what they want. This will help you grow your business and generate more revenue by extending the lifetime value of your clients, from a one off purchase, to a long term relationship.

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