Why is not advertising in my local paper and having a website not enough anymore?

There are still many businesses that have been running for a long time. Which still use just traditional marketing methods, along with organic social media marketing, e.g. local newspapers, flyers and a website.

“Why fix it if it’s not broken.”

“Well, we have always done it this way, so why change it to fit in”?

This is a few of the things businesses tell me. I will explain the reasons why you need different social media marketing options. One of these examples is “online word of mouth” and is essential and very relevant for every business running.

Every business needs a social media presence, no matter how big or small you are. Just the same way you all need customers to keep your business going. This should be in every marketing strategy.

There are more than 2.82 billion people, nearly three billion people around the world connecting and using social media platforms every single month and growing. Not something you can ignore; some of them are potential customers. (see. Ref 1)

Marketing old and new

 Old

Having a small, medium enterprise (SME), your targeted market would be around your local area. You would have done your market research, identified that there is a need for your service/products, and decided to open shop. You advertise in your local paper. Send flyers around to a certain radius, put yourself online with a website and make sure your print advertisements have your site on also. You start a WORD of Mouth buzz that you are open. Hey presto sometimes they come in the mass or slowly but surely. You got the message out, and your advertising and running your business with potential customers are coming in. Now let’s say someone comes up to you and says; hey, I can double your customer reach. This will make more people aware of your services/products in your area and beyond. You think this guy is trying to scam you, right? Well, they would not be lying. Being online and having an active social media presence makes your business accessible to people. Customers that you could not have reached by using traditional and basic social media marketing methods alone (see. Ref 2).

 

New

If people are not aware of your business, how can you gain new customers? Having a social media presence is a start and can be done quite quickly, and most platforms are either low cost or offer a free option. Facebook is free for businesses to sign up and use, and also is the likes of LinkedIn. Although you must spread your visibility online and be seen as active. This can help reach a much larger audience base (not just a specific local area ). This is achieved with much less effort and time. Having a social media marketing strategy will help you set your goals, and help you understand what you are doing and why.

Are you trying to get more people to see the services you are providing? Do you want to get more people to turn up to your local store/office?

With the right marketer, your message will reach specific demography with a need for your services or products.

Customer knowledge

Customers are a lot more knowledgeable, even from just five years ago. There is more information available for everyone, and places online to shop and search are endless. So why should they choose you out of the millions of companies they can reach? This is the part which is very important for your business to get right regarding the online presence and marketing. Spreading the good word of mouth around your local area does good for your company. The same thing happens online; however, with millions of people reading your reviews. Most customers would search for your services/products and check out your website. After that, they will google for feedback; checking if any other user has used your services or bought products from your before. This is why your social media presence, “online word of mouth”, must show that you are a leader in your field.  That you respond well to your customers, feedback even if negative.

There are many systems in place to gather data on customer feedback, comments, and questions. Do not just ignore these, and they should be looked at daily to see what customers are thinking/saying about your business. Try not to get personal, yes there are many trolls (people who write negative things for the sake of it). It can be frustrating; nevertheless, you cannot get personal; you have to keep it professional always. (see. Ref 3)

 

Being online is not enough.

You cannot just put up a website and think that’s enough. Update frequently with new relevant information, content and news. This shows you’re a leader in your field and trustworthy for updated information. There are ways that you can demonstrate your proficiency in your chosen field. An example of this is through blogs, white papers, and short pieces about specific services/ products you provide. Publishing often will help would-be customers gain confidence in your services/products.

Customers don’t want the same thing posted over and over again written differently, and saying the same thing. They can go to your site and see what you are offering. After launch, at least a few times a year it is ok to post about your services/products and when you realise anything new. Do not create white noise with your business. (See. Ref 4)

Be heard

There are so many ways to get heard; not just posting is significant enough. Yes, the ways we can advertise are so many ways and can feel overwhelming and daunting; however, try to play around with different social media platforms. For instance, YouTube is great to do vlogs; this can be simple things like walking to your office in the morning and saying hello/ good morning to your team. Make shorter videos for Twitter and Instagram. Another thing you can do is question and answer (Q&A) monthly programs over Facebook Live or webinars and skype. Just keep trying, and you will find which is better for your business. Do not be afraid to use your staff. People like seeing your actual company and the real people working, e.g. Halifax Plc, use their team for advertising services. Please have a few runs before going live, or putting our video content. Do not be scared to get feedback from others; sometimes, they can see things we miss out. Knowing when to post can be crucial for your business. Different social media platforms need different daily posting times. Each traction time is different when posting, so there are slots when most customers see your advertisements. You do not want to keep posting, and no one is seeing. (see. Ref 5)

Costs 

We know that all companies don’t have a marketing department. As all businesses have different cost restraints, although this does not mean you cannot have a reliable, affordable marketing campaign to reach your customers. Large or small businesses can grow using different types of social media platforms and marketing strategies. Remember, do not use the same marketing strategy for every service/ product you have out. Use other means of the advertisements around your industry as well as share news, updates on services or product models. Make it fun, real and knowledgeable. Social media marketing is a must for your marketing campaigns; there are many ways to reach your end goal and follow through. Remember if it still seems just too much there are plenty of marketing companies around that can help with all your marketing needs. So, let’s get started and make your business be heard and interact with your new customers. (see. Ref 6)

References:

Reference 1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

Reference 2. https://www.buildthis.io/online-shopping-ecommerce-internet-stats/

Reference 3. https://blogs.constantcontact.com/do-customers-trust-online-reviews/

Reference 4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/04/20/how-to-create-a-big-online-presence-for-your-small-business/#6eb37ed96c34

Reference 5. https://blog.hootsuite.com/things-try-social-media-this-year/

Reference 6. https://www.bigfootdigital.co.uk/social-media-marketing-costs

Written by

Ruth Nene