Social media marketing can feel like another thing on your to-do list and is often put on the back burner of marketing activities. Social media results are hard to measure and can take time to gain traction, but despite all the apparent cons there is one BIG positive to using social media in your marketing plan. Social media is the perfect way to build trust with your ideal client before they ever contact your business.
Display Expertise and Authority
One of the greatest things about social media is the social aspect. You are able to host conversations on your pages or even join groups where your ideal clients are hanging out. When conversations happen around your area of expertise, it is not only expected but encouraged to join in the conversation. When done correctly (non-salesy), you are a voice of expertise and authority. When you are consistently active people who may never be a client will still refer you as the expert because they have witnessed your expertise on social media.
Many people go to social media profiles as a part of their research process when deciding whether or not to hire a company. By participating in conversation and responding to clients posting about your company (negative or positive), you are building up a library of examples of how you help past, present and future clients.
Encourage User Generated Content (UGC)
Social media encourages participation and if you have customers who are raving fans you can encourage them to share their experiences with your company through reviews, pictures of your work and anything else that would be interesting on social media. A huge benefit of UGC is that it is promoting your business without you doing the promotion. This type of post is like a word of mouth referral and is an amazing reason to utilize social media in your marketing plan.
Own Your Mistakes
Many people use social media to report problems, leave reviews and even complain. Customers can tag businesses and often get quicker responses than going through typical customer service channels. While this may seem like a reason to stay off social media, it is actually a great way to show potential clients how you respond to feedback, complaints and even disgruntled customers. Often, business owners are terrified of a bad review, but the way they handle it is remembered longer than the complaint. This builds trust that you treat your customers well and that you address problems head on.
People like to work with businesses that they know, like and trust and social media channels are a great place to start building relationships. The key to success is being transparent, authentic and a good representative of your business.