Times are changing for online marketing
The world of social media has certainly had its feathers ruffled as of late. In the last month alone we’ve seen Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, robotically defend himself in front of US Congress, tech billionaire, Elon Musk, delete Facebook pages for SpaceX and Tesla, and now pub giant and purveyors of cheap breakfasts, Wetherspoons, has announced they’re pulling the plug on all social media.
A bold move, perhaps, but what does this mean for businesses? Is it time to flick the off switch on our social media accounts? We make the case for why social media is not quite dead yet.
Social media is a ‘distraction’, says Tim Martin, chairman of ‘Spoons. Its Twitter feeds were run by pub managers, and he’d rather they did the job they were hired for and managed their pubs instead of re-tweeting irrelevant memes.
As for Musk, the deletion of his Facebook pages was done in response to the #deletefacebook movement from Whatsapp co-founder Brian Acton in addition to a Twitter dare from an unknown, but eager pot-stirrer. Without this remarkably gauche piece of public bicep-flexing we’d bet he’d have happily left them alone. He is still very much active on other forms of social media, including Instagram and his beloved Twitter (can we just take a moment to remember the time he told his 21.4million followers ‘I love floors’ please? Perfect.)
Of course the social media naysayers have one thing in common – they’re already gigantic household names. It’s fine when you have nearly 1,000 pubs in the UK, revenues of £830million and your brand is ingrained into the brains of the nation’s citizens. Likewise, if you’re shooting giant rockets into space and you are quite literally a billionaire, perhaps social media marketing isn’t going to be the most important thing for your company.
But when you’re a sole trader or a small business trying to get your voice heard, things are going to be quite different.
Why bother with social media?
The social media landscape is undeniably changing, but it’s the social part of social media that is the important bit! A website lets potential customers see what you do, but your social media will show them who you are.
Here are just a few reasons why every business should have a social media strategy:
- It’s an effective and free way to interact with your customers
- You get your chance to tell your story, your values and the people behind your business
- It’s instant! You can interact in real-time with customers, whether that means providing support, responding to a positive comment or just having a quick chat about some content you’ve posted.
- You build up relationships – you’ll soon learn what your customers love and what they don’t!
It can be disheartening for small businesses when they don’t see swathes of followers or likes immediately, but just having an active and up-to-date feed can mean the difference between a potential client choosing to pick up the phone and call your number instead of your competitors. And that’s certainly something we can all ‘like’.