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#FOMO: Why your business cannot afford to neglect social media

The impact that social media has had on the contemporary business world simply cannot be understated. With just over 40% of the world’s population numbering amongst ‘active social media users’, or people that use social media on a daily bases, it has never been easier for businesses and brands to not only reach a diverse and engaged audience/target market, but to foster authentic, valuable relationships with them, going beyond simple business transactions.

 

Social stats

 

So in this era of ubiquitous social media saturation, are there any implications for brands that choose not to have a social media presence? As a small business, does it really matter if you’re not engaging on Facebook or hashtagging on Instagram along with the rest of the world? Let’s take a look at some of the cons of neglecting social media:

Drastically reduced audience reach

This couldn’t really be clearer. As the most recent stats show (see infographic above) of the 4 billion plus internet users, over 3.1 billion are actively engaged on various social media platforms. You have a website, right? Well, if you have a website to cater for the digital audience, you should also have a social media presence to ensure you aren’t missing out on reaching that massive audience.

Risk of becoming outdated

The modern consumer is more connected than ever before, and with a smartphone in nearly every pocket, these tech zombies are spending much of their waking life browsing on their devices. As such, this connected consumer opts to do as much as possible online, including interacting with the brands they use. If your customer can’t find you on social media, it may just be a matter of time before they lose you entirely.

Missing out on the conversation

As a business dealing with individual consumers you are bound to receive both good and bad feedback from your customers. Unfortunately, a negative experience simply can’t always be avoided, and someone is going to have a bone to pick with you at some point. In the ‘good old days’ they might have picked up the phone and called your office line to complain, but in the age of social media, they are far more likely to go on a Facebook rant. If your business has no social presence, you probably won’t ever know about disgruntled customers badmouthing you to their circle of friends, but in this case ignorance certainly isn’t bliss. Just as positive word of mouth can do wonders for your business, negative sentiments can lead to unwanted consequences such as lost sales, reputational damage and even boycotting of your brand.

So, although you can’t always control or steer the narrative around your business on social media, if you are aware of it and can attempt to engage with a stilted keyboard warrior, you might be able to save face and sway the hearts and minds of the social media masses.

Falling behind the competition

The simple truth is that, although your business might not have a social media presence, at least some of your competitors will. And whilst your nemeses may be creating crappy content or sharing terrible memes through their Instagram account, they are engaging with your shared customer pool, showing they take an interest in more than just their consumers’ wallets. You might provide a far superior product or service, but the modern consumer demands more, they want to feel a personal connection to the brands they love and engage with them on a more intangible level than a simple, cold transaction.

So, although using social media simply for the sake of it isn’t going to drastically change the face of your business, making an effort and finding your audience in their comfort zone can ensure you aren’t doing potential harm to your brand. Get with the times and embrace the future of connected consumption!