Top 3 reasons why you should not give up social media for Lent!

Lent has begun and there will be a lot of people giving up smoking or other bad habits but could you actually give up using social media? Many people get their daily fix on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for example, and they feel that if they don’t have a look then they will miss something important like a distant friend’s birthday or a new photo album of a party they went to. However, could they go the whole of Lent without logging into social media? The danger is if businesses begin to dismiss it.

Many people see the potential of social media for business purposes but find it hard to morph from business owner to publisher. Some will ignore it and leave it as something to come back to when they have more time. Some will start and set up their profiles and begin posting but the content may not be appropriate to their target audience or relevant, so they would benefit from some guidance. The worse that could happen is if a business stops posting on social media.

Here are the top 3 reasons why a business should not give up social media:

1)    Interest and interaction with potential and existing customers.

You may already have 100 likes on Facebook or 500 followers on Twitter but the question is how engaged your audience is in your content. If you stopped posting completely, your followers may be tempted to ‘unlike’ or ‘unfollow’. You should consider every post as though you are speaking face to face with a customer and giving them something to think about. They want to be informed about your services and some will want the opportunity to provide feedback or a recommendation for others to see. They may be waiting for a promotion, perhaps a competition or special event that they can comment on.

Your content may lead to questions or comments from potential customers, which they can easily post to your profile and it is important to respond to these efficiently and understand that social media is a very important customer service tool. A potential customer who is waiting for a reply may get impatient and move on to a competitor.

2)    Conversations about your products or services.

It’s important to measure the analytics behind social media so you can see the benefits of dedicating your time to it or outsourcing it. You can also see which posts are gaining the most attention and are engaging your audience in conversation. This can help your future strategy, knowing that posting on a particular topic will have a similar impact to previous posts.

You can browse sites to see what people are talking about in your industry and see what customers are interested in. As a business using social media, it is effective to get involved in conversations on your subject specialism to demonstrate knowledge and get seen by others. This will indirectly gain social proof and will gradually increase sales.

3)    Content is king.

Content marketing is key in today’s society. As a business, you are also expected to be a publisher. The customer is spoilt for choice and is digitally savvy. They are also more impatient in their internet browsing and they don’t have time to view a detailed website. It is important to have an appealing website but the main focus should be on it being visual with images and videos.

The deeper content could be in the form of a blog or sharing interesting articles related to your industry. Customers want to be able to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, for example, so they can be kept informed about your offers or just to hear the latest news about your business. The more they are used to your content, they will understand and trust in you as a brand.

So it’s very important for businesses to keep publishing engaging content. In the same way, it would be strange to stop using social media on a personal basis. It will be interesting to hear from anyone who tries this.

Jon Exton

Twitter:  @thesocialant

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