Like with anything on the Internet, social media does not come without its risks. We’ve discussed identifying the risks associated with social media use, as well as the risks of your employees on social networking sites. But if you allow these risks to stop you from engaging in social media, what will you be missing out on? Are there risks associated with NOT using social media?
Social media has become standard. It is a part of our lives. According to Nielson, 64% of social media users say they visit social media sites on their computer at least once a day. Meanwhile, 47% of smartphone owners use social media on their phones every day. So even if you are not active on social media, it is highly likely that your customers and potential customers are. Shouldn’t you aim to be where your target audience is? If you don’t, you’re opening your business up to several risks, including these highlighted below:
A study by J.D. Power and Associates found that 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for customer service. Social media provides customers with a direct point of contact with the company. In fact, 1 in 3 users prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone.
SocialBro, a company providing social marketing tools, has gone as far as saying: “Not having the right social media channels for your customers to reach out to you is the 1995 equivalent of not having a phone line.”
As social media becomes more ingrained in our lives, we expect everything to available with the click of a button…and consumers are expecting customer service to be easy, quick, and convenient. Social media provides you with an outlet to meet those expectations.
Yes, this means you need to be on top of your social media in order to respond in a timely manner to your customers. That does take time and resources, but what about the alternative? Consumers are becoming accustomed to quick customer service through social networks, so will they decide to visit your competitor if you’re not willing to jump into the social media game?
Your competitors are most likely already using social media. The longer you wait to step up, the harder it will be to catch up. As you sit on the sidelines they are building relationships with target audiences and gaining brand awareness and loyalty.
Are you on the other end of the spectrum and your competitors aren’t active on social networks? Don’t use it as an excuse not to engage – ‘our competitors aren’t on social media so we don’t need to be either’ – WRONG! You have a prime opportunity to steal the spotlight in consumers’ eyes and leave the competition in the dust.
Brand Awareness And Advocacy
Social media provides opportunities to develop your brand. Not only does it allow you to get your name out there and raise awareness about your company, but it also helps you establish your brand as an authority and expert in your field. By sharing industry-specific content you can showcase your expertise, which builds credibility with your potential customers.
The more you engage with customers on social media, the more a community can be developed. As customers grow loyal to your brand, they become a community of brand advocates, sharing about your company to their friends and family.
So what if you are noticeably absent from social media, what happens to the brand chatter? It has nowhere to go. A customer walks out of your store after having a great experience and they want to tell their friends about it. They immediately whip out their smartphone and head to Twitter or Facebook. If in a quick search they cannot find your company name on the social network they will
- make the post with no link to your company’s information, which doesn’t effectively connect you to the recommendation,
- give up and not share the recommendation at all, or even
- write a post complaining about your company’s lack of social media.
Because of your absence from the social media arena you have just lost out on what could have been a quality recommendation, or even worse it could even generate some negative brand chatter.
As you weigh the matter of social media for your business, it is essential to consider the risks. But don’t restrict your thinking. Remember that NOT joining social media is a risk itself. Social media has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and interact. And if you want to keep up with your target audience, aren’t you are going to have to adapt with them?