A previous colleague of mine, Seb, who is now a business growth consultant recently introduced me to one of his clients with the aim of encouraging them to start engaging with social media. Whilst Seb understands the value all aspects of social media and digital marketing can bring to any business, he didn’t feel he was in the best position to really sell the realities to this company.
Two hours later, and I think I answered all their questions, addressed some concerns they had and I’ve definitely given them lots to think about. One thing I personally found very interesting is that one of their main reasons for not wanting to engage with social media marketing was because their clients/target audience aren’t online.
The conversation actually went something like this:
Client: Our clients aren’t on social media.
Me: Oh, you’ve asked them?
Client: No, but they’re of a certain generation. They just wouldn’t be.
Me: Isn’t that ageist and a little short-sighted?
Client: Erm …
The reality is, there is no reason why you should automatically assume any potential clients aren’t online in some capacity. Perhaps they’re not prolific on Facebook, and no they might not know a Tweet from a Snap but that is not the point.
For every “older” member of our community who would rather talk to a real live person, there is at least one member who prefers to source information before having a discussion. Too often have we had experiences where live customer service is lacking, personal skills are diminishing and therefore it’s often preferable to limit the duration of such interactions. Researching information first, and then asking specific questions based on what you already know, is far quicker and more pleasant in many situations.
Client: OK, but the amount of people we’d reach via social media wouldn’t be worth the amount of time, money and effort it takes to create the content.
I completely get this worry and for my faults I am exceptionally honest with my response – you might be right.
The problem with content and social media marketing is it can be hard to pinpoint precise returns. It’s not as simple as post and sell. Your results aren’t always neatly quantifiable and therefore it can be quite scary for any business, regardless of their potential marketing budget.
However, the more you do to promote your business, the more opportunities you have to make a sale. True, you could post for six months on social media and never hear of a single sale being made as a direct result of that – but I promise you, if you don’t post on social media you won’t sell anything via that route.
Equally, a post on social media could be shared by one person who has no interest in your offering, but as a result, is seen by someone who might. That “someone” might not have stumbled across you via any other means. Or it might be the fifth time in a week they have seen your business name and it was the sheer volume of your advertising that persuaded them to get in touch.
How do you actually know?
The truth is, your customers are probably more online than you think they are. And if they’re not, they’re friends and influential family members might be. Why take the risk that your competitors are out there talking to them, whilst you keep your mouth shut?