Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to have a six-figure following across the major social media platforms: thousands of people seeing your Tweets, scrolling through your Instagram feed, receiving updates over Facebook?
The reality is that a following takes time to build and that big, shiny figure you preside over is going to be lower than you want.
Still, there are very real reasons to be active on social media – large following or not. Here are seven of the best.
The competition is doing it
The most obvious, irrefutable reason to be active on social media? Your competition will be leveraging Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook (throw a couple more into the mix if you like) for their gain. To miss out is to shoot yourself in the foot.
You can partner with social influencers
The world of social media is awash with full-time influencers who command an impressive following and are looking for business partnerships.
Though influencers aren’t going to work for free, they’re often less expensive than you might think, and they’ll be on hand to include a citation back to your core website (not just your social channels). This will help boost visibility for your website on search engines, so it’s a great little tactic to use.
It enables you to get noticed
On a platform like Instagram, which is inherently visual, you can pick up business simply by posting something mouthwatering and using popular hashtags to make your picture discoverable. This works especially well in big cities where people are looking for new experiences and searching for these experiences via popular terms.
It gives you new avenues to explore from an advertising perspective
Facebook is a powerful platform, letting you reach wide-ranging audiences, but Instagram is the exciting new kid on the block. Instead of sending out posts that only your followers will see, reach new customers by specifying location, demographic, interest and even behaviors. You can even market to people who are similar to your existing followers (“Lookalike Audiences”).
It makes you look good
Build your following and benefit from the social currency of a large number of fans.
Resist the temptation to “buy” fake followers – accounts that have opted for this tactic are easy to spot because they have an inflated audience but very little engagement. Ultimately this will hurt your reputation more than it’ll enhance it, and it’s unlikely to make you more money in the long run anyway. So what’s the point?
A far better tactic is to use targeted advertising to speak to potential customers, and incentivize them to follow your account in exchange for entry into a giveaway. This is not a failsafe method, of course, because they can always go ahead and unfollow you later, but it sure beats having a load of bots discoverable in your follower list.
It gives agency to your customers
Chances are you’re delivering a product or a commodity that customers interact with. Should something go wrong, many of your clientele will prefer to get in touch with you over Facebook Messenger as opposed to having to trawl through your website for an email address.
It lends you credibility
If you have a reputation for fast customer response times, Facebook will reward you with a badge that credits you with this.
The algorithm looks at your messages over the last 30 days and takes an average from 90% of your fastest responses, discarding the 10% you were slower with (a fair system, all told).
Received fewer than 10 messages in a month? Your last 10 in totality will be looked at.
Never received 10 in the lifetime of your business? Facebook will still calculate your response time from those few messages you have received.
It’s a fair – and potentially beneficial – system.
Aim to respond within an hour to really impress potential and existing customers alike.