The goal of any for-profit business is to make money. There are only so many new products and/or services that you can sell to your existing customer base because, at some point, they’ll not need what you’re selling and (worse still) they might think you to be grasping at straws as they will find your offerings no longer relevant.
This means that you constantly need to be on the look-out for new customers while at the same time revising and refining new product offerings so that you consistently remain relevant to your target audience.
What Happened Before Social Media
In the days before social media, there were very limited ways to get new clients. More often than not, these were limited to the country that you were in.
- You could have gone through the phone book, made up a list of companies that you wanted to do business with and tried to get hold of them on the phone.
- Alternatively, suppose your marketing budget allowed for this. In that case, you could have taken up a stand at a relevant conference; in other words, one that members of your target audience would be attending. So, when delegates would wander around to your stand, you would try to convert them into a sale.
- If you had the addresses of people in your target market, who you wanted to get on board, you could send them a direct mail letter, which would extoll the virtues of your offerings and leave the recipient in no doubt as to why they needed to go with you.
These were all very good ways of broadening your reach and are still in use today but have been modified slightly. For instance, direct mail now takes place via email marketing instead of the traditional means of snail mail.
However, the problem is that with the methods listed above, you only had access to a very small group of people who you thought would be interested in your product. You didn’t have access to the people interested in your product but you didn’t know about it. It was an outbound marketing strategy as opposed to an inbound one, which is much more preferable.
Social media is the ultimate in inbound marketing strategies. Through its platform, you can market your products and/or services to people you aren’t in direct contact with. You’re allowing these people to interact with you and see if they can do business with you.
Also, social media isn’t limited by geography and time zones. When you’re sleeping and potential customers, it can sell for you on the other side of the world are awake and looking for services such as yours. This means that you need to be structuring your social media interaction so that it can sell on your behalf while you’re not doing anything.
There are so many other benefits that businesses can reap from social media, some of which still need to be explored. This means that the time is now for your organisation to become social.