3 Ways Social Media Affects Your Business Even If You Don’t "Do" Social Media

August 23, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

When I come across people and companies who claim that they don’t “do” social media, I have to stop myself from saying that whether they like it or not, it still affects things that they already “do.” Even if your company doesn’t participate in Facebook or Twitter, the following are three ways that social media affects how others view your business:

1. The company website

  • About Page. This is the most important page of your website. People will skip right over the home page and head to your About page. And, nothing is more disappointing than an About page with bland corporate speak and nary a photo of the people behind the company. While this used to work prior to 2010, audiences expect to see you and be able to gain some insight into your company’s personality.
  • Contact Us. This is the second most important page of your site. On most sites built prior to social media, the only way to contact a company is through a form. That works, especially if your company receives a lot of general questions. But, in a transparent social media environment, a contact form feels a little too impersonal. Why not also give people who took the time to visit your site more options about how to interact with you going forward? This can easily be done by encouraging them to follow you on Twitter, visit your Facebook fan page or check out your blog. Individuals at companies can even put links to their public LinkedIn profile.

2. E-newsletters

If you rely on e-newsletters to communicate with your clients/prospective clients, you’ve probably noticed that open rates are down and unsubscribe, blocks and “non-existent addresses” are up. This is due to several reasons:

  • Increased use of overzealous spam filters.
  • People being overloaded with e-newsletters.
  • A tumultuous job market means that contacts registered under a company email, could be forever lost as subscribers if they are laid off or switch jobs.
  • Many people are viewing emails on smartphones, which are not good for e-newsletters.
  • People want the information delivered to them on their schedule, not yours.

Social media (i.e. Blogs, Twitter and Facebook) allows individuals to get the information they want, when they want it and how they want it. While e-newsletters aren’t going away in the near future (just like email and telephones won’t) smart businesses are using social media to connect with clients who they might not be able to reach any other way. In addition, you can get more bang for your e-newsletter buck by linking to it from your social media accounts and including share buttons within the email.

3. Business Directories

When was the last time you opened a phone book? They are virtually irrelevant, yet the same companies who used to spend on Yellow Page ads won’t take the time to list their website and contact information on Google maps/places and other prevalent online directories.

Today, Google maps is much more than driving directions. Today you can find contact info and even reviews on any business you want by just typing in the name or type of business and the general location. For example, try doing a search on Google maps for a type of restaurant or retail business in your town (i.e. a sushi restaurant or a plumber).

Based on the results, you might be inclined to pick the first listed, which likely has the most reviews and specials.

Still think social media doesn’t affect every business?

Diane K. Danielson is the principal consultant with DKD New Media Strategies ( http://dkdnewmedia.com ) a marketing consulting firm that specializes in incorporating social media into traditional marketing and business development plans. Find out more and download a FREE B2B Social Media eBook at http://dkdnewmedia.com.

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