This is the final in the 3-part series, in which we’re talking about “social media marketing” (the term which I’m not a big fan of). I truly believe that all business owners absolutely must engage with their customers by using social media, even though it’s not going to be your sales “magic bullet” to generate tons of new sales. In the last article, I talked about why social media marketing sucks.

So why is it important for you as a business owner to use social media? Why is it that social media is so important and can really help your business?

Three Reasons Social Media Is An Important Marketing Tool!

Engage One-on-One With Your Customers

Social media levels the playing field. It allows your customers to interact with you as a business owner directly. I get a ton of e-mail every day, and a lot of it I ignore (as of this writing, I have 4914 unread messages in my Inbox!). There’s spam, people who want something, blah blah. But if someone leaves a legitimate comment on my post or on my social media page, I’m going to respond! Other business owners are the same way, and you should be too. You can have one-on-one conversations with your clients. It raises your credibility, and your stature with those who are reading it.

Several years ago, I wrote a short book review about David Meerman Scott’s book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR“. I sent out a single tweet tagging Mr. Scott, and he saw it, and actually was kind enough to leave a message on my post. Wow. That’s a class act, and it means he’s paying attention. Had I sent him an e-mail, he probably would have marked it as spam.

Use social media to engage your audience, answer questions, and TALK with them!

A Hugely Rich Source of Demographic Data and Direct Connections

This is a double-edged sword. But the truth is, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms have all kinds of data about us. If you want to market to women between the ages of 35-54 who are married, love Lady Gaga, and live in California, guess what? NO PROBLEM. You can use Facebook’s Power Editor to set up ads that target that exact demographic. There is no way you can do this with Google ads. Period. End of story.

I LOVE LinkedIn (by the way, please connect with me on LinkedIn and drop me a note!). If you want to be introduced to the COO of XYZ Corporation, find out who you know that knows her. Ask your connection for an intro, and boom! Want to find out who is the COO of said company? No problem. It’s where most of the business owners hang out.

Twitter allows you to reach the unreachable directly as I mentioned before with Mr. Scott. One tweet connected us where no phone call or e-mail would. A couple years ago, I sent a message to Food Network’s Chef Aaron Sanchez, and he replied. So cool.

It’s FREE!

Best of all, 99% of these platforms are free. I like free. There is no better bang for your non-buck. You can have connections to all kinds of amazing people for free. Your fans and people who are interested in your products or services will connect with you on your social media platforms.  They are opting into you, and want to listen to what you have to say. Use it!

  • Facebook Business Page – FREE – It shows up high in the search engines for your company name, and can help your potential customers to engage with you.
  • LinkedIn (personal and business pages) – FREE – The business page shows up in the search engines, and gives people the opportunity to get to know you. LinkedIn groups are an amazing way to connect with lots and lots of like-minded people. You can join up to 50 LI groups, and become a regular contributor. LI is my biggest source of clicks to my website bar none.
  • Google+ – FREE – There is no better way to build your online reputation than on G+. It’s powerful, people pay attention to it, and it can make or break your business.

Why do you think social media rocks it? Tell me in the comments below.