Social media marketing can be incredibly time-consuming, and for some businesses, perceived as a waste of time. But social media plays an important role for businesses, especially for service-based businesses.

But why spend so much time on social media when it doesn’t guarantee success?

Because we’re currently living in a digital age, and just like the cavemen before us, we’re going to have to adapt to survive. And aside from that, when social media marketing is done right, you do see improvements.

Keep reading to find out the 5 reasons why you need to use social media for your service-based business.

5 reasons why social media is a must for service-based businesses

1. Social Media Humanizes Your Brand

Social media is an informal way of digital communication that provides a personalised touch to your marketing objectives.

Whether you are a service or product based business, building a social media presence online will allow your ideal target market to get an impression of your brand and what you’re all about.

Why is this doubly important for service-based businesses?

Because you can’t rely on product images to sell your brand. You need to emphasise who you are as a business and brand.

But why do they even need an impression of your brand when they could just go to the store or google search your business?

Because even as we continue to adapt to the times, we, as a people are getting lazy and impatient. And I’m allowed to say this because I’m guilty.

We want things now and prefer to get them in the comfort of our own homes.

Hence why social media marketing is so important in business. Think of it like the virtual form of meeting a potential customer in a store.

Instead of formally greeting them, letting them wander for a bit and then coming back to make conversation and get an idea of what they’re looking for (thank you retail experience). Your brand’s social media account/s are the thing that builds the relationship with them.

But how exactly?

Through specific targeting and knowing your ideal customer, you will be able to offer them the value that they’re looking for.

Take note: value is key to any digital marketing objective

Value varies depending on who your target market is and how well you have defined them. If you need some help defining your target market, stay tuned for an upcoming post all about targeting your marketing (plus it also includes a free customer profiling worksheet).

2. Social Media Builds Trust With Your Target Market

Social media builds trust with your target market when you are consistent in creating and sharing content on your social platforms.

In a world where we want everything now, failing to be consistent on your social media can be detrimental to your growth.

Let’s use another retail analogy…

If you walked into a store looking for something in particular, browsed for a few minutes then popped your head up only to find no noticeable store assistant, what would you do?

Depending on my mood, and urgency, I would probably leave … or possibly keep browsing if something else caught my eye.

Say after another five minutes, you looked around for an assistant but found no one. Again.

Now what would you do?

Personally, I would leave the store and never come back because to me, customer service is everything.
I understand social media isn’t a traditional form of customer service. But… (there’s always one of those isn’t there?) Because social media could be the first impression a potential customer has of you, it is so important to keep consistent with your updates (as well as engagement).

Consistency in social media is like attentiveness in retail and customer service.

It conveys commitment and responsibility – two things you want potential clients to perceive you to be as a service-based business.

3. Social Media Promotes Growth

Considering social media is available on any device with internet access, it should come as no surprise that you need to be on there.

Why? Because it’s predicted that at least 67% of the world’s population will have a mobile phone by 2019 (source).

How is this relevant?

The more people who have access to social media, the more people who can find your business’ social media accounts. And the more people that find your accounts, the more people become potential consumers of your brand.

Now that’s not to say that numbers are everything because they certainly are not.

In order to convert followers into leads (or buyers) you need to engage with your audience.

4. Social Media Encourages Engagement

Engaging with your audience is the single most important step when it comes to social media for a service-based business.

Before I go on, let’s recap:

  • Social media humanises your business and builds trust with your audience.
  • Engagement is the bridge between a potential consumer just enjoying your content to becoming a loyal buyer.

How do they make that leap?

When you take the time out of your day to like their comments and genuinely reply to them, you are showing your appreciation for their engagement with your brand. And who doesn’t love to feel appreciated?

As I’ve mentioned previously, social media is not about the numbers.

Who do you think is a better client for your services?

A client who thinks the amount of followers you have determines the level of service you provide? 
Or a client who has seen the rapport you have built with your audience and feels like they know you personally?

Building a rapport between business and consumer is a result of engaging through social media. Because of the informal nature of social media, engagement through various platforms can actually make a follower feel as if they’re conversing with a friend.

And I don’t about you, but when a friend of mine owns their own business, I always find some way to support their venture.

Basically, you get what you give.

So give your time and have genuine communication with your followers because they deserve it and because without them, you wouldn’t have any growth.

5. Social Media Helps Converts Followers Into Paying Customers

If used correctly, social media will help you convert followers into paying customers.

By correctly, I mean used with specific targeting and compelling strategies.

It is important to target specific markets and then cater your marketing strategies, in this case, social media marketing strategies, to their needs.

Strategically targeting consumers through social media means you are more likely to gather an audience that has an interest in the services that you’re selling.

I’ve mentioned it before but this is something that cannot be stressed enough.

Numbers don’t count if they don’t care.

Use your social media presence to gather an audience who want to book your services.

At the end of the day, you could have a million followers on Instagram but if those followers don’t care about your offering, they’ll never buy anything from you.

So remember to target and strategize to build an audience who are loyal and interested in what you have to offer.

Social media does take time. But it can most definitely turn into time well-spent.

Sarita Taurima is all about digital marketing and social media. When she isn’t using some form of technology, she spends time with her family or works on her fantasy novel series. She also uploads weekly to Youtube with videos on organisation, productivity, goal-setting and digital marketing.