No, social media is not just some fun, meaningless, time-consuming thing for the young. This post will explain why social media can mean life or death for your business in the near future.
Social media provides awareness.
In order to acquire customers, people first need to be made aware that your business even exists. Because of this, the world of advertising was created - printed ads, posters, TV commercials - everywhere we look. Trying to get your brand in front of peoples' eyes to bring awareness is the point of the industry.
The next time you're out and about, take a look around at the people around you. You'll notice that most are looking at their phones rather than at any of the posters around that companies pay so much to display.
Peoples' attention is the key and social media is where it is.
Awareness of your business is dependent on acquiring peoples' attention so they can be informed. No one will visit your website if they don't even know it exists. In fact, Millennials spend 3.2 hours per day on their phones, which is almost one full day a week. Facebook alone gets almost an hour of people's attention per day. With so many focusing on their phones instead of the ads displayed around them, that phone space is becoming more and more necessary to get into for companies.
So what exactly is social media?
It's important to think of social media not as the famous networks you hear about, but basically almost everything that is important on the Internet today. Everything is posted, consumed and shared within the realm of social media.
If social media were television, the different social networks would be equivalent to different channels. Each channel is different, broadcasts different types of programs and appeals to different kinds of people who have varying expectations depending on the channel they're viewing. The better you are able to navigate these channels, the more potential upside your business can have.
Can a business survive without using social media?
Maybe. But think about those people you see constantly looking at their phones. Think about yourself even. Now think about how different it was only ten years ago.
Running a business according to how people are now makes more sense than managing it to how it was. With basically everyone focused on their phones now, it becomes the most valuable piece of real estate for a business.