Most of the businesses I represent for a sale have some type of social media presence, but the extent depends on the industry and the owner’s attitude towards it.
In response to the question: Does social media impact the value of your business? The answer is as clear as “it depends.”
To have accounts set up in the usual Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is a good thing if relevant to your industry. However, just merely setting them up and not keeping them current could very well be causing you to harm the value of your business rather than increase it.
Ghosted accounts give customers (and potential buyers) the message that you have poor marketing systems, are disinterested in customer sentiment and give bad customer service.
My general advice to sellers is, If you are going to be on social media, commit to giving it enough attention and represent your brand well.
Conversely, businesses that I see are active on social media have been leveraging it with good results, even if they are not immediately identifiable. For many, measuring the true return on investment (ROI) remains unclear, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. We are taught in business that every function must be measured. It’s good advice, but accurately measuring customer sentiment through social media and it’s value to the brand is often more costly and is more trouble than it’s worth.
Here are my tips for making sure social media is adding value to your business:
Creates a community
Social media is a great way of building a community of loyal fans that are eager to refer you to their friends and family. Your positive customer experiences will be shared, but be warned: If you are delivering poor service or quality, this audience will turn on you quickly.
Entry to your brand
You can get exposed to millions of new people through social media. However, understand that having a “like” or “friend” on a platform is like renting. It exists on another platform you do not control and you can only partly influence what your audience sees. Instead, concentrate on asking your social following to opt into your own email list. When you “own” the contact information, you have complete control.
Have a new offering or product? Have a cool customer experience to share? Social media is an excellent channel to tell your story. It’s instant, effective and may very well earn you sales.
Improves Customer Service
The best brands in the world are good listeners. When a customer has a question, comment, or complaint, they get a response immediately. Don’t rely on a customer looking up contact information on your website. The customer gets to choose what channel they communicate, not you.
Brings insight to the true target audience
You likely already know who your ideal client is, but many brands are finding new niches to serve that they would have otherwise missed. Pay attention to the analytics on your social media and see what opportunities may open up. You may be able to offer a new product, service, or promotion that appeals to this underserved audience.
Visible to business buyers
Buyers are continually scouring the internet for great business buying opportunities. It’s a virtual certainty that a buyer will have checked out your social media, Google reviews, and other publically available information before ever reaching out to you or a broker.
So does social media add value to your business? The answer is yes, it contributes to the marketing function of your business, but only if you give it the same attention as other critical business functions like accounting operations and fulfillment. The total complete package is what buyers are looking for.