Updated: Feb 17
Quite a number of businesses have created and regularly review a risk register – it’s a great tool to understand the main risks that exist which could affect your business, how serious the risk is and the severity of the impact on the business. But how many of us have considered the direct consequence of not engaging in a structured digital media strategy and the effect of that on the business?
These days digital marketing is critical for success in business. Those that adopted the changing landscape early on have made fantastic strides in both their delivery but also the understanding of how to effectively manage their digital marketing, and usually, this is getting the realisation that an external team can have much more impact than a business owner.
Typically, a lot of small businesses don’t engage with digital marketing for a number of reasons such as they believe they can’t afford it, they haven’t got the resources, they haven’t got the time and they haven’t got the skills or knowledge to generate the outcome they are looking for.
While that statement is a general statement, it does make us ask the question – what are these businesses losing out on? What is the risk to businesses that don’t have a strong presence on digital marketing platforms?
Let’s have a quick look at 4 key areas of risk that businesses may be missing:
You risk being out of the loop. Digital media, across all platforms, is a key channel for consumers collecting information and connecting with other consumers. It is also a great opportunity for companies to engage with current customers, as well as potential customers, all over the world. By not using digital marketing as a business tool, you run the risk of losing customers, credibility, and crucial information that can benefit your business. Even if you choose not to actively participate in discussions, you need be aware and stay informed regarding conversations about your company. Don’t stick your head in the ground and hope for social media to “blow on by.”
You can’t respond to negative comments about your business. When customers are not satisfied with your product or service, one of the first things many will do is complain on Twitter or Facebook, or they will write a bad review online. If you are not actively keeping tabs on these discussions and reviews, they can hurt your reputation and cost you potential business. How can you protect your brand if you don’t know what’s being said about it online? Social media is now, arguably, the default platform for customer service. Instead of calling you to complain on a personal level, consumers want to send businesses a tweet or post something on a Facebook page. More and more sites are becoming mainstream that allow customers the chance to review your product or service – so it is critical you’re aware of all comments around your organisation. However, if customers have a relationship with your company, they are much less likely to take such actions and will instead send you an email or a private message about the problem. You can use digital marketing to start and define that relationship moving forward.
You risk missing the positive comments about your business. Customers also leave positive feedback online about companies with which they do business. However, if they believe their comments won’t be read by the companies they are praising, satisfied customers are less likely to leave feedback. Additionally, positive comments can drive forward positive digital marketing – I mean, we all want to work with or buy from businesses we know are successful right.
You risk giving your competitors an unfair advantage. If your competitors are active on social media and you are not, your rivals already have a leg up on winning business from potential customers. Gaining customers is difficult enough using traditional methods (which also can take a considerable amount of time and money, with limited success), but to knowingly offer your competitors an advantage can perhaps be the difference between in business and not? Furthermore, if you don’t allow for comparisons and can’t answer questions in real time, you perhaps run the risk of customers disengage from your business due to a lack of perceived response. A recent study from SuperOffice found that the average time it took the businesses questioned was 12 hours. Now, that might not seem like an unrealistic time frame, but some organisations were super responsive and managed to return a response within 1 minute! Unless your product or service is overwhelmingly superior, this is one risk you cannot afford to take! We would always encourage our customers to be vigilant to the response times over social media platforms.
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