There is no shortage of hype about the importance of social media in digital marketing. Lots of our clients have been put off by all the hype, and haven’t invested in social. Which is a great shame. Because at Receptional we’re starting to see online companies really benefiting from social marketing. So, in this 5-minute video, I look at why social media matters, and how to get a return from it.

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Read the transcript

My name’s Justin Deaville and I’m a social media cynic.

For a long while, I looked, but couldn’t find many examples of businesses that were making money from social media. It’s only recently that I’ve started to see online companies really benefiting from their investment in social marketing.

So, in this 5-minute video, I look at why social media matters, and how to get a return from our investment in it. But, first, let’s be clear what we mean by social media. There are so many different possibilities.

Well, social media’s not this.

social media shouting

And it’s not this.

Social media as broadcasting

For our purposes, it’s really any online media that involves a conversation.

Which could be on a blog, a forum, Youtube, or any of the networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social media is also earned media.

I mean that participation is usually free, except for the cost of your time.

Although it’s very possible to waste hours, days and weeks participating in social media without seeing any return.

Even worse are the companies that get social media so badly wrong that they end up harming their reputation.

social media disasters

Approaches to social media

Let’s look at three different appproaches to social media.

social not working

“I’m Pete and I don’t really see the point of social media. A lot of people writing drivel. So what if I had a cheese sandwich for lunch. Who would want to read about that? I’ve got better things to do with my time.”

And, of course, he’s right. No-one would care what he had for lunch.

But, Pete’s missing an opportunity. By not engaging with his audience, there’s now a disconnect between his business and his customers.


Next, there’s Hapless Harry. Harry’s made some efforts with social media. But he hasn’t seen much success.

hapless social efforts

I’m Harry. I Tweeted a few times. Didn’t get a lot of replies. So, I’ve set up an automated Tweet that goes out at the same time every week. Saves a lot of time and hassle.”

And, finally, there’s clever Colin.

Colin uses social media to start and join conversations.

He’s established himself as an expert in his community.

Clever social

Clever social marketing

And he uses social media selectively, where it’s appropriate for his business.

As a result, he gets regular feedback from his customers. And he’s picked up some new business, too.

And those are just two of the benefits that social media can bring. What are the others?

What’s the point?

1. Show off your human side:

It’s a truism that customers buy from people they like. And social media can be a great place to get people to know, like and trust you.

In other words, your business becomes a bit more human.

It’s a chance to talk with people who share your passions, to show off your expertise, and to establish your own voice.

2. Get great feedback

Social media can be a great place to get feedback about your business and your industry.

When we’ve written an article for the Receptional site, it’s clear when it’s popular.

And sometimes, just occasionally, we get feedback that rankles. Which can be tough.

But, we try to react positively, and believe that helps us build a loyal audience.

3. Address complaints quickly

And you can create that loyalty by reacting to customers complaints quickly.

In fact, you don’t get much choice but to react. If someone criticises you online, you either respond to it positively, or get a reputation for not caring.

4. Improve your site’s rankings

We know that the search engines like to send traffic to sites that get lots of social likes and mentions.

If you want to boost your site’s rankings, getting on Google+ is essential.

Google’s been explicit about this. You can boost your rankings by using Google+.

For most of us, that news alone is good enough reason to sign up.

5. Grow your business

Social media interests me most when it helps build your brand, and generate sales.

Here’s a page from Google Analytics. It’s a report from one of my clients. His business gets 25% of its referral traffic from Facebook. Its largest single source of sales is Facebook.

social analytics

>I’ve obscured the names and numbers. So, what you can’t see is that the business is also on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Yet, it gets very little business from these sources.


Facebook just happens to be a great medium for this particular business.

It’s important that you choose the social media that’s suited to your line of work.

Get in touch

If you’ve got any questions, please let me know. And if you’d like help with your social media marketing, please get in touch below:

Contact Receptional