Inflate the Value of Your Business by Harnessing the Power of Social Media
If the true value of your business lies in its transferable value, then having a unique, trusted brand customers and noncustomers alike can recognize will distinguish your company from your competitors, making it far more attractive to potential buyers. The more recognizable your brand, the lower the risk for purchasers.
Your brand is your most valuable intangible asset, so it’s never too late to determine what sets you apart and shout it from the rooftops. McDonald's, arguably one of the world’s largest companies, doesn’t even list its brand on its balance sheet, yet it accounts for 70% of its value. Now, not every company can afford the marketing campaign the likes of which McDonald's can, but that doesn’t mean you can’t position your business in an advantageous spot apart from your competition—affordably. Look at it this way:
“If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trademarks, and I would fare better than you.” John Stuart, Chairman of Quaker (ca. 1900)
How do you ask? Two words: social media. Used well, it can be a seller’s best friend and do much of the branding work for you. Social media is the most direct way for businesses to reach customers, and as of 2019, there were 3.2 billion social media users worldwide. Take Instagram, for example. No less than 80% of users follow at least 1 business.
Take advantage of the many free platforms to not only increase your company’s value but also to set yourself apart from your competitors and grow your business at the same time!
Your Followers Increase Your Value
First, look at your company as a product you want to sell. How would you describe that product in an advertisement? Then ask some of your customers directly what unique value you offer them. What makes you distinct? Your followers will have to positively associate you and your business with something that offers distinctive value for your network to flourish, and your current customers are the foundation.
Now, if you focus on a couple of those attributes, actively and consistently communicate them across your chosen platforms, and continually analyze them and adjust your social media campaign accordingly, word of mouth will spread like wildfire across your connections and followers.
Those followers and their followers and so on come together to create intangible value for a potential purchaser. When positioned properly, they give rise to recognition, reputation, and renown that can make your business far more attractive than another business your possible buyer may also be considering, increasing your perceived value.
Differentiate Your Business
Brand recognition is integral to your company’s value. Once you’ve determined what sets you apart from your competition, marketing those messages across your social media platforms will serve to reinforce those intangible elements of your unique brand. Think of it as stamping your brand right in the middle of your followers’ minds.
Differentiation is an important priority for any small business, according to Bob House on Inc... But when it comes to selling your business, you'll need to illustrate your company is uniquely positioned to dominate a portion of the market. In this era, social media is the most effective channel.
Going back to McDonald's again, think back to their Big Mac jingle where they sang the recipe for their secret sauce. It created immense, intangible value and set its business apart from its competitors. That’s a value that can’t be touched or replaced like equipment or machinery.
“Social media is greatly impacting the way that business owners value their customers and it’s all for the better.” ~ Riley Viggers ~
Social media offers the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to connect with your customers and potential customers says Riley Viggers, public relations, and social media expert. Want to tell the world about something your business does differently that would benefit people? Maybe you want everyone to know about a particular way your product is superior to your competitor’s product? Is your customer service, as evidenced on your social media, top-notch? Tweet it on Twitter, post it on Facebook, throw a photo up on Instagram. Your customers will respond, and they will share it with their friends and followers.
Social Media Can Grow Your Business Even While You’re Selling It
Enjoy the added benefit of increasing your revenue and using that to leverage your company’s value for potential buyers when you use social media to your advantage. A well-conducted social media campaign promoting your distinct, differentiated brand can see your business expanding to new customers and new markets.
Strong, well-defined, and pointed social media updates can direct your customers—and potential customers—anywhere you want them to go, whether that’s your website or your brick-and-mortar storefront.
And let’s not forget about influencers. Not only is social media a streamlined, two-way communication channel directly to your customers, it also lends itself to those with influence in your industry, or any industry really, who can steer their followers—potential customers—in your direction. As Sam Hollingsworth at Search Engine Journal points out, an influencer’s recommendation on social media gives your business a solid reputation, customer trust, additional business opportunities, and backlinks, which offer an SEO boost and referrals.
"If you can get your product or service publicly vouched [for] by a trusted authority in your niche, your sales can skyrocket overnight.”
So says Josh Forti, a social media influencer marketing expert who’s grown a following of 5 million people, not only for himself but also for his clients. In fact, according to Aimee Tariq, founder, and CEO of A Life with Health, partnering with social influencers is one of the most profitable actions you could exercise. “Influencers are now widely considered more relatable than celebrities,” she goes on to say.
How can a potential buyer walk away from a business with millions of loyal followers and continually growing revenue as a direct result of those followers, especially when compared to one of your competitors who may not have paid the same attention to social media?
Social media, in itself, can be the one factor that sets your business apart from your competitors and make it highly attractive to buyers, reducing the risk to potential purchasers and making it more likely you’ll be able to command a higher price.
Your brand, your reputation, and your social media presence are irreplaceable intangible assets that can be worth far more than any CEO, process, or product, creating trust with past, current, and future customers. When you focus on what makes you different, what makes you stand out, and partner with influencers to continue building that trust and reputation, buyers will be happy to shell out top dollar to profit from your valuable network, your valuable brand, and your valuable reputation.
Just look to Mint, a personal finance startup that stood out from its competitors in a crowded sector just by creating outstanding social media and digital strategies that resulted in Intuit purchasing the company for a crazy $170 million!
Want to know more about using social media to increase the value of your business? Have questions about selling your business or buying one? Discover what a broker can do to help you achieve an ideal outcome by visiting Muise Mergers & Acquisitions Inc. or sending them an email.