The Benefits of Social Media: How Being Social Can Improve Your Marketing
What does social media mean to you? Do you think of it as a trend? Or is it a mysterious buzzword surrounded with confusion?
Regardless of what you think you know (or admittedly don’t know) about social media, one thing is clear: social media brings with it many benefits for your business and marketing.
Let’s take a look at why social media is so powerful in the world of Internet marketing, and how utilizing it can benefit your brand or business in big ways.
Social Media Statistics You Should Know
Here are some eyebrow-raising statistics about social media marketing:
- Over 1.35 billion people around the world use Facebook.
- 75% of online Americans say they’re influenced by product information on social media.
- Social media marketing budgets will double by 2019.
- 42% of women online use Pinterest.
As you can see, consumers worldwide are continuing to flock to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to learn, share, and consume. These networks give your business a prime opportunity to connect with those who may be interested in your products or services—and on the very channels they use the most.
How Social Media Can Benefit Your Business
Still not convinced that social media has the potential to be a powerful marketing tool? Here’s a look at what social media can do for your business.
Increase Brand Recognition
If you’re active on multiple social media platforms—and you’re posting interesting content—people will begin to recognize your brand in other situations, or perhaps recall your company’s name while they’re thinking of your industry or products.
Simply put, social media is a fantastic way to introduce people to your brand. It can gently introduce them to your company’s products or services without the target audience feeling as if you are shoving marketing messages in their faces, or forcing them to view advertising they aren’t interested in seeing in the first place.
Showcase Your Customer Service Efforts
Interactions with customers on social media are on public display. One of the strongest social media marketing benefits includes this: the chance the showcase your positive customer service efforts.
Many people wonder if this is a way that social media can backfire. Most businesses experience an unhappy customer from time to time. Couldn’t this potentially lead to a negative experience brought to light on social media, for all to see?
In situations like this, it’s important to showcase your efforts in a positive light. If an unhappy customer reaches out to you on social media, turn this situation into a positive one. Thank the customer for voicing his or her concerns, and do what you can to make it right. This will prove to current and potential customers that you’re sincere, that you care about feedback, and that you’re active on your social media pages.
Increase Traffic to Your Website
If you struggle with generating organic traffic to your website from sources like search engines, social media has the potential to be a golden ticket to more traffic.
Without social media, you’re limited to attracting people who search for your brand name, search for terms for which you rank, or those who already know about your website. With social media—and the wide audience of those willing to share or reshare your content—you can amplify your reach and attract clicks from those who have never heard of you before.
Additionally, if you gain a dedicated social media following, as we’ll discuss next, you can anticipate regular traffic to your website when you share something new or interesting.
Build a Community of Dedicated Followers
Social media revolves around the idea of building an online community. Whether you’re an individual or business on social media, you can build a community of followers as long as you:
- Post interesting, relevant, and not all “you-focused” content
- Make posts regularly to stay in front of your followers
- Answer questions and respond to comments quickly, and politely
- Engage with those who have mentioned you or messaged you in some way
By following social media best practices, you’ll be able to build a community of people who are interested in what you have to say and dedicated to your company. You will be able to count on these dedicated followers not only for traffic, but also potentially for sales or new leads!
Decrease Your Marketing Costs
Do you know how much it costs to set up social media accounts on all platforms? It’s free. And considering the power that comes with these free marketing opportunities, it’s worth it to dedicate your time to utilizing them to their fullest potential.
If you struggle with finding extra funds to increase your marketing efforts, rest assured that social media marketing doesn’t cost you anything unless you buy third party tools. Marketing on these channels only requires time and knowledge, as well as a little experience.
You may opt to pay for advertising on social media platforms, like Facebook ads or Twitter cards. Social media advertising is relatively inexpensive, but as you grow your online presence, you may find that it’s not necessary for you!
Give You Valuable Information About Your Audience
One of the more obvious social media marketing benefits is that being present on these channels offers valuable information about your customers. Listening to what your customers and followers say on social media gives you great insight to their values, opinions, preferences, and habits.
“Social media listening” or “social media monitoring” is the act of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, business, or individual on social media. Even if you don’t engage with your target audience at all times, you can monitor and listen to conversations about your industry, products, services, or even your brand to find out what your audience thinks. This can give you incredible insight for future marketing campaigns!
One more thing to keep in mind: how you respond to people on social media after they engage with you—or even mention your company—speaks volumes about your brand personality and values. If you take the time to say thank you or retweet a follower who has mentioned your company, this shows that you are engaged and listening to what they have to say.
Don’t assume that you can use social media just to gather information and “spy” on your audience. Unless you also engage with your followers, they’ll lose interest quickly.
Increase Loyalty to Your Brand
Statistics show that brands that are active on social media experience greater brand loyalty from their fans. Furthermore, people who follow your brand on social media are more likely to be loyal to your business.
This is just another reason to extend your reach as far as you possibly can. If you want customers who are more loyal and less likely to choose a competitor, you should use social media to make your company look active, interested, and happy to help each and every person that comes your way.
Establish Your Authority
Finally, with well-maintained social media profiles comes authority. The more fans you have and the more high-quality content you post, the more authority you can gain.
As you gain trust and establish authority, over time, you will become known as a thought leader of your industry. However, don’t think that you should buy a lot of followers just so you can look important. You should aim to naturally become authoritative by posting the content you’ve created, sharing relevant links and information, having conversations with others, and so on.
Authority isn’t easy to create on social media. But it’s important to have, because with it comes even more followers and attention to your brand. So take the time to build up your pages—you’ll find it’s worth it!
How to Get Started with Social Media Marketing
Want to give social media a try so you can experience these benefits yourself? Our best advice to you is to take things one step at a time. Instead of setting up every social media network imaginable, pick one or two to try. Set up your pages, link to them from your website, and start engaging with your new followers or fans.
Over time, you should aim to review the results of your social media marketing campaigns and make changes as you deem necessary. You may decide that one channel isn’t providing you the results you wanted, and that you’re going to use a different one instead. Or you may find that you need to dedicate more time to a particular page to really grow it the way you want to.
Some companies find that social media quickly becomes overwhelming for them. They don’t have the time to dedicate to growing their presence, much less interacting with fans. In this case, you should consider bringing on an agency that specializes in social media marketing to improve your efforts and reliably continue your campaigns.
If you need help with social media, WebpageFX’s dedicated social media team is ready and willing to back you! Check out our social media marketing plans, or contact us today for a custom quote on monitoring, maintaining, and creating custom content for your social pages.
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to speak to a social media expert about how WebpageFX can help your business experience the benefits of being social.