10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Businessby: Dustin Hawley | Thursday December 20, 2018
You can't deny it. Simply being on this page and reading this article is proof that you are into social media marketing in some facet. Maybe even your job is focused around it. For people like you, and many, it's almost unthinkable to believe that there are still businesses that are apprehensive about utilizing the medium. The notion that there are still marketers writing proposals to their superiors trying to convince them of the need to start a social media marketing program absolutely ruffles your feathers. Trust me, we get it.
The fact is, people are using social media more than ever to engage with brands. Every day, over three billion people use social media around the world. If you (or your business) are not taking advantage of all the benefits social media has to offer, you’re missing out. Social media marketing is a fast and effective way to reach nearly half the world’s population. So what are you waiting for? Let's get to it. Here are ten ways social media marketing will magnify your brand's social presence.
1. People Buy from People They Like and Relate to
One of the greatest benefits of social media is that it gives a voice to your brand. These days, consumers are not purchasing from an unknown entity. Instead, they are scouring review sites and a company's social media profiles to see if customers are satisfied.
In order to truly connect with potential consumers, you need to be able to broadcast and display who you are as a brand. Do you have relatable values? Does the quality of your service or product represent these values? The more you can create direct relationships with people, the higher the likelihood that those people will do business with you. Social media enables you to do just that, and do so with infinitely more people than you would be able to engage directly if you relied on foot traffic to your storefront. That is unless you have billions of people walking through your doors.
2. You Can Make Your Brand an Industry Leader
People buy from people who they like and trust. This can not be overemphasized, because it is more true than ever in today's marketplace. Social media offers you an opportunity to become a thought leader when people want to know about your particular industry. The current business landscape also rewards thought leaders with a degree of cross-promotion that was previously unavailable before the inception of social media.
Publish content tailored for your audience - and not just your latest sales, promotions or whatever other offers you frequently post. The whole concept of social media is to be 'social'. This includes being helpful, engaging, and educational in your community. Prioritizing these elements of your social engagement will assist you in positioning yourself as an industry leader that people will learn to trust. Eventually, consumers will go to you first.
3. You Can Manage Your Brands Reputation
Whether the sentiment is positive or negative, people talk about your brand. It doesn't matter whether you're initiating the conversation, or just simply involved in the dialogue. When your organization effectively focuses on developing an active social listening plan, it enables you to pick up on and track where and when these conversations about your brand are happening. It's imperative that you join these conversations - not simply as an outsider looking in, but as an active, engaged member of each community.
So what do you do if you find that people are spreading incorrect facts about your company? Share your side of the story in a polite and professional manner. Addressing the issue in a public forum with a professional demeanor allows you to assert a sense control over your brand voice in the marketplace. On the flip side, when consumers are praising your brand, find ways to thank them and show your appreciation, both publicly and personally. This is also a way to build a pool of brand ambassadors, which also bring great value to a brand's social presence.
4. You Can Produce Customer (current and potential) Engagement
One of the greatest benefits of social media is that it enables you to interact directly with people that are already fans of your brand. And find new fans as well. Additionally, it provides consumers with a direct line to your business. Staying engaged with your audiences and communities allows them to see that you're available to them when they need you. Consumers are keener than ever before on having this direct access to brands.
If you are not among the brands that maintain this level of access with your consumers, the brands that do will likely garner more trust and market share in your industry. Stay active and relevant with your social posts, and make sure you are responding to comments and questions that people post on those pieces content. This is your opportunity to build that customer engagement on a far more personal level.
5. It Sends People to Your Website
So, let's be honest. There’s only so much that people can learn about you and your brand from social media posts and ads. For a majority of businesses, your website is where your fully fleshed-out information resides. That is why you should utilize social media channels to drive people there. Whether it's to acquire customers or leads, your website needs traffic. And it goes without saying that social media is a platform that generates a lot of traffic online.
Ensure your website is prominently featured wherever possible, especially on your brand's social network bios. In addition, it’s also a best practice to use a pinned post on your profile that highlights your focus landing page(s) on your website. This drives traffic and visibility to the places you’d like people to check you out first. We all know first impressions can mean everything.
6. It Can Help You Find Leads
Lead generation is an incredibly important benefit of social media for business. Notably, most social networks now offer advertising formats specifically designed to collect leads and help brands generate website and social media traffic.
Social media provides a simple way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products or services. Lead generation has substantially evolved over the past decade, as social media has played a far greater role in connecting brands with customers and clients than ever before. Leveraging this medium to drive lead generation is essential in the modern market place.
7. You Can Learn About Your Customers
People are constantly sharing on social media, which means (for better or worse) there's a ton of data you can find on your target consumers. You can then use this data to make more informed decisions that relate to your business. Additionally, you can learn what your consumers are looking for and how best to reach them in the marketplace.
Brands should take advantage of the analytics that every social network offers. Insights from platforms like Facebook and Instagram provide detailed information on your target consumer and allows you to develop more effective strategies for your marketing efforts. It also provides useful data for marketing functions like re-targeting. Using all the information available to your organization, you can tailor your strategies to best speak to your target markets.
8. You Can Increase Your Social Selling
Four words. Social media creates sales. And the fact is, sales are what keeps businesses open. This is why social selling can play an important role. Social selling gives your sales and marketing team the opportunity to establish relationships with potential consumers. It also gives your brand the chance to build rapport with existing connections and strengthen their bond. Maintaining an active, engaging social presence can help keep your brand top of mind in your industry. That way, when a customer is ready to purchase, as noted above, they come to you and your brand first.
The rise of social selling is in some ways a sign of the maturation of social media a whole. Sales organizations with eyes to the future are constantly on the prowl for new and more valuable tools for engaging with customers. Social selling provides a litany of new, dynamic approaches for them to consider and employ.
9. You Can Study Your Competition
To stay relevant and ahead of the curve, it's not only important to know what people are saying about you and your brand. It's equally important to know what they are saying about your competitors. For example, tracking social mentions of your competitors may reveal pain points with their products that you could potentially have the means to address. This may win you new customers in the process. Likewise, if the sentiment for your competitors is positive and they have an engaged social network, those successes can be identified and potentially weaved into your own brand's efforts.
How fast are your competitors responding to customers complaints? Are they a model of ideal customer relations that can motivate your own brand's endeavors? Or do they wait long enough for your brand to step in and solve their problems? There's a wide range of potential benefits to learning more about your competition.
10. You Can Enhance Your Customer Service
This may be one of the most overlooked elements of brand building as a whole, and particularly with social. Frankly, the ability to enhance your brand's customer service may very well be one of the top reasons for your business to be active on social media. In the modern marketplace, consumers expect brands to be available and engaging on social media also. Consumers are increasingly going to brand's social profiles first when trying to learn more about them.
The faster you respond to customer service issues, and the better you are able to help people when conflict arises, the more likely it is that those people will eventually become customers, and recommend your brand to others. Addressing customer complaints with genuine empathy and having an authentic line of communication can do wonders in building rapport and trust with your potential client base.
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