I remember a time when social media was simply just an efficient way to establish who your best friends are with the “Mypace Top 8”, to display the amazing restaurants you frequent on a weekly basis, or just keep in touch with old friends. Social media remains great for leisurely activities but has adapted and become a very important tool for businesses take advantage of. With 3.7 billion internet users (50% of total world population) and 2.7 billion of them having active social media accounts, it is safe to say social media sparks a statistical imperative for businesses to dip their toes into and see if they can’t make some noise. The most popular social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter have integrated powerful advertising platforms, capable of targeting users based on a dynamic assortment of behavioral and characteristic traits.
The bottom line: Social Media Management has become an extremely important and powerful business tool.
We have gathered some key benefits of social media for business and how to use them to increase sales and engagement.
1. Increase brand awareness and convert buyers into followers.
When me and my girlfriend are trying to figure out where we want to eat (assuming she allows me to decide for once), it is an absolute necessity to check customer reviews and, more often than not, their Instagram feed! A potential customer can determine a lot from a restaurant by how lively their social media activity is. As human nature dictates: we want to go where our friends like to go. If a brand can convert a buyer via social media, that buyer typically becomes a more loyal fan. 53% of Americans who follow brands in social media are more loyal to those brands.
2. Gain valuable audience insights and traits
The nature of social media allows for the platforms to collect immense amounts of data about each individual user. As social media users, we spoon feed them what our favorite hobbies are, our jobs, gender, age, location, etc. All of our social media activity including shares, likes, retweets, provides information about ourselves and our sentiment toward various brands.
A majority of businesses with successful social media presence utilize some sort of social listening, which are analytics tools that constantly gather useful customer data and track conversations about target brands or themes. Using social listening tools allows us to gather pertinent data about audiences to establish campaigns based on the results.
3. Launch targeted ad campaigns that provide instant feedback
Many think that effective social media is simply having a lot of followers. While this is important, it isn’t the only way to reach your audience on social media. Social media advertisements are inexpensive ways to promote your products to particular users at the right time. For example, a company can launch a Facebook ad campaign targeting users based on location, age, interests, groups they belong to, etc. for very cheap click rates. Another upside to social media ads is that we can measure the performance and effectiveness of any ad campaign as it is happening.
4. Increase web traffic and organic domain rankings
The (usually) goal for businesses is to drive traffic from social media to a website where a transaction is hoped to be made. Having an effective social media presence allows for more users to traverse through your lead funnels and have them end up on a page where they can make a purchase. If your website is well-made and converts well, it is safe to say your sales will increase with social media growth.
While it may sound very simple, there is a lot of noise about all the various lead generation strategies and we forget that the ultimate goal is to increase sales. Aside from traffic, the share rate of social media content also increases the domain authority for the piece of content that was shared, resulting in a higher position in search engines.
5. Competitor research
At the expense of sounding creepy, social media is a great way to stalk your competition. In business of course *cough*. Social media monitoring involves keeping close tabs of your competitors and allowing you to see how they interact with their audience, frequency of posts, type of content, etc. Social monitoring is a GREAT way to gauge your industry and see how you stand up to your competition.
6. Speedy customer service and satisfaction
The traditional way of submitting complaints was getting the ol’ ink and quill and mailing in your dissatisfaction with a product or service. The times have changed and customers have changed with it. We’ve dumped our strongly worded letters and have moved on to sending very rash and aggressive tweets to the company. Over 67% of consumers now go to social media for customer service, which means the need for social media customer service is essential. Utilizing response automators or even real humans (gasp!) to answer inquiries on social media, companies can make sure their customers receive speedy service.
7. Instant content distribution!
In a world where people want instant gratification, the need to provide customers with instant content and marketing has become that much more essential. We no longer need to purchase ad space in television or wait for a movie preview to see the exciting upcoming flicks. Although it saturates the landscape with ads, the ability to broadcast your advertisement to users at any time and place has significant advantages!
8. Build informal relationships
Every brand can determine what type of tone they want on social media, especially if the product is targeting particular audiences. Because of this, companies can integrate the “human factor”, allowing a more natural relationship with consumers. Social media can act as the informal medium between a brand and its audience to provide information, contests, giveaways and much more.
Take action on your business
There are surely a lot more benefits of social media for business outreach but we felt this was a nice launch point for newcomers. As brands expand and the costs start to pile up, keeping your advertising budgets tight becomes much more important. Social media allows for organic and paid means to accomplish that. Awesthetic Digital Media provides social media management services with various pricing packages to suit businesses of many sizes. We focus on the stories and relationships, allowing businesses to gain followers, rather than zombified consumers.