Editor's note: This post was originally written in March 2018 but has since been updated and refreshed for maximum accuracy.
Social media is a huge window of opportunity for businesses. When underpinned by a thorough plan, strategy, and rationale, it can be a platform to better brand exposure, reputation, and ultimately, sales.
But surprisingly, some businesses remain reluctant to pursue social media marketing.
According to Small Business Trends, 24% of small businesses don’t use social media as a part of their marketing strategy. And while we can’t be sure of the reasons, one might assume that this is due to lack of time, knowledge, or just fear of doing things wrong.So, why use social media marketing for business?
Having a social media presence enables you to nurture many areas of your business. Customer service, brand loyalty and exposure, SEO, and even cash flow can get a boost from having a sustainable social media presence.
So, let’s have a quick look at some of the top benefits of social media for business:
It increases brand exposure
Whether using paid advertising or building your network, social media gains your brand more exposure and visibility. How?
Let’s take a look at the numbers:
- Facebook: 2.2 billion active users
- Twitter: 330 million active users
- Instagram: 800 million active users
- LinkedIn: 500 million active users
That’s a lot of people. And perhaps only a small proportion might be your ideal customer, but with access to that kind of reach, the odds are in your favour. Simply making your brand more recognisable and visible is the first stepping stone to broadening your brand equity and reach.
At the same time, it’s worth considering which channel might be best for your business, so that you can focus your efforts there.
While Facebook can be better suited to local SMEs, Twitter and Instagram can be better for online businesses. The trick here is to experiment with each and find out where your potential customers are.
It costs nothing to set up a social media profile for your business. And any paid advertising that you choose to invest in is relatively low in cost too.
With targeted advertising as a part of a paid campaign, you have the power to choose who sees your content based on a set of predetermined factors. So, by placing the right content in front of the right audience, your chances of generating new leads grow substantially.
Let’s not forget that the reach is unlimited. Organic campaigns have the potential to go viral, potentially reaching millions. And with little to no cost investment, that’s a significant ROI. The only catch here is that you do have to be willing to invest some time into nurturing your social platforms. And if this isn’t feasible, you might need to consider hiring an expert to control, strategise and monitor your social media offering.
It increases traffic to your website and boosts SEO
Higher page rankings and more website traffic are the holy grail of online marketing. And social media can play a big part in that.
Social media is a free channel for sharing your website pages, products, promotional offers and informative content. By developing your own content and sharing it across your social media profiles, you’re building valuable link chains that encourage interaction with your website. And in Google’s eyes, that makes you worth a higher position on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Social media marketing for business humanises your brand
Business communications often have a tendency to become very corporate. But people trust people more than they trust brands. So adding a human element to your brand can be a valuable tool.
Humanising your brand through social media marketing helps you build online communities and networks, giving you a platform to personally connect with customers and prospects from a brand perspective.
Through actively engaging in online conversations, answering questions and offering helpful advice, you can strengthen relationships with your customers.
Social media can be very loud, so you’ll want to make sure you have the best strategy possible to be heard above all that noise.
There’s no doubt that when done right, a good social media strategy can propel your brand to new audiences, markets and even new countries. It’s easily accessible, free, and takes little to no time to set up. But maintaining and nurturing will take a fair bit of work and commitment, so planning ahead and setting milestones might be the most feasible approach.
Putting in the work and producing a successful strategy will help you get the most out of social media marketing. There’s research and testing to be done before you can perfect your offering, but it pays for itself tenfold with a huge ROI, and brand exposure.
Ultimately, social media is about forming connections. And when we connect with customers, peers, new markets and audiences, we expose ourselves to new realms of sales and marketing.
If you require some help or guidance setting up or maintaining your social media strategy, why not enlist the help of one of our qualified members? Below is a list of Chamber members from the Design and Marketing industry: