No doubt most of you reading this are fully immersed in social media. We live and breathe it. Most of our job is focused around it. But shockingly, to those of us that ride or die with our friends on social channels, there are still businesses on the fence about utilizing the medium, and there are still marketers writing proposals to their superiors trying to convince them of the need to start a social media marketing program.
The truth is, people are using social media to engage with brands more than ever. With over three billion people using social media around the world, if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population.
Why is social media important for business?
Social media is important for businesses because it brings an organization’s marketing, communication, and advertising strategies into the 21st century.
A business social media gives your company access to this unprecedented connectivity, exposure, and influence.
With just a few clicks you gain access to vast networks of millions of potential customers.
You’ve most likely noticed. both as a consumer and business owner, how the landscape of traditional business-customer interaction is changing drastically.
The internet and other forms of technology are the primary drivers behind this rapid change.
Social media is the tool your business can use to harness the power of internet connectivity.
Increase Traffic website
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Social media allows your brand to reach new audiences and attract new potential customers. With a strong call to action stated throughout your social media updates, you can direct your viewers to go just about anywhere.
Christina Newberry at Hootsuite says that sharing quality content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to increase your readers as soon as you publish a new post. Offer them value in the chat, rather than being too promotional. At Three Girls Media we call this the 80/20 rule. The idea is that 20 percent of what you post is directly promotional and the remaining 80 percent provides non-promotional content of value, giving followers continued incentive to follow your brand.
Make sure your website address is included in all your social media profile so that users who want to learn more about you can do so with one easy click. Even better, use a pinned post to highlight a landing page on your website that’s relevant to the page.
Faster, Easier Communication
Customers can contact a customer service representative faster and easier now than ever before thanks to social media.
Businesses can also receive, review, and respond to customers’ grievances faster and easier than ever before.
Depending on the industry and the grievance, challenges may still remain, but the line of communication that once was somewhat challenging to establish is no longer nearly as difficult to do so.
It’s faster now than ever before to contact the right people — and oftentimes without having to even pick up a phone — and it’s only becoming easier as more people and brands use social media platforms to keep in contact with the people that matter most to their business.
Customers can now communicate real feedback in real time like never before, something businesses have strived to achieve for a long time.
Networking & Partnerships
In addition to the simplified lines of communication, there’s the aspect of general availability.
Let’s face it: there is a small part of the world’s population that it would be nearly impossible for most average humans to ever directly communicate with without the right kind of help (publicist, agent, etc.).
Social media helps connect us easier than ever before.
Heck, even politicians and policymakers have been incredibly available — and often faced with backlash — thanks to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Backlinks, shoutouts, increased referral visits, and increased branding are just some of those ways. Building quality relationships becomes a lot easier with the streamlined communication we get from social media, and building relationships with key influencers earns a lot of value for your brand.
Boost organic visibility
There’s so much potential value to be unlocked through social media, aside from the networking and partnership-produced backlinks.
In addition to the SEO value gained from adding quality backlinks to your brand’s website (by way of social media relationships, as well as the ways social media help accumulate a variety of link types to comprise a healthy backlink profile), social media also sends relevancy signals and other signals to search engines like Google to ensure popular content is easily visible and shareable.
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In the world of business, sales, and profits, regardless of what your industry is and who you are marketing and selling to, the focus has to truly be on the customer.
And success, both digitally and traditionally, is achieved by understanding — and delivering — the best quality customer service possible, and doing everything in your power to ensure your customer and potential customers have the best possible experience with your company.
Social media helps us maintain that reputation by giving us platforms to directly interact with our customers like we never have before. That also means we are receiving real customer feedback directly from the source, faster than ever before (and usually much more raw, too).
Businesses should be using this amazing opportunity to build their brand as a true, consumer-first operation, eventually building the brand’s reputation into one that can never be mistaken and is relied on for many years by an ever-growing customer base.
Impress Potential Customers
Keeping in line with maintaining your brand’s respected reputation is the opportunity to impress potential customers with how you’ve handled other, typically unrelated customer interactions. People often turn to – even rely on social media and online-review sites to get a good idea of just who a company truly is. Just like marketers, consumers are using social media as a tool to help them make better purchases and decisions in general.
On average, people take into account 10 reviews of a local business before making a purchasing decision. This gives potential customers the chance to see that businesses truly care about their customers even after they’ve made the sale that is so important to them and their business’s success.
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While branding essentially involves each numbered entry listed in this column, it’s important to stress it as one of (if not the) most valuable capabilities of social media.
You may not see as high of a conversion rate via social media (depending on the business and sales structure) as you do other marketing mediums (paid search, organic search, etc.), but the impression a brand gives off and the reputation it built can be greatly enhanced and showcased through social media. Messaging across social platforms allows us to talk about what’s most important to our customers, and lets us train them to keep our brands at the top of their mind when those important buying decisions need to happen.
Each platform is different in terms of what it does well, the demographics of the audience using it, and the kind of content (and timing of its publishing) you see posted regularly. Each brand’s messaging should be tailored as such. And while your business’s conversion rate is likely going to be lower on social media than it is via email marketing or paid search, your business goal is always going to be conversions, so maximizing them on all available channels is really the name of the game.
User-Generated Content & Crowdsourcing of Ideas
User-generated and crowdsourced content isn’t just free and unique; it can also be awesome.
The larger the audience, the more potential the content has to really impact a brand and its messaging. Brands will receive and be able to (usually) use this sometimes-quality content- videos, images, infographics, memes, etc. with proper permission, of course.
Social media allows us to ask for this user-generated content, then receive it directly, but there is quite a bit going in between all of that, too.
Track your Competitor
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Social media channels also allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of not just other marketing tactics and practices, but also with the tactics used by direct competitors.
You can learn a lot from our competition.
No one is perfect, you and can all learn something. the ultimate goal is having the customer understand us and depend on us for authoritative approach within niche over your competition.
Your competitor are aiming to do the same thing as you (establish and protect brand reputation and ultimately sell its products/services), so it’s worth us monitoring and finding out ways your business can do better to educate and entertain users, as well as the things our brand does well, and ways you can get better across the board.
Getting the most out of social media
Each business has different goals and ways it measures success.
Social media can help achieve those goals, but it’s important to stick to the basics and use them in ways that help your brand succeed. Every brand is different. Let yours shine on social media.