Social Media is certainly an important component to any company’s digital marketing strategy, but how individual companies utilize social media will vary greatly depending on their industry, target audience and individual business. A consumer focused business might emphasize Facebook, while a B2B company might leverage LinkedIn. A consulting firm might see value from Twitter, while an organization with visual products or services, like a kitchen remodeler, might want to utilize Instagram, Pinterest or Houzz.
Social media has developed a reputation by some for being a passing marketing interest, and therefore, an unprofitable one. The statistics, however, illustrate a different picture.
According to Hubspot, 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. And according to Social Media Examiner, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media—but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.
This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results.
Here’s a look at just some of the ways social media marketing can improve your business:
1. Increased Brand Recognition.
Every opportunity you have to syndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.
Statistics show that nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online is on some kind of social media network. The younger generation particularly communicates more and more via social media, and older internet users are also becoming increasingly involved with it. With instant access and sharing capabilities, social media marketing blows cold call sales out of the water by reaching more people and making more contacts faster. You can build strong relationships with both current and potential customers by commenting on their posts and offering them coupons or discounts on your products and services.
2. Improved Brand Loyalty.
According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes :
“Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.”
Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social media are more loyal to those brands.
This is just a reality; people enjoy being part of a business that brands themselves proactively. Studies and statistics above have shown that customers in certain verticals would rather give their money to a business with an active Facebook fan page rather than without. People tend to get that warm and fuzzy feeling when they see a business building a community for themselves.
3. More Opportunities to Convert.
Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, infographics, poster, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant.
4. Higher conversion rates.
Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.
5. Distance Yourself from the Bad Apples
The internet is growing daily and with that growth comes bad apples. One way to distance you from the bad apples is by starting a community and growing a following in the social space comprised of your core audience. No bad apple is going to take the time to grow a quality online community to build their brand online. This is not something that is going to slow down and the power and strength a community can drive to a growing a brand is amazing.
Regardless of the industry in which you are operating, social media should be an important part of your promotion and public relations strategy. Every business should have some kind of social media marketing platform in place, and it should be engaged at least once a week, or better yet, on a daily basis. Interacting on social media several times a week can significantly increase the leads and an online community being directed to your website at little to no cost.
Many people enjoy communicating via social media or just surfing the web and learning about trends and new ideas. A savvy business owner will find a way to communicate with the large volume of people using Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.