In the past decade social media has exploded into our lives, and has continued to change the way we interact and communicate with each other on a global scale. But what’s this got to do with marketing?
It’s ability to connect with consumers on so many levels has led social media to become one of the most pivotal and successful marketing tools in the modern world. According to Social Media Examiner, 92% of marketers have now indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business.
However, ever since it’s creation there have been social media sceptics, describing it as a ‘fad’, with a steep learning curve and no real practical advantages. And let them think that! The benefits of social media to a business are undeniable, and understanding these benefits can be crucial in creating a successful and effective marketing strategy.
Here are some of the benefits of social media marketing:
1. Understanding your audience
Understanding your audience is vital no matter what industry you operate in. Social media provides an easy and insightful way to gain valuable information on the behaviour and demographics of your target audience. From simple age demographics to a consumer’s favourite colour, the more information you have on your audience, the more you can give them exactly what they are after. As a wise man once said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits them and sells itself”
2. Raising Brand Awareness
“Build it and they will come”. Build it, but if you really want people to come, then social media is the way forward. Your social media networks provide limitless channels to share your voice and ideas, and are incredibly valuable when looking to increase your brand’s visibility. By using these networks effectively, social media gives your brand one of the most important tools in raising awareness; an emotional connection. By allowing consumers to engage with your brand and have a 360 view of who and what you’re about, you instantly create accessibility; a necessity in raising brand awareness in the modern world. Social media is now everywhere, and if used properly, your brand will be too!
3. Web Traffic and SEO
Without social media, you are limiting your website traffic to consumers who are already familiar with your brand, or are specifically searching for keywords relative to your brand. Not ideal. By using a number of social media networks, all of your profiles and their content represent yet another path leading back to your site. The more quality content you share via these channels therefore, the more inbound traffic and ultimately conversion opportunities you will have. As such, social media presence has now become a significant factor in SEO rankings. Due to all major brands now being highly active on social media, a strong presence now acts as a ”brand signal”, showing search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible and trustworthy.
4. Higher Brand Authority
When customers want to rave or rant about a product or service where do they go? social media. When people talk about your brand, the very nature of social media means it gets distributed to a number of other people, who then may interact with this information and distribute it to more people and so on. The more people are speaking about you on social media, the more authority your brand gets, so make sure they have good things to say!
5. Feedback and Customer Service
Often overlooked, a huge benefit of social media is the ability to gain instant access to feedback from customers. As an open and expansive way of communicating, social media is now at the forefront of customer service, so if you’re looking for consumer insight and perceptions on your brand or products/services, then social media is the place to do it. As an excellent way to publicly demonstrate your customer service, it is vital you are dedicated to responding fast and effectively, however good or bad the feedback may be. By responding to consumer comments (e.g. apologising for a poor service and offering a refund), it let’s people know you care. According to Forbes, 71% of consumers who receive a quick response on social media say they are more likely to recommend that brand to other people. Don’t be the 29%.
6. High Effectiveness, Low budget
To write a post about the benefits of social media marketing without mentioning its cost benefits would be criminal. Outside of your own time spent on it, social media marketing can be completely free! The top social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest all allow you to promote your brand and fully integrate social media marketing into your strategy for absolutely no fee whatsoever. Most platforms also offer the option to pay for advanced options such as increased targeting and expert analytics. But one things for sure, regardless of cost, we’d still be using social media marketing!
7. Just Look Around!
If you’re still not sure on the benefits of social media, just have a look around. Everyone from Steve’s café to Starbucks are engaging with their customers on social media, and are all seeing the benefits. It’s never too late to join the revolution; so get on social media, get it right, and get stuck in!