Are there any benefits of social media marketing to businesses?
Social media is a popular way to stay in touch with friends and family. A lot of businesses have started to take advantage of it, too. But does that mean that there’s really any value to social media for your business?
Actually, there are numerous tangible benefits of utilizing social media for business. Today, you’ll see why social media advertising is one of the most important parts of your overall marketing strategy.
7 Benefits of Social Media Marketing That Will Have a Major Impact on Your Business
Social media can have a profound effect on your brand, customer loyalty, and your company’s reputation.
The benefits of social media marketing are immense. Here are just 7 that will have a tremendous impact on your company.
1. Nail Your Online Brand Management Strategies with Social Media
One of the most important things your marketing team will focus on is your online brand management. And social media can help you accomplish that task with efficiency and flare.
What is brand management? This is a two-fold job that includes an analysis of your brand and how it is perceived by your target market. The second part of the equation is creating a plan based on that analysis. This plan will allow you to manage how you’re viewed by prospective clients online.
The best plan will allow you to develop a relationship with your target audience. Social media is the best place to do this. After all, people are more open online. They like hearing from their favorite companies. They like sharing their thoughts and feelings. Furthermore, they love telling others about a great product or service.
If you play your social media cards right, your brand can totally benefit from this. How so?
Social media for business allows you to develop your brand while interacting with potential clients. As a result, you can make adjustments based on that feedback to:
- Your message/mission
- Blog content.
That, in turn, will help to create brand awareness and keep customers talking about your business.
2. Reputation Management: Keep Track of Your Online Reputation
In business, reputation is everything, whether you’re solely an online business or a brick-and-mortar business. This is especially true regarding your online reputation. In fact, according to a Forbes study, 97% of businesses say that online reputation management is absolutely important to their success.
Without a good reputation, there’s no trust. And when there’s no trust, not only does it affect your bottom-line, but your success in business as a whole.
Thankfully, this is yet another area where social media can help.
Reputation management can be accomplished by:
- Doing regular audits of your online reputation
- Posting often on social media platforms
- Setting up well-managed social media profiles.
Regular audits allow you to evaluate whether your reputation needs some work or not. Professional-looking social media profiles are attractive to potential customers and can garner trust.
How does regular posting impact your reputation? According to the Forbes article:
“Think of your social media profiles like the windows into your company’s operations. Inactive or nonexistent platforms are like boarded-up windows — they don’t show anything and are often a cause for concern.”
Don’t give your customers cause for concern – be as active as possible on social media!
3. Get to Know Your Clients and Potential Customers Directly
Decades ago, many businesses were viewed as non-human entities. You didn’t have an opportunity to really get to know the people behind the brand.
Times have changed, though. Consumers want to buy from a company that they relate to. Yes, they want great products and service. However, the icing on the cake is, feeling like a brand is personally relevant to you.
In order to accomplish this, you need to learn how to humanize your brand. Again, social media is a great way to do this.
When online, you have a platform in which you’re able to share the personality of your brand. In turn, those who resonate with your brand’s message/mission and personality will share a bit of themselves with you.
This direct interchange between you and your customer allows you to get to know them better. This ends up making them feel relevant to you and vice versa.
Additionally, getting to know your audience allows you to find out what they want and need. That information is vital for knowing what kind of products and services to develop and offer. Your audience will feel heard and seen, and that creates trust and loyalty.
4. Social Media Can Help You Improve Customer Service
Another way to build brand loyalty is by improving your level of customer service. This is an incredibly important part of online brand management. If you can improve the customer experience, clients will keep coming back. And if you have customers that didn’t have a good experience, you have the opportunity to remedy the situation.
How can you do this?
One way is by using social media to really listen to what your customers have to say. What do they like about your product or service? What don’t they like? Does your product fill the needs of your target audience? Why or why not?
It’s also important to take into consideration the negative feedback you get online. Let’s say someone bought your product and it arrived damaged. Then, they tried to return it and had a bad experience. In many cases, their experience will make it online. They might post their experience to Facebook or tweet about it.
While it might not seem like it at first, this is actually a golden opportunity.
First, you get to address your customers directly. You get to apologize for their experience and explain how you’re going to fix the issue. While this may not turn every person back into a customer, there’s a good chance some of them will return.
Second, because you’re addressing the situation online, other customers will see it. How is that a good thing? They’ll see exactly how you respond. If you’re defensive and belligerent – you’ll lose potential customers. However, if you’re kind, compassionate, and willing to work with the customer, you might have some promising prospects.
5. Stretch Your Advertising Dollars with a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Another one of the benefits of a social media marketing strategy is that you can save some money. Running marketing and advertising campaigns aren’t always cheap.
Thankfully, a lot of marketing work can be done on social media for a low fee or even for free. There are numerous marketing tutorials and tools that have various price tiers. Many of them have a free option.
This is great for solopreneurs and small businesses. Larger companies will likely need to upgrade, but even then there are affordable options.
You’ll also be able to save money indirectly. How so? Some of the tools on the market can save you a bundle of time. Having a great social media advertising plan will save you a ton of time as well.. Being organized and automating a lot of the work will allow you to focus more on:
- Operating your business
- Creating new products
- Writing long-form content or videos
- Building relationships with your customers.
6. Establish Your Brand/Company as a Thought Leader in Your Industry
What sets you apart from the competition? Why would a consumer choose your product or service over that of another company?
The answer lies in how you’re seen online.
It’s not just your online reputation that should be of concern. It’s also whether you’re viewed as an authority in your industry or not.
According to the Huffington Post, thought leadership is harnessing your experience and expertise. Then, you turn it into useful information that solves a problem or problems for your target market.
There are multiple ways to accomplish this, including:
- Writing authoritative blog posts
- Conducting interviews
- Hosting webinars, workshops, or seminars
- Posting helpful information on social media.
How will your audience view this sort of content? The Huffington Post article pointed out that:
“Content that demonstrates thought leadership is more compelling than content that doesn’t because it has built-in authority, clear perspective, and inherent trustworthiness.”
– Gabriel Shaoolian, CEO & Founder of Blue Fountain Media
“Challenge others by setting the bar high and lifting everyone around them. Treat people the way they like to be treated. Share in the results. Be sure that people are rewarded for their hard work.”
– Rhonda Vetere, Chief Technology Officer at Estée Lauder Companies
This type of action will make employees proud to work for you and customers proud to buy from you.
7. Direct Traffic Back to Your Blog and/or Website
Engaging with clients and potential customers on social media is important to your business. However, it is imperative that you never lose sight of your mine goal. What is that goal? It’s to direct as much traffic as possible back to your blog and/or website.
Of course, it’s no secret that everyone feels great when their social media posts get likes and shares. But that’s just a part of the equation. You want people to transition from a Twitter or Facebook “like” to a devoted blog reader and eventual product purchaser.
How can you get people to make that changeover?
First, you want to make sure that you have an actual strategy in place. You want your time on social media to have direction. It should never be random. That strategy should include posts that link to your blog posts or a product launch.
Next, draw people in with images. It’s not enough to let people know you have a new blog for them to read. You need to make your message compelling – and images are a great way to do that.
Finally, make the link between your website and social media profiles easy to find. List your web address in your social media profiles. And add social media buttons to the footer or sidebar of your website.
Why You Need to Start a Social Media Marketing Plan Right Away
Why should your company invest the time and money in a social media marketing strategy? That’s easy – you don’t want to get left behind.
The way people practice business is continually evolving. Fail to follow at least some of the trends, and you’re doomed to get left in the dust.
The benefits of social media marketing are clearly seen. Therefore, you have the proof you need to know that having a social media marketing plan is essential for your future success.
Don’t lose out on the opportunities before you. Take advantage of the tools and professional advice available. Doing so will help you build your customer base, increase customer loyalty, and help your brand thrive – now and into the future.
What do you hope to achieve by implementing regular social media marketing strategies in your business?
Share with us in the comments below!