How social media can benefit your business
Businesses big and small are realizing the huge benefits of social media marketing and its increasing importance in the race to stay relevant and attract new customers. Long gone are the days when your secretary was the first point of contact between the outside and your company – that role is being replaced by websites and social media profiles. According to data from Global Web Index:
37% of internet users follow their favorite brands on social media
30% of internet users use social networks to research products
With people turning to their mobile devices and social media in the buying journey there are many reasons why your business should be active on social media.
Here are 10 key benefits of social media for business:
1. Increased Exposure/Brand Awareness:
Social media will expose your company or service to new eyes. With one click your message is shown to multitude of people. Social media can help you find customers already talking about your business- information you can leverage to reach even more people.
2. Learn About Your Audience/Target Consumer:
Social media gives you insights into what your audience is into (besides you, of course). Getting to know your audience can help you discover creative ways to reach them via advertising or content. Catering and targeting to this degree will lead to increased conversions.
3. Customer Service:
Sometimes a customer won’t reach out to you if they have a problem, but will go ahead and post a complaint online. Many consumers now using social media as a point of contact with a brand, and expect a response The Social Habit reports that 42% customers who reach out to brands online expect a response within the hour.
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Social media allows for instant feedback from your consumers good or bad. The time between knowing if a product or a campaign is a success is shorter. This means you can respond and resolve mishaps in a faster manner.
5. New Opportunities:
Social media can offer opportunities you may miss out on by not having a social presence. Negative comments and experiences can be addressed and adjusted – keeping customers happy and showing potential customers that you care (giving you a little more to love over the competition). In my own experience, clients I’ve worked with have been able to secure inclusions in digital publications – expanding reach and establishing authority – all from messages received on their social media profiles.
6. Competitive Analysis:
Social media can help you keep an eye (and edge) on the competition. You can use social media to target you competition’s fans, see what they may be doing that you can improve on – or simply identify ways to stand out within your industry.
If your social media is done correctly it could help you increase sales. An audience that is truly interested in your brand or product will respond to sales messaging and convert. Having a social media presence can also allow customers “get to know” your brand, giving you more chances to gain their business.
Social media is a great inbound marketing tool that can help you collect leads and build your email list. Publishing and posting content that is relevant to both your brand and your audience is a way to attract customers who are truly interested in your brand and what you have to offer.
9. Brand Equity
Maybe this is something you don’t think about right away, but your #socialmedia presence does weigh in the value of your brand. Not only does this apply to how consumers perceive your brand, but a study conducted by INC revealed that “the average offer received among all of the businesses we analyzed was 3.7 times pre-tax profit. However, when we isolate just those businesses with at least 10,000 connections, the offer multiple goes up to 4.67. If you have more than 100,000 people in your opt-in footprint, the multiple goes up to 4.87”. Seems that your social media network is your net worth (kind of).
Part of staying in business is to remain relevant. What better way to remain relevant than to be in the thick of conversations your customers are having about their needs and wants? Social media gives your company or brand insight into how it can continue to evolve and deliver results for your bottom line and your consumers.
Social media can be time consuming, and at times frustrating – but it is increasingly becoming a MUST if you own a business as consumers turn to social media not only as a point of contact, but as a research tool. Remember that what you post online is a representation of your business, and with mere seconds to capture someone’s attention, you always want to put your best foot forward. Done right, your business can reap the benefits of social media marketing.