Social media has for the past decade been empowering small businesses, and is now at the forefront of marketing strategy for start-ups and multinationals alike. Social media marketing has opened up a new world in which businesses and customers can connect in a very real and instantaneous way. New approaches to interaction have since been developing, and social media has made it all possible.
Recent statistics show that 92% of marketers who have implemented social media efforts have generated increased exposure, with over half reporting an increase in sales.
The power of social media marketing goes well beyond the ability to share content with millions of potential customers, though this is obviously one huge plus. There are many ways that businesses, both brick-and-mortar and online, are reaping the benefits of social media.
Increased Brand Awareness
The first, and most strikingly obvious benefit of social media, is the increased brand awareness that it can bring about. Every social media site is another channel among your network of outputs, and one that should be tuned into right now. Through social media you can give your brand a voice, solidify its content, and familiarize people with its image. New customers can easily stumble across a post on their news feeds, having never previously been aware of your brand, and existing customers can be given a gentle reminder. Your audience and potential customer reach will improve with social media.
Higher Brand Authority
Brand awareness and brand authority go hand in hand to a certain extent, but there is a deeper interaction in social media than simply an awareness. People can re-share your brand, “like” it, or discuss it openly on a public wall. Other people are much more likely to take the opinions of their friends over a blatant advert, so this sort of exposure increases authority dramatically.
The way interactions occur is much more organic on social media than it is in any other possible way of marketing. No other channel gets you as close, and as well tuned in to your audience, and no other channel allows for the sort of meaningful exchanges between customer and client that social media allows for. If you interact well with customers then your brand will develop a human aspect, and becomes more likeable and more trustable, leading to a more loyal customer base, that may even start to resemble a fan base. You also get instant feedback from what is shared, liked, or commented on.
Improved Insights And Market Intelligence
With social media you get a profound look into the world of your customer. You can take their feedback directly, and clearly see what people are engaging with (and not engaging with) when it comes to your business. You can use social analytics to see the demographics of your audience. This information can help you to target your audience more effectively.
Increased Web Traffic
Social media increases your web traffic by providing another avenue for people to find your site. Without social media your inbound traffic relies on keyword searches, and google rankings. Decent content on social media helps people to find you, who didn’t even know that they needed to find you. When people interact with your content on social media, this also provides another path to your site for the search engine algorithms, and your site is ranked higher. This will also gain you organic web traffic from searches.
Higher Conversion Rates
If you are still not sold on the idea of social media marketing for your business, then surely this will be the one that really gets you thinking. This might be the one that drags you out of denial. Nobody can really argue with higher conversion rates, and social media definitely helps. Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. This is probably due to the deeper level of engagement and interaction that is commonly encourages.
Minimal Marketing Costs
All of these benefits and guess what? There is barely any cost to social media marketing. You can grow your audience rapidly, and for free, and you can reach them in a meaningful way in the touch of a button, with little or no need to spend any money on expensive marketing campaigns.
Improved Customer Experience
The customer is always right. You don’t hear that very much anymore, but it should still ring true to those who employ a customer-based business mentality. You will be glad to know that as well as bringing many great benefits to your business, social media also improves the experience of the customer, allowing them to get closer to your company, and allowing you to provide brilliant customer service.