A decade ago, businesses struggled to leverage social media. This new tool with massive potential didn’t seem to play a key role in promoting products or services. Now, social media is critical to the success of even the smallest businesses and organizations. Here are some of the key advantages of social media.
#1 Brand Awareness
Social media is used by millions of brands, all of which are vying for the attention of consumers. Unique and fresh content can help your brand stand out from the crowd, but make sure you’re choosing the right social media networks for your business, such as Facebook and Twitter for small to mid-sized brands.
#2 Customer Service
A study from The Social Habit found that 42% of customers who reach out to a brand online expect to receive a response within the hour. Customers are engaging with brands online more than ever which gives your company or organization the opportunity to provide exceptional customer service and further separate yourself from the competition.
#3 Feedback & Interaction
Public interactions via social media give your brand authenticity. Plus, interacting consistently with even the most difficult consumers on an open platform makes them more loyal. Loyal customers are more likely to recommend your business or organization to friends, so using social media for feedback and interaction gives your company a clear and down-to-earth presence in a crowded market place.
#4 Competitive Analysis
Social media can help you monitor what your competition is doing. That isn’t to say you should be using social media to copy the competition. Instead, it’s better used as a way to differentiate your brand and find areas of need that only your business can fulfill.
Engagement on social media will eventually create a solid fan base which will lead to sales. A study from Adroit Digital found that buying behavior of up to 75% of American consumers is influenced by what they see or read on social media. When it comes to ads, 48% of online consumers trust social media ads over other online advertising.
Paid ads via social media platforms are incredibly accurate with new algorithms introduced by Facebook and Instagram. Now more than ever, it’s incredibly easy to speak directly to your consumers based on specific demographics such as age, race, income level, and geographic location. Activating social media for your business can result in the right kind of leads, which you can then use to build lasting relationships with consumers.
Remaining relevant can be what makes or breaks a business. Social media helps your business have a voice in the conversations that matter to your customers. You’ll hear about their wants and needs firsthand and, thus, gain insight into how your organization can improve. If you’re not on social media, many will presume you are out of business and will, instead, seek out companies who are more active.
#8 Improved SEO & Website Traffic
Unless you use social media, your inbound traffic will continue to be your usual customers, making it difficult to find new leads and increase website traffic. Using social media frequently and with purpose will increase the variety of keywords associated with your brand and, thus, improve SEO and increasing website traffic.
#9 Brand Loyalty/Long-Term Audience
Creating a clear and consistent presence on social media can turn casual customers into loyal followers who willingly promote your brand. Social media accounts give a voice and image that customers can associate with your product or service. If they already love your brand, social media affords them the opportunity to share this love and appreciation with their friends, building a long-term audience and increasing brand loyalty.
#10 Cost Effective
Social media is the most cost-effective platform you can use for promoting your brand. It’s free to sign up for an account on almost every network and the paid advertising on these networks cost a fraction of what you’d pay on any other advertising medium and with arguably better results. At its low cost and high reach, social media offers an incredibly high return on investment.
#11 Directly Target Your Audience
Social media allows you to directly target the audience specific to your business. For example, Facebook enables you to target consumers based on age, education level, location, industry, and other demographics to increase your chances of being seen by the right people. Gone are the days where you cast an advertisement out and hope it reaches your audience.
#12 Expand Your Target Audience
While directly targeting your audience can be a major advantage, there are times when it can be limiting. Social media allows you to layer multiple targeting options, such as purchasing power along with demographic information, so you can leverage a larger amount of data and reach a wider target audience.
#13 Learn About Your Target Audience
Social media gives you an idea of what your audience likes. Getting to know the preferences of your target audience can help you find new and creative ways to reach them through advertising or content. Targeting specific tastes of your audience can lead to more meaningful conversations between your consumers and your brand.
#14 Establish Trust
Monitoring social media for mentions and reviews can help you respond to consumers in a quick and efficient manner, leading to an increasing level of trust for your brand. If your brand isn’t active on social media, your business won’t have as great an opportunity to respond to praise and criticism, limiting the conversations you could have with your target audience.
#15 Humanize Your Brand
People like doing business and having conversations with other people, not necessarily corporate facades. Creating a specific tone and image over social media channels allows your brand to create a unique voice and experience for your consumers. Your brand will become more relatable and, thus, more engaging.
#16 Leverage Various Media Formats
It’s an increasingly visual world and the major advantage of social media is the plethora of rich media you can use to convey your message to your audience. You could use a video to introduce consumers to a new product or post photos from a recent event. Links to blogs can help drive your SEO, creating a cycle of media that core followers can share or like.