Here’s the first question you should ask yourself: is your target audience using social media? If so, you should be too.
Some companies look at social media as just another thing to do on their already overloaded plate. And that’s understandable. However, according to Business 2 Community, 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social media account, and over half have two or more, so the companies who consider social media to be just another chore are missing out on the huge potential to reach their target audience.
While social media isn’t necessarily the be-all end-all for your online marketing efforts, it can play a substantial role in getting you substantial results.
How can social media benefit my business?
Ultimately, social media gives you the ability to directly connect and interact with prospects and customers. The more integrated you become in the fabric of social media, the more benefits you’ll reap as a result.
1. Increase Brand Awareness & Loyalty
When you post to your social media network, anyone who likes or follows your business profile will see it, so whether you’re sharing valuable information or a silly story, you’re getting in front of your viewers. If your viewers find it share-worthy and post it to their profiles, their followers will see it as well, and then those followers share with their followers, and so on, and so on (think multiplier effect).
Not only that–over half of those who follow you are more loyal to you than other brands, according to Convince & Convert.
2. Connect with Your Target Audience
What if there was a way to have an open two-way channel for communication with your prospects and customers?
Oh wait. There is. It’s called social media.
Whether you’re there or not, your prospects are looking to social media first to connect with you. So be there. Because when people have an opportunity to give valuable insights, they feel important, and they give you an opportunity to improve your products, services and marketing strategies with their feedback.
3. Improve Client Retention
Take what we’ve told you about communicating with prospects and extend that opportunity out to your clients. The open communication and convenience of social media is extremely conducive to building deeper relationships with your clients. As I said before, when people have an opportunity to connect with you or provide feedback, it makes them feel like they have a voice, and when you respond in a prompt and professional manner, you boost customer loyalty, which means better client retention.
4. Increase Traffic & Conversions on Your Website
Every time you include a link to your website in a social media post, you’re creating new points of entry for viewers to get to your website.
Let’s say you post a new article on your website’s blog and share it to your Facebook page. Your post gets shared among your Facebook followers, and so more people are clicking to read it, and the more people click, the more visits you have to your website. The more people visit your website, the higher your site ranks on Google, and the higher your site ranks when people search for your industry, the more organic traffic you get to your site.
And (yes, I’m still going, cause this next part is the important piece) the more traffic you get, the more opportunities for conversions, and the more opportunities you have, the more closed business you get. (Just make sure your website’s up to par in the conversion rate department.)
5. Open Up Opportunities for Sharing
Sharing information, achievements and mindless musings is much faster than it was thirty years ago. If you have a marketing message you want to get to your audience as quickly as possible, all you have to do is post it your social media accounts.
I touched earlier on building relationships with clients through social media by opening up opportunity for two-way communication. Additionally, you can also deepen your connection with prospects and consumers through sharing on social media. It’s really easy to post and share relate-able, humanizing content without spending a single dime. Plus, it’s FAST.
The benefit here is that your followers see you as a person just like them, making you stand out more in their minds, and you can get in front of them with a quickness, which is never a bad thing.
Have a blog post you just wrote? Post it. Important achievement? Post it. Business hours have changed? Post it. There’s a bird at your office window that won’t leave you alone? Post it. People love that stuff. (Don’t forget to utilize post frequency tips for maximum results.)
6. Keep Track of Your Competitors
We’ve all heard of Facebook stalking. Or Twitter stalking, or LinkedIn stalking, or whatever form of online stalking you prefer. But basically, watching your competitors’ activities not only keeps you up to speed on what they’re doing but could also provide extra insight into your industry’s advancements.
With that kind of knowledge at hand, you can compare your competitors’ business actions to yours and use that knowledge to improve your business strategies to stay ahead of the curve. (Hootsuite has an awesome article featuring social media monitoring tools that help you keep your finger on the pulse of your industry.)
Convinced? Then make a social media plan so you can get out there and start posting! Don’t hesitate to ask us for help, that’s what we’re here for.
Not convinced? It’s possible social media just isn’t right for your business. No fear, there are plenty of other avenues you can use in your online marketing plan.
Check out this incredible infographic courtesy of OnBlastBlog.com that provides social media cheats like image size specifications and even Windows commands for getting your social media business done with a quickness.
Need some specific help on what your company’s Twitter page can do for your business? Café Quill has an awesome infographic on how to turn your Twitter followers into loyal customers. Take a look!
Instagram users: DigiSMM put together an infographic highlighting everything you never knew you wanted to know about Instagram users, activity and milestones.