3.6 billion people worldwide have an account on at least one social media platform. That number continues to increase as our world becomes more digital every day. With the literal world within your reach, if you’re responsible for growing a business, you’d be silly not to try your hand at social media marketing.
Social media is fast, effective and quickly becoming one of the most lucrative marketing channels for big brands and small businesses alike.
If you haven’t yet bought into the fact that your business needs to be on social, you may want to take some time to understand the benefits of social media marketing. If you’re not actively taking advantage of social media as a marketing channel, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity.
Business benefits of social media marketing
1. Social media increases brand awareness
Gone are the days where a billboard on the interstate is the most savvy marketing measure a brand can take. Instead, you have to be where the people are. And the people are on social media for about 153 minutes per day. It is one of the single most effectives ways businesses can grow their audience and increase brand awareness.
2. Social media marketing increases website traffic
Sharing content from your website (like a new blog post) on your social media pages invites readers to your website for information that may be of value to them. Maybe they’ll even click around after they finish reading and stumble upon your products or services.
3. Social media marketing is cost effective
Using social media as a marketing channel is one of the most budget-friendly moves you can make. In fact, social media marketing is about 3x less expensive than traditional media channels. If you’re only running organic social campaigns, you’ll spend nothing but the time it takes you to post the content. Paid social ads can help you reach thousands of people for only a few dollars. Even if you outsource your social media strategy to an agency, you can have a whole team of experts to help you cash in on the benefits of social media – for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone to do it in-house.
4. Establish your brand as a thought leader
There’s nothing more valuable than when your audience views you as an industry expert. By posting and sharing relevant content that aims to educate instead of sell, you can establish your brand as a thought leader and earn your audience’s trust.
5. Social media is the easiest marketing channel to get started
If you’ve ever tried to get a television ad campaign started, you’ll be relieved to know that ramping up social media marketing efforts is far easier. As long as you’re disciplined enough to keep the posts consistent and the content engaging, you’ll be reaping the benefits of social media in no time.
6. Social media creates new leads
77% of Pinterest users said they found a new brand or product using the platform. If that doesn’t make you want to drop what you’re doing and start creating social media content, nothing will. No matter if you’re running organic or paid social, you’ll attract new customers.
7. Social listening can help you uncover industry trends
By identifying and following relevant hashtags on the social media networks you actively use, you can quickly see what your industry is up to. Hint: get very friendly with the “trending” page on Twitter.
8. Social media lets you provide better customer service
When your customers need help, they want it fast. No one wants to sit on hold all day, but they will gladly message you or your team using the chat function on a social media network. The more ways you can be accessible to your customers, the better.
9. Social media helps you build stronger relationships with your audience
Social media creates a space for regular interactions with your audience. By sharing a mix of your own content, industry-relevant content and user-generated content, you’re able to quickly and consistently engage your customers in a meaningful way.
10. Social media gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your brand values
From the networks you choose to invest in, to the types of content you share - every action you take on social media further cements your audience’s view of your brand. Hint: building your brand up is much harder than deteriorating it. Be sure that everything you share on your brand page reinforces a positive sentiment that supports your value(s).
11. People can consume more content faster on social media
What do you think the 3.6 billion people with social media profiles are doing for a large chunk of their day? They’re scrolling miles with their thumbs looking to be entertained. Take advantage of the scroll and share your content on the platforms where your audience is waiting for you. And if you want to know the best times to catch them, here’s a guide to the best times to post on social media.
12. You can discover new audience segments on social media
You know your current customers. You’ve probably done tons of research on who they are, what they like, where they are and how they buy. But are you sure you’ve identified all your customer segments? With every demographic imaginable using social media, you’re able to experiment targeting audiences that you don’t typically market to. This means a highly cost-effective way to uncover a whole new segment of potential buyers.
13. Social media lets you humanize your brand
The days of seeing “suit and tie” brands are dwindling. Humans want to buy from humans and using social media to show your brand’s human side is an invaluable perk not many marketing channels can offer. Slim Jim, Wendy’s and MoonPie are amazing at humanizing their brands through social media if you’re looking for some inspiration (and a good laugh).
14. Social media is a great way to connect with influencers
Social media marketing and influencer marketing go hand in hand. If you haven’t noticed the trend that humans like to buy from other humans, it’s time to pay attention. By weaving influencer marketing campaigns into your social media strategy, you’re able to reach a whole new set of followers that already trust the person posting about and endorsing your brand.
15. Social media is a great channel for crisis communication
If you’ve been in business for longer than a minute, you know that your customers will immediately point out when things aren’t going as planned. In times of crisis where you need to be proactive with your communications, social media should be your go-to. We’ve seen countless brands pivot their strategies this year and use social media as their number one channel to communicate their priorities and values to their customers.
16. Social media is great for competitor research
Just like you use your personal social media to secretly creep on your ex, you can use those same skills to scope out your brand’s competition. They won’t be able to launch a new product or start a new campaign without you knowing.
Tap into the benefits of social media
If you weren’t a believer in the value that social media can add to your business, hopefully you are now. It can certainly seem daunting, but with a little dedication and creativity, your company can reap the benefits of social media marketing.