10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Using Social Media
Businesses of all sizes use social media to raise brand awareness and build customer relations. There’s no doubt that Facebook and Twitter among numerous other social networks have become among the most influential websites on the Web, and there’s no sign of the trend slowing down in the foreseeable future. If you have yet to be convinced that social media should be considered a core element of your digital marketing strategy, consider the following benefits:
1. Tap into Many Different Audiences
There’s far more to social media than Facebook alone. Every social network caters to a different following, allowing you to tap into a huge variety of built-in audiences numbering in the millions. For example, a business in the travel industry might find networks such as Pinterest and Instagram invaluable for sharing visually appealing content that inspires their target audiences, while B2B enterprises will likely find the professionally orientated network LinkedIn to be the most useful.
2. Social Networks Are Powerful Search Engines
The major social networks and online communities are among the most powerful and popular search engines out there. While Google sees about 3.5 billion search queries every day, some of the leading social networks aren’t far behind. Facebook is now the second-most visited website in the world with 1.5 billion active monthly users, and YouTube, holding third place, sports over a billion regular users. Other networks, such as Twitter and LinkedIn also receive millions of daily hits.
3. Form Relationships with Your Customers
Whereas most traditional forms of marketing work by interrupting and distracting consumers, social media provides a platform for you to build up an image for your brand by forging relationships with your customers. Aside from some of the paid advertising opportunities available on the larger networks, social media marketing is more about building customer relations rather than focussing on promotion. Instead of directly driving sales, it presents opportunities to build brand recognition and trust.
4. Provide Written and Visual Content
Social networks are more diverse than ever before, allowing you to share all kinds of content. The biggest networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, support the full range of content types, while more specialized communities are focused on videos, infographics and other visual content. Pinterest, for example, is a virtual online pinboard ideal for things like infographics and coupons, while YouTube is indisputably the world’s number one video-sharing network.
5. The Competition Is Doing It
According to eMarketer, 89 percent of businesses in the US were using social media marketing in 2015, and this statistic continues to grow. Another study, conducted by Adweek, determined that 96% of small businesses in the US were using Facebook. Other studies have also determined that the majority of businesses across all industries use Twitter. From figures such as these, it’s clear that social media marketing is critical for keeping up with the competition.
6. Gather Insights into Your Audience
Social media platforms are important resources for learning, whether you’re looking to conduct some competitive research or find out more about the needs and desires of your target audience. Facebook, for example, provides a Page Insights tool, allowing you to learn more about your page’s performance once you have gathered at least 30 followers. Since social media is where your target audience will likely be most active, it can provide a wealth of useful information.
7. Maintain Your Reputation
Brands no longer have much direct control over their reputations, so it is important to be present across all of the major social platforms in order to present the human side of your business. You will inevitably receive negative feedback on occasion, but it’s how you handle such feedback in the public platform that is social media that helps you to build and maintain your reputation. In the days of social media marketing and online reviews, transparency is imperative for any business.
8. Take Advantage of Paid Advertising Opportunities
All of the major social networks now offer a range of paid advertising opportunities allowing you to tap into some of the largest online audiences in the world. Facebook offers some of the widest range of paid advertising opportunities by allowing businesses to create goal-driven campaigns to reach targeted audiences. Twitter and LinkedIn also offer a range of paid services, allowing you to increase the reach of your profile and its content.
9. It’s Cost-Effective
Since it costs nothing to set up social media profiles for your company and post content regularly, much of social media marketing is free. However, by opting for paid advertising services, you can further your reach while still maintaining complete control over your budget. Normally, you can set a daily or monthly advertising budget whereby you pay for a certain number of clicks or impressions. Once you reach your budget, your ads will no longer be displayed until the next day.
10. Reach Out to Mobile Users
Most Web traffic is now mobile, and this is especially the case with social media. All of the mainstream networks now have mobile-friendly websites and free apps for mobile devices. As such, social media marketing allows you to keep in touch with your fans and customers no matter where they are. Although mobile optimization is critical for today’s websites, you don’t need to worry about it too much when it comes to social media, since the platforms themselves are already mobile-friendly.
Given the many benefits of social media and the fact that it continues to become more widespread every year, no business should be without a social marketing strategy. However, such a strategy requires a unique, consistent and long-term approach. With the exception of certain paid social advertising services, it’s also important to remember that social media marketing is more about building relationships with your target audience than directly trying to drive sales.