It’s hard to remember a world where social media didn’t form part of most businesses digital marketing strategy. However, using social media is only part of the battle. To take full advantage of social, you need to understand the benefits that it offers from a business perspective.
Whether you’ve already embraced social media marketing and are looking for a few ideas to further improve your strategy, or are still thinking about setting up a social media profile for your business, we think the information below will help.
As a bonus, we’ve also included some industry data that you can use to convince your colleagues that social media is worth investing in.
The data: Nearly 50% of the world’s population use social media [source: Statistica]
Sharing your content with your audience is one of the largest benefits of using social media as a business. With 3 billion people using social media as of 2019, as long as you’ve carefully considered how each social media channel should be used within your content marketing strategy, you should be able to share content with your target audience effectively.
The data: 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook ads on a regular basis [source: Social Media Examiner]
Organic sharing of your content is a great way to communicate with your existing audience, but what if you want to put your business firmly in front of potential customers too? With the right strategy, and a little bit of research, promoting your content on the right social media platform can help people who aren’t connected with your business to discover your product or service.
Even if you’re not active on a particular social network, it doesn’t matter. You can still take advantage of any platform you like to spread your content further than organic sharing will allow.
Increase brand awareness
The data: 52% of all online brand discovery still happens in public social feeds [source: Hootsuite]
Organic and paid social media posts are a great way to sell specific services and products, but they can also be used to great effect to increase awareness of your brand. Measurement for metrics such as reach, likes, engagement and shares are central to most social media platforms analytics packages, which means you can easily track brand awareness.
There is slightly more to brand awareness than getting people to recognise your logo though. Like many other forms of digital marketing, social media also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your brand values, communicate in your tone of voice and underpin your core mission.
Customer and audience engagement
The data: 50% of consumers say that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media. [source: Curalate]
Traditional marketing channels often only allow you to pass information to your audience via a one-way path. Social media gives your customers an opportunity to start a two-way conversation instead, and create lasting engagement. As well as helping you to find out how your audience feels about your updates, content, products or services, great engagement can turn customers into brand ambassadors who will help to spread your brand further.
Being able to interact and engage with your customers is also a great way to encourage confidence in your brand through social proof. If existing customers speak positively about your business, either through interactions with your content or via reviews, it is more likely that other people will trust you too.
Customer service and customer support
The data: 71% of consumers who’ve had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. [source: Ambassador]
Even if customers aren’t entirely satisfied with your product or service, it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost them forever. Many businesses use social media as a customer service portal to allow them to respond quickly and effectively to any issues.
With built in messaging and chat functions, and most people having access to at least one profile (whether it’s their own or someone else’s), social media can be an incredibly cost-effective way to provide customer service or customer support. If you can ensure that your customer service is fantastic, even previously upset customers may sing your praises.
Gauge sentiment around your brand
The data: 80% of companies online are under the impression that they deliver exceptional social media customer service, while only 8% of their customers say they agree. [source: Smart Insights]
In any form of marketing, there is always information that you don’t have. This can be especially true in social media marketing, when you don’t necessarily know exactly what customers are saying about you unless they communicate with you directly.
Your brand is typically referred to as “what your customers say about you behind your back”, so being able to tap into that information would offer huge opportunities to be able to respond to any criticisms or perceived shortcomings and improve sentiment for your business.
Social listening allows you to learn more about your customers by allowing you to monitor public conversations that are relevant to your brand, so you can build up a much better idea of how your brand is being perceived. You can also use social listening to gather information that relates to the wider context of your audience and their key interests.
Increase website traffic
The data: Over 46% of all social media traffic to company websites comes from LinkedIn. [source: LinkedIn]
It’s a fair assumption to make that most of the content you’re sharing through your social media profile has come from, or directly relates to, your website. In which case, you’re probably already sending traffic to your site.
While other forms of digital marketing, such as SEO and PPC, may drive a higher proportion of website traffic than social in most cases, the traffic that you drive from social media is much more likely to already have a positive perception of your brand, meaning that you could benefit from higher conversion rates.
The data: 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. [source: GlobalWebIndex]
Most social media platforms include the ability to create posts or ads that are specifically designed to encourage lead generation. This allows your target audience to sign up to receive more information about your business through a form that is native to the platform (Facebook have a particularly good system for setting up this type of ad).
Rather than having to rely on potential customers to perform certain actions on your site, you can instead start to gather contact details etc. that can be passed on to your sales team to follow up on.
It’s highly likely that most businesses have at least dabbled in social media, but are you really getting the most out of your strategy? Perhaps there are a few benefits that we’ve mentioned that could help give your strategy a little boost or start you on the path to finally embracing social marketing.
If you would like assistance with getting the most out of social media for your business, why not get in touch with a friendly member of the Coast Digital team today on 0845 485 1853. There has never been a better time to start!