When talking about the benefits of social media marketing, it’s hard not to mention increased sales. And while that’s definitely part of it, social media marketing has many other long-term advantages beyond just turning a profit.
Understanding the Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Given the sweeping presence of big corporations on social media, it’s easy to dismiss it as a form of marketing reserved for larger players. After all, how can a small business even compete with companies that have established and well-funded marketing departments? This is exactly the kind of mindset, though, that can put your business behind.
Small businesses, in particular, have the most to gain from social media marketing. Why is social media important for business? It offers more exposure for your brand, even if it’s just on a local level, and directly impacts your bottom line. The data is hard to deny — 73 percent of marketers believe that marketing through social media has a positive effect on their business. When you ignore social media as a viable marketing tool, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Social Media Marketing Definition
What is social media marketing anyway? Simply put, it’s the use of social media — whatever platform it may be — to promote your brand, product, or service. There are several different social media platforms, but the major ones are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Facebook remains the king of social media with more than 2.7 billion monthly active users worldwide.
Why Use Social Media for Business?
Why is social media marketing effective? What are the advantages of social media marketing? Small businesses stand to gain a lot from the use of social media for marketing purposes. If you’re still unconvinced, consider the benefits of social media marketing for small businesses below:
1. Educate and Inform
What’s the best way to update your customers on the latest news and events? Social media.
Because social media allows you to give updates in real-time, you can easily inform your audience of an upcoming event such as a sale or giveaway. This will help you get more traction and attract the attention of more people.
You’re not limited to news and events either. You can also use social media to announce new products or services, new partnerships, and new initiatives.
2. A Budget-Friendly Marketing Tool
Back when commercials and print ads reigned supreme, small businesses had a tough time competing because of cost concerns. Social media is, for the most part, free. Therefore, you don’t really need to invest a lot of money to start using it for marketing.
Of course, every business will eventually need to allocate a budget for marketing and promotions. When you do, you don’t need to go big all at once. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to set a daily cost limit. The platform will then promote your ad according to your budget.
3. Understand Your Audience Better
It’s hard to market something if you don’t know anything about your target audience. The good news is that social media makes it easy for you to get to know your audience better.
Social listening plays a huge role in how businesses use social media for marketing. With this helpful marketing tool, you can monitor what people are saying about any given topic. This grants you access to the minds of your customers — what they like, what’s important to them, what their pain points are, etc. In turn, you can use this information to create valuable content that resonates with your audience.
4. Build Brand Awareness and Recognition
In business, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. On the contrary, when people recognize your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. One of the key benefits of social media for business is that it builds brand awareness. It’s infinitely easier and quicker to get your brand in the spotlight through the use of social media than other marketing tools.
5. Shape Your Image Through Story
Communicating your story can come as a challenge, especially if you own a small business that’s just getting started. Luckily, social media makes the task much simpler. With the help of social media, you can share your mission and values with your audience, humanizing your brand. You can also tell impactful stories that resonate with your customers, which, in turn, influence their perception of your brand.
6. Offer Customer Support
It doesn’t take a genius to know that customer service is important to the success of any business. But, nowadays, a customer hotline doesn’t go a long way anymore. Customers now use social media to reach out to companies to communicate their requests, complaints, and questions. Therefore, you must allow your customers to reach you in the manner they expect.
More than meeting expectations, social media lets you interact with customers in real-time. You can quickly address their concerns in a public or private medium (direct messaging) and, consequently, gain their trust.
7. Promote Customer Loyalty
Did you know that 53 percent of Americans are more loyal to the brands they follow on social media? Given this statistic, it’s all the more essential to establish a social media presence for business growth and success. You can also use social media to offer incentives such as discount codes and freebies. In doing so, you’re contributing to customer satisfaction and improving customer loyalty.
8. Exhibit Topical Authority
One of the often-overlooked benefits of social media marketing is that it can set up your brand as a thought leader. This, of course, goes hand-in-hand with effective content marketing. You must create valuable content that you can then post on your social media channels. As you do this, search engines will start to recognize you as a trusted and credible source of information on a certain subject. This will then improve your ranking, which brings us to the next point.
9. Increase Website Traffic
When you establish yourself as a brand with topical authority, you can drive more traffic to your website. Additionally, you can use social media to direct your audience to your website through social sharing. Again, your content should offer value. You should also make it easy for your followers to share your social posts on their own feeds.
Physically, it’s difficult to get people to come back to your store after they’ve already left without buying anything. In the online world, though, retargeting makes it possible to do just that.
Through social media, you can run retargeting campaigns that display your ads when people log in to their accounts. When someone visits your website and clicks away, retargeting trails them with the use of browser cookies. They will then see your ads when they open a social media platform. Sometimes, retargeting gives potential customers the push they need to go back to your site and go through with that purchase.
11. Determine What Works
Not sure what color to use for that social media ad? With A/B testing, also known as split testing, you can identify which campaigns are giving you the results you want. This tool lets you make small adjustments to your ads, run them, and see which one works the best. There are a lot of helpful tools you can use to carry out split testing, though social media platforms also offer built-in tools for this.
12. Analyze Data Easily
It’s impossible to discuss the importance of social media marketing without mentioning analytics. Analytics give you accurate data about your social media posts and performance. With this, you can see which posts are working and which ones aren’t. You can also check critical statistics and learn more about your audience. All this information will allow you to make changes to your campaigns as well as other vital decisions.
13. Improve Your Conversion Rate
When it comes down to it, a business needs conversions to prosper. But, where does social media come in?
A simple way to drive conversions through social media is to include a call to action. You can add this to individual posts or to your main social media page. A call to action is exactly what it sounds like — it encourages your audience to take a specific action.
Ads are another helpful tool in social media marketing. With ads, you can get the word out on your brand or offer. When creating ads, though, try to make them look less like an ad. After all, no one wants to see ads while they’re browsing through their social feeds.
Make Use of Small Business Social Media Marketing
Considering how much time people spend on social media, small business owners would be smart to take advantage of this phenomenon. Frankly, social media is here to stay, and businesses that fail to adapt run the risk of dying off. The benefits of social media marketing are clear, so you should get started on it immediately.
If you need help navigating the confusing world of digital marketing, Tanner Grey offers exceptional services to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Call us today at 844.500.1339 or reach out to us online to learn more information.
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