Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn…. These are but a few of the most popular social media platforms today. And as a business owner, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t promote – and engage – with your target audience on social media. Why? Well, that’s what you’re going to find out today. Read on to know all about the wonderful things social media can do for your business!
The benefits of social media marketing for your business
There are plenty of benefits to having an active social media presence. Here are my top 20:
- Makes you more accessible to your audience
Your target audience are already on social media. You’re technically just making it easy for them to get in touch with you by being where they are. They don’t need to visit your office or store. They don’t need to type an email or call you up. They just need to go to your social profile and contact you from there.
On Facebook pages, for instance, you can write down your contact details in the About section. This includes your address, phone number, and website address. But the best thing about Facebook is the handy chat button at the bottom of the page.
- Social listening – listen to what your customers are saying
People talk about their experiences all the time on social media. What are they saying about you or your competitors? Are they saying good or bad things? If you’re not on social media, you’d be missing out on a lot of opportunities to better serve your audience.
For instance, I searched Twitter for mentions of my favorite cafe in downtown Concord, NH, and found this:
You can do the same for your brand. Search your business name on various social channels and see if people are talking about you!
- Increase brand recognition
Getting the word out about your brand is far easier to do on social media than in the offline world. This is because creating and sharing content happens so much faster in the digital world.
For people to start recognizing your brand, you need to be consistent with everything. From your logo to the colors used in your graphics, all the way to the type of content you produce and share. You want to appeal to a specific group of people, and you want your brand recognized no matter which platform you’re on.
Check out IncredibleEgg. They use their logo and brand colors throughout their website and various social media profiles:
- Reputation management
If you’re not on social, people can be maligning your brand or your business, and you’d have no idea what’s going on. Fortunately, you can quickly send a response to dissatisfied customers – if you’re on social.
If done right, you’ll hit two birds with one stone:
(1) The disgruntled customer will be satisfied; and
(2) You’ll impress other people with how well you handled the situation.
Need help with reputation management? Give us a call on 603-581-2675 today!
- Makes you appear more ‘human’ to your users
You don’t need to be uptight on social media – it’s where people go to chill and unwind, after all. Don’t hide behind stock photos – people need to see the real you to fully trust you.
Let people see who’s behind the brand. Show them what’s happening behind the scenes! I promise your audience will love knowing more about you and your team. Show them your fun side – social media is social after all!
Here’s Upwork.com’s Chicago-based staff showing off their custom Yeti tumblers on Instagram!
- Helps build trust
Sharing the right content will definitely help build trust. For instance, if you’re selling a service, you can show before and after photos of your work. Let your photos and videos do the selling for you!
Here’s a jwhroofing, a UK-based roofer, showcasing his work on Instagram:
- Drive conversions
People follow and buy people they like and trust. By getting them to trust you, you make it easier for them to follow your call to action. Whether you’re asking them to donate to your cause or buy your merchandise, they’ll be happy to do so if the trust is there.
Check out Rescue Dogs Rock NYC’s Facebook page:
- Send more traffic to your website
Yes, you still need a website even if you’ve got a solid social media presence. Social media can’t fully replace your own branded website – it’s one of the things people look for to establish legitimacy. The good thing is you can cross-promote content on your website with social media – you get to reach more people this way!
Here’s a good example from Merry Maids. They’ve got a link to their website and they’re also sharing their blog posts on their page:
Don’t have a website yet? In addition to our social media marketing services, we also build and develop responsive websites. Click here to contact us!
- Easier to target users
Paid social media marketing allows you to target specific groups of people. For example, if you want to target young males between the ages of 20-25 who are currently living in New Hampshire, you can do so.
According the Facebook’s Audience Insights, there are approximately 40-45,000 people who fit your audience criteria:
If you design your advert just right and your message speaks to them, then they’ll be more likely to follow your ad’s call to action!
- Social media marketing is very cost effective
Unlike traditional advertising or other forms of online advertising, social media marketing is actually cost effective. Facebook used to be one of the most affordable options, but as demand has gone up, rates have gone up as well. But when it comes to ROI on ad spend, social media still reigns supreme cost-wise over other options.
- Opportunity to work with influencers
There are real influencers and wannabe influencers. You can weed out the wannabes by checking their engagement rates. Working with true influencers whose recommendations hold water with their followers can be a potential gold mine for your business!
Save yourself the headache of dealing with fakes and check out SproutSocial’s article on how to spot fake social media influencers.
- Sends good social signals to Google
If Google sees tons of traffic from social media channels to your website, that’s a good signal for them. It tells Google you’re doing something right, and people most likely love your content. It’s then more likely to reward your website with higher rankings on search results pages!
Check out Chris Palmer’s explanation on the subject:
- Establish authority in your industry/niche
You can easily establish dominance in your industry by posting highly relevant and valuable content – not cute animal videos and memes (unless that is your niche). Also, if you actively engage with your followers in real time, new followers will quickly recognize your authority.
When it comes to tattoos, Keith McCurdy (bangbangnyc) is a must-follow artist on Instagram. He inks celebrities for a living (that’s Selena Gomez in the screenshot below), so he’s certainly established his dominance in the tattoo industry!
- Spy on the competition
You can see what your competitors are doing – are they running any new promotions? How do they deal with their customers? What kind of content are they posting? You can quickly see what you’re up against. With research and analysis, you’ll be able to come up with a solid plan to try and beat the competition.
- Improve brand loyalty
The more your audience values your brand, the more they become loyal to you. Publish valuable/informative/entertaining content consistently and you’ll have fans waiting on your every post!
A good example of this is Wendy’s. With over 185,000 tweets and 3.5 million followers, people certainly look forward to their posts! Check out the humor in these tweets (they’re hilarious!):
- Wow potential customers with social proof
Potential customers who are searching for you on social media can easily see your past activities – all the good and bad (if any). They’ll see how many people are following you, how engaged you are with your audience, and how you respond to people’s questions.
- Crowd-source ideas and content
You can ask your users for ideas – brands do it all the time on social media! So, if you’re running out of content ideas for your blog or your social media accounts, don’t be afraid to reach out. Offer incentives if you think that will get more people to contribute.
Also, you don’t need to create new content all the time. Ask your users to tag you in their photos – and just share their content on your profile. Add your own comments and voila! You’ve got ready-made content!
Here’s Boxed Water sharing and retweeting their customer’s posts:
- Gain more insights about your customers
People post all kinds of things on social media. Find out what your followers are up to and see if you can offer them anything to address their pain points. It doesn’t have to be on a personal level – perhaps you can create a new service or product based on the new insights you gain!
- Promote new and repurposed content
Content repurposing is a powerful strategy for maximizing your time. For instance, let’s say you spend 2-3 hours researching for a new blog post. Instead of leaving it at one post, you can repurpose it into bite-sized content chunks which you can use on social media.
Get the most salient points and create quote images on Canva or Photoshop, and then share it on social. You can also create other forms of content just from that single blog post!
For example, CoSchedule repurposed a blog post on their website and turned it into a Facebook post. Instead of just linking directly to the post, they also added an audio snippet of the interview.
- You can quickly go viral on the Internet!
Original, unusual, shocking, highly entertaining – these are the types of content that has the potential to go viral on social media. If you want your content – and thus your brand – to go viral, you need to think outside the box. It won’t be easy, but if you do make it, congratulations! You’ll get more fans and followers in a short amount of time!
Butcher, chef, and restaurateur Nusret Gokce (a.k.a. SaltBae) is the perfect example. His unique way of sprinkling salt quickly went viral. I’m sure you know of him, or at least have seen the memes:
So, which social media platform should you be on?
It depends, really. You can be on ALL social platforms if you like, but of course, you’ll end up spreading your resources thin. After all, managing even just one social media account isn’t exactly a walk in the park. It’s a time-consuming task, and in many cases, can turn into a full-time job!
To figure out which social platforms you should focus on, you need to follow these three steps:
- Identify your audience
This should be easy if you already have an existing buyer persona. Otherwise, you need to define who your target users are. Be as specific as possible, that is, identify their gender, age range, location, education, job, income, etc.
- Determine where they hang out
Find out which social platform the majority of your target audience is on. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? If your target audience is from the professional sector, then LinkedIn may be the right platform for you.
- Pinpoint your exact goal for being on social media
Are you on social media to get sales? Are you there to offer customer service or perhaps offer technical support? Are you there to share content nuggets from your blog? Be as specific as possible, so you can streamline all your social media tasks to achieve that goal.
Here’s a useful infographic from Accion.org to help you visualize the 3 steps you need to take to choose the right social platform for your brand:
So, have you got an ideal social platform in mind yet? Good if you do! If none yet, take your time to research and brainstorm, so you can figure out the best platform for your brand’s social needs!
Ready to start reaping the benefits of social media marketing?
Don’t delay! Every day you’re not on social media is money lost. Take control of your brand’s narrative by building up your social presence. Your users will love you – and so will you once you see the return on your investment!
Of course, this will be an uphill battle in the beginning. Fortunately, you don’t need to go at it alone. Windhill.com offers a complete Social Media Marketing services solution – we’ll be more than happy to help you build your social presence!