Social media is one of the most popular leisure activities on the Internet. According to Statista, more than 3.6 billion people worldwide used them in 2020. That number is projected to rise to nearly 4.41 billion by 2025.
There are numerous users registered on social networks, and all of them are customers. Look at your target audience. Can they use social networks? If so, your company should be there too.
On social networks, the brand becomes closer to the customer. It is in the same world with them — it makes a statement about itself, communicates through content, helps with the choice.
Whether your product needs social media depends on what you are selling and to whom. A Boeing buyer is unlikely to go to a social network to choose an airplane. But if they need tutoring services or knitted socks, they might.
So the logical conclusion is that social networks are necessary. That’s why we decided to break down the main benefits of social media.
What is social media?
A social network is an Internet platform that allows registered users to post information, build social connections, and share text, photos, and video content. The users themselves create the content on this site.
Social networks can be of different types. Some allow you to create all kinds of posts — with pictures, text, video, or music. There are also social networks with a limited format. Instagram, for example, focuses on photos and short videos. Twitter only allows text up to 280 characters. The social network can also have its own specialization. For instance, YouTube is used to watch videos and LinkedIn — to find business contacts.
What is social media marketing?
SMM (social media marketing) is one of the tools of Internet marketing. The essence of SMM — attracting customers from social networks. According to statistics from Marketing Sherpa, 95% of people from 18 to 34 years old find it most convenient to follow a brand and interact with it through social networks. This explains the high demand for SMM specialists: almost every company runs a social network. For many brands, this is the only channel for promotion on the Internet.
SMM suits everyone: B2B companies, online stores, services, and media.
The main goal of SMM (as well as any advertising) — to make the business profitable. It is achieved in different ways:
- Looking for customers among the audience of social networks. To do this, brands directly advertise products, use content marketing, or contact partners.
- Create a brand community to increase loyal customers.
- Publish viral content that spreads across social networks without the company’s involvement.
- Share useful articles and videos to attract the attention of potential customers and increase their social media subscriber base.
Benefits of social media
Increase brand awareness
The power of social media for business is in its publicity. Thousands of users will see every post published, and if the topic is trendy — hundreds of thousands. These posts form public opinion, which can be either positive or negative. People use social networks as a kind of book of complaints and suggestions — any statement, complaint, or praise about the company is immediately supported by users. Every company’s action is a reason for discussion, and the power of public opinion can really damage a company’s reputation.
For example, Facebook lost almost $60 billion in capitalization amid the data leakage scandal, and Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune decreased by $9 billion.
McKinsey found that (I) users who interact with the brand on social networks have a 15% higher level of loyalty to the company than those who do not, and (II) loyalty increases turnover by 5-10%.
Everything a company broadcasts on social networks affects its reputation and the opinion of its users. Keep this in mind.
There are always those people who have not heard anything about the company. Social networks correct this mistake. Every subscriber has a circle of friends and followers. And if s/he mentions a brand in their post or reposts something from the brand’s page, their friends will know about it. And there’s a chance that one of them will become a customer.
Search for employees
Social media has specialists at all different levels in all kinds of businesses. All a company needs to do is write a post with a job opening, and they will start reposting it and mentioning those who might be suitable for the position in the comments.
An added benefit is increased reach.
Employees can be attracted not only by direct advertising and publication of job openings — articles about the company, photos from the office, or production help applicants form their own opinion about the brand and offer their services.
Attract new customers and increase sales
Every day, millions of people visit social networks. Part of this audience is potential clients of the company. They are ready to buy goods and order services, and it is just a matter of finding these people and making them an offer they cannot refuse.
There are particular services for finding potential clients on social networks — they analyze the audience and group users according to preset parameters. This audience can be used to set up advertising and promote the company’s products/services.
Tell your brand story
Being able to tell more people about your brand’s mission, values, and the story is one of the essential benefits of social media. This kind of information is perfect for your company’s image. Tell stories about your employees. Share the stories of your customers, share their testimonials. Tell anything that can improve the reputation of your company or product!
Provide support and feedback
People are used to good services and quick solutions to their questions, and if the company meets their expectations, the likelihood that they will become loyal customers of the company increases. That’s why it’s important to respond quickly to comments, maintain a dialogue, admit mistakes, if there are any, and solve users’ problems as quickly as possible. At the same time, as a rule, most customers expect that their problem will be solved within 1 hour. So make sure you can do this quickly!
Compared to other online and offline marketing approaches, social media is still one of the cheapest ways to reach your target audience. That’s the first thing that makes them incredibly appealing to most companies. You can create an account on these platforms for free and use the tools offered without paying upfront.
However, despite this, you still have to invest in business page promotion to maximize your profits. Creating valuable and catchy content, providing support, and, of course, developing advertising campaigns will cost a decent amount. At the same time, if you compare it with other ways of promotion, you can say that it is not that expensive.
Another benefit of social media is finding out what your customers need and what they are like. These are:
- Consumer habits;
- The problems the target audience is facing;
- Interest in something specific;
- Things that are disliked and irritate.
This information can be crucial to your campaign. It is worth using so that you will not be forgotten. Understanding and knowing your customer is something that can help you against your competitors.
Internet search engines ranking
Links from social networks as well as social signals — reposts, likes, tweets — have a positive effect on the promotion of the site in search engines.
Links through social media to content, articles, and videos from your site and to the site itself mean that the content you provide has proven to be informative, entertaining, and useful. When this happens, search engines respond and use the findings to improve the display of content on search engine results pages.
Future cost savings
Thanks to social networks, any future advertising campaign will be much cheaper for you, and it will be much easier to gather people for any event or sale. All you have to do is let your already-formed active community know about it. It is indeed one of the main benefits of social media for business.
Social media audiences are actually more active than the rest of the Internet community. This means that followers of your social media profiles are more likely than any others to participate in discussions, spread the word about the company, participate in contests, and attend events.
A personalized approach
Because the follower base built within social networks is directly linked to users’ profiles, you can, without leaving the social network, personally communicate with each of your customers in real-time rather than creating an email database for later mailing.
As the driving force of any community, communication contributes to the emotional connection between its members in one way or another. This refers to the connection between users and the emotional contact between the company and its customers. You create a more human image of your brand, which undoubtedly resonates with your subscribers.
To measure the success of your marketing campaigns, you need to analyze large amounts of data. And luckily for you, social media has the tools to do this.
For example, Google Analytics helps you measure your most successful social media activities as well as those that have not succeeded. With tools like these, you can analyze your content on different social networks to improve your campaign.
Profiles on social networks form strong associations between a certain topic (related to the industry in which the company operates) and the brand. For example, you publish very informative posts about a particular topic. That way, every time they encounter it, your subscriber will think of you first and possibly visit your page more often in search of relevant information.
Increase website traffic
By actively developing your social networks, you can also increase traffic to your company website. You can publish posts about your services, leaving a call to action for subscribers to read more on the site. Or you can develop your company blog on it by writing informative articles. Publish short abstracts from the article on social networks, encouraging users to read the full piece on the site.
To sum up
These factors are the absolute key to profit growth, increasing customers, and repeat purchases. Companies planning to work on social networks should understand that the main value of social network profiles is not to achieve a momentary increase in sales but to awaken users’ interest in the company, to form a warm emotional relationship with their audience. And then the consumer, when considering making a purchase, will think of your company in the first place. And the sales themselves can pay back the investment in building communities, weeks, months, or even years later. But the results will exceed all your expectations.