While social media used to be an optional marketing method for brands, this is no longer the case. Social media has become an essential way to reach and communicate with customers, gain insights and grow your brand. Considering there are now more than 4.2 billion active social media users across the globe, not using social media means you are missing out on a fast, cheap and effective way to reach almost half the global population.
But what is the purpose of using social media and how can it really benefit your business?
Advantages of using social media for business
Increase your brand awareness
Considering the potential reach is half the world’s population, a good use of social media is for increasing brand awareness. Many social media users already use social media to connect with brands (especially on Instagram), so you have a pool of engaged and willing potential followers to connect with.
Humanise your brand
Through social media brands can create meaningful relationships with their audience. You can introduce your audience to the people that make up your brand and showcase how customers use and benefit from your products or services.
A positive use of social media is that you can build trust authentically. Trust builds marketing receptiveness and can drive new business. Show that you embrace your values and how you put the interest of your customers first.
Establish your brand as a thought leader
No matter the industry you operate in, social media gives brands the chance to position themselves as a thought leader. By offering insightful and thoughtful content pieces, you can provide real value to your followers and customers. This will make you a go-to option for news and information on topics related to your industry.
Advantages of social media for growth
Increase website traffic
Social media posts and ads are effective ways of driving traffic to your website. Sharing valuable blog content to your social media platforms is a great way to get a tonne of traffic and new readers as soon as you publish a new post.
Engaging with social media users is also another great way to increase website traffic. By offering insightful comments, you can prove to users that your content is valuable and worth reading. In addition, having your website or blog linked in your social media profile biography easily directs visitors to your content.
One of the main uses of social media platforms for consumers is that it’s a low-commitment way for them to express interest in your brand. Lead generation is one of the main users of social media for businesses and social media platforms offer specific advertising formats for brands to collect leads.
One of the key uses of social media is as part of your sales funnel. The number of people using social media is constantly climbing and social media platforms are focusing on developing social commerce and in-app shopping capabilities. These developments mean social media will become more important for brands using ecommerce. Instead of having to direct customers to an external website, they can now add things to their baskets within a social media platform.
Partner with influencers
One of the most influential methods of marketing is relying on word-of-mouth recommendations. This can be through families and friends or through social media influencers. Partnering with influencers that have a large following on social media can draw attention from relevant people to your brand.
Partnering with influencers can not only increase your brand’s followers on social media but can significantly increase click-through rate and conversions.
Advantages of social media for content
Promote your content
Promoting your social media content is a great way to have your insightful content seen by new people. More people seeing your content will prove your expertise and grow your audience. For the most impact, you should have a content marketing plan implemented.
Going viral isn’t easy, but it would be impossible without social media. Your fans on social media can help you work towards a viral hit. As your fans share, like and comment on your content, it will be spread across their network and when their network follows suit, your content can spread across the internet and receive upwards of thousands of shares and millions of views.
Collate content and ideas
Businesses can use social media to source content and content ideas.
Brands can directly ask their followers what type of content they want or enjoy consuming or use social listening tools to view organic mentions to create their own content ideas.
Brands can also collate user-generated content from a campaign or product hashtag that they can reshare. This method can get your followers involved in your brand and build excitement, all while providing you with great content to reshare.
Uses of social media for communication
It’s highly likely that your customers are already talking about you on social media. With careful monitoring, your social media team can catch important social posts about your brand to spotlight the positives and squish the negatives before they become an issue.
With the ease of access to social media and the rise of cancel culture, we are often seeing social media crusades to cancel brands. While small businesses may not be at risk of a social media witch hunt, larger businesses can experience a devastating impact.
If a crisis arises, you cannot stay silent. Using social media to share a planned response can help damage control to prevent the worst-case scenario.
Provide customer service and support
Nowadays, consumers expect brands to be on social media and actively seek out branded accounts to ask questions or complain. Furthermore, these consumers expect brands to respond within a few hours.
Having a dedicated social media customer service team can keep your followers happy and engaged.
Uses of social media for insights
Learn about your customers
All social media platforms offer analysis and demographic information about your audience members and those who interact with your accounts. This information can help you tailor your social media marketing strategy to make smarter business decisions.
Understand sentiment around your brand
Social media listening is important for audience engagement but it’s also a source of information about your brand itself. It’s great to know how often people are talking about your brand, but it’s even better to know exactly what they’re saying. Loads of mentions could be a good thing, but if they’re all negative, you need to find out why and what you have done to earn negative sentiments.
Track competitor activity
It’s almost guaranteed that your competitors will be active on social media and what their audiences are saying is a key insight. Tracking your competitors’ mentions could reveal pain points that you can provide relief for. You’ll also be aware of when your competitors launch a new product, campaign or promotion.
Keep track of industry news
Information in the digital space moves incredibly fast, so you can’t afford to miss a key insight or news piece. You can use social listening to keep an eye out for upcoming industry trends and news that could affect your business.
Uses of social media for advertising
One of the most beneficial uses of social media is its ability to hyper-target audiences for advertising. Using social media ads is a cost effective way to promote your business and distribute content to relevant audiences.
Ad targeting includes demographic information, languages, online behaviours and geography so you can speak to different groups of customers. You only have to pay for the exact viewers you want to reach.
The majority of online shopping baskets are abandoned; these are the people who are your prime potential customers. People who have abandoned carts already know your brand, its website, the products available and decided on which ones they may want. You can use social media to remarket these products to those who have abandoned carts.
Uses of social media for proving ROI
Reporting and analysing
Social media platforms offer in depth analytics and metrics that brands can use to determine their ROI. With social media tracking tools you can have a well-rounded insight into the full impact of your social media activities.
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