Social media networks have become a huge part in our lives. According to a survey by IDC Research, 80% of all smartphone users questioned look at their mobile phones in the first 15 minutes after waking up. And given how an average person spends an average of nearly two hours every day on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can only assume what the first thing they check in the morning is.
While some people use social media to share cute pictures of cats or reconnect with their former friends, a large number of them use social media to engage with popular companies and brands in one way or another.
Small business owners can benefit from social media marketing the most. With a well-developed strategy, a lot of effort and some financial resources, small businesses can stand up to even the biggest corporations. This is not limited to B2B businesses either – even traditional stores can benefit from a social media marketing strategy and take the advantage of one of the fastest growing phenomena in the world.
If you are missing out on an opportunity to advertise and develop your brand on social media, in this article we’ll share all the reasons why you should start right now!
1. Raise Brand Awareness Online
With almost half of everyone alive using social media networks, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are a great place to find new leads and potential customers.
According to official data, 60% of Instagram users discovered new products using this social media platform. And with over 700 million Instagram users and over two billion Facebook users, you are bound to find your ideal customers easily.
2. Give Your Brand A Personality
The best way to gain your target audience’s trust is to make them familiar with your brand by giving it a face and a voice. People are more inclined to trust a brand that delivers, that keeps promises and addresses concerns.
Connecting with your customers and more importantly, potential customers takes showing that your company is run by actual human beings. Show them that your employees follow the same brand values you advertise. Show your audience you care about what they think about you and your products or services. Show them you trust your own products.
This is one of the most important benefits of social media advertising. That’s why you need to introduce the people behind the name and let them know who people running the company are. That way they will be able to identify with your brand and favor it next time they are out shopping.
3. Become A Leader In Your Industry
No matter what type of products or services your company has to offer, through social media you can easily stand up from the crowd and your competition as a thought leader. This will make sure your clients turn to you first whenever they need any related information.
This is another great way to get your customers to trust you. Using a well-developed content marketing strategy and social media reach, you can easily make your brand stand out by offering useful advice your clients can’t find anywhere else.
When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is the most useful platform that you can use to set yourself as a leader not just in the eyes of your clients, but your peers instead. Using this platform is different to using platforms such as Facebook, but can help you gain more partners and clients.
Most of those using social media tend to log into their favorite platform at least once a day. The majority however tend to visit social media networks at least a few times a day.
This gives you an amazing opportunity to connect with them every time they are out checking their social media accounts. If your posts are informative and fun your followers will look forward to each new post you publish.
This will make sure you clients don’t forget your name, and even better – actively look forward to your future posts on social media. After that, they will be just a step away from buying your products or services.
5. More Website Traffic
Sharing and advertising your content on social media is an incredible way of getting more traffic on your website. Your blog or news page are great pieces of content you can share in order to get more visitors from the social media to your website. And with an efficient funnel in place, you can further drive those visits into conversion.
If you don’t run a company blog you can always hold a Q&A session on social media platforms such as Twitter. This is a great way to get the attention of your followers and get them to visit your website. If you offer something valuable in this chat session and not just promote your business, more people will join the next time and more will be inclined to visit your website.
To make sure you get as much visits as possible, make sure to include your website in the description on all your social media accounts. You can even use a specifically designed landing page to drive traffic to your products or services.
6. Gain More Leads
Social media makes it extremely easy for your potential clients to express their interest in your products or services. Generating new leads is therefore one of the most instantly obvious benefits of using social media for small businesses. A lot of these social networks offer advanced options to make lead generation even easier with a minimal investment.
7. Increase Sales
No matter whether you are offering a product or a service, you can sell anything easier using social media. If you make your social media accounts into the first step of your sales funnel you can turn an enormous profit.
The number of people using social media every day grows, and with them the chances of selling your product or service to the right person. Social media have become instrumental in the ecommerce, and by making sure your marketing and sales goals are aligned you can grow your business in no time.
8. Reach More People through Influencers
According to various studies, word of mouth recommendations can drive up to 50% more sales. If people talk about your brand or product on social media, the brand awareness and your company’s credibility grow, as well as your sales.
The easiest way to do this is to reach out to influencers and partner with them. These people have large social media followings and can help you spread the word about your brand.
This form of marketing can help you raise brand awareness and familiarity more than if you would hire a celebrity to do the same thing. This is mainly because influencers are people your target audience can more easily identify with.
9. Promote Your Content
Your content marketing strategy is worth nothing if you have no one to share it with. That’s where social networks really stand out. Using social media you can share your content to a new audience and prove that you are an expert in the field. To do this, you first need to develop a content marketing plan and hire a content writing service in case no one in your team is familiar with content marketing, SEO or digital marketing in general.
10. Produce Viral Content
When you put out a great piece of content, people will no doubt react. Getting more likes, shares and comments from your audience can only lead to more. Before you know it, your content will go viral. When people share your content with their own network, and they do the same your content will spread like wildfire to thousands of likes and shares.
This can help you gain an enormous amount of exposure and strengthen the audience’s connection to your brand. When someone sees their friends are sharing or commenting on your articles, they will be inclined to do the same. This personal recommendation is extremely valuable, as the Internet contains more content than one person could ever get to.
11. Maintain Your Reputation
Whether you are on the social networks or not, your customers are no doubt talking about you. This might be to praise your services or maybe to badmouth your business. Either way, being active on the social networks will help you keep track of who’s talking what about you and act accordingly.
Having someone write a made-up story about not being treated well can seriously harm your reputation. The only way to stay on top of it is to keep track of all the comments.
Similarly, if someone is praising your company, don’t hesitate to thank them or even offer a small discount as a token of gratitude.
12. Avert A Crisis
Small businesses aren’t as likely to face a major crisis as big corporations are, but even an extremely bad review can affect your sales and your brand’s image. For that reason, having a crisis plan is essential.
When facing a crisis of any sort, whether it’s a bad experience or an inter-company scandal, being silent is the worst thing you can do. By developing a plan for these situations and addressing the issue online you’ll not only retain customers, but come off as a professional.
13. Engage Your Audience
The best thing about social networks is that you can directly reach your customers and those who might become customers. It also gives them a chance to communicate with you, something traditional media does not allow.
You need to be engaged in order to engage your followers. Make sure you respond to their comments and answer their questions. Make sure you develop and maintain a brand voice, whether it’s professional or colloquial. One famous example of the latter is Wendy’s, whose Twitter account is extremely engaged and fun to follow.
14. Offer Customer Support
People have come to expect that companies will directly address their concerns via social media at any time of day. Social media has quickly replaced traditional customer support channels due to ease of accessibility and the ability to receive an instant answer.
Brands who take their time to address clients’ concerns are more likely to close a deal later. It doesn’t matter if their comments are to complain or ask a question, being responsive to their concerns is guaranteed to convert them into regular customers.
15. Target A Particular Audience
Social media ads are incredibly affordable, but that’s not their biggest asset. The best thing about social media ads is that they can use powerful targeting tools in order to get to a specific audience and make sure the budget you’ve determined is guaranteed to return.
These targeting options include everything from demographics, locations, online behavior, interests and language. This means you can create unique messages that are guaranteed to cater to the audience you’ve previously selected.
16. Retargeting Lost Customers
The biggest potential of social media advertising is the ability to target those who’ve been unsure about a purchase and abandoned their cart. These are the people who’ve already shared interest in your website, browsed through your offers and were about to make a purchase.
Convince them to come back by showing them ads for the products they’ve left in their shopping cart of offering discounts as incentives to come back and shop.
17. Powerful Reporting Tools
The biggest challenge with traditional media is not being able to measure the exact ROI of a marketing campaign. The same is not true for social media, as they offer extremely powerful analytics and tracking tools. They will help you measure the exact impact of your social media campaigns including everything from likes and follows to purchases.