Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anything in between, being a successful business in the 21st century means harnessing the power of social media. Though there are many ways to market your business (be it online or offline), this is one of the most critical avenues that you should be capitalising upon.
To illustrate why, we've outlined the importance of social media for your business below. If you're not already implementing it as part of your marketing strategy, this is why you need to be getting involved; alternatively, if you already have accounts set up, this is a reminder of why exactly you're investing so much time and energy into maintaining and growing your accounts.
Here are some of the key benefits of using social media for business:
Everyone else is doing it.
In the digital era, the importance of an online marketing strategy is obvious. Thus, it's something that every business should – and typically is – taking into consideration. A substantial aspect of this path of marketing includes creating a consistent and approachable social media presence. In doing so, companies open hundreds of doors not only by furthering their brand exposure and the prevalence of their products or services but for another simple reason.
If you fail to take advantage of having a social media presence, you fall short of your competition. As a result, you appear to be a brand that does not adapt to technology as it evolves, and one that is not striving to stand out in 2020 and beyond.
Social media helps build brand awareness.
With millions of people using social media platforms across the planet, it makes sense that companies would harness the power of social media for business purposes. Using the correct hashtags, witty captions, and attention-grabbing imagery and videos, you can quickly build a brand that you are proud of while simultaneously attracting the customers and clients that you most want.
It can also help to improve your SEO strategy, as social media profiles that include a link in their bio are more likely to get click-throughs when their content is engaging. After all, aren't you more likely to visit an active account with exciting and engaging content, over one that blends in with the rest of your newsfeed?
You can show the world your authenticity.
Another key benefit of social media is that it allows you not just to pitch your product to followers, but to be authentic with them and focus on the issues that they are concerned about.
Indeed, by connecting with your audience, you have a chance to cultivate meaningful new relationships, attract new customers, and create a sense of trust those that follow you. You can target your posts to those you wish to attract most to your brand, catering your visuals and texts to the audiences you want to connect with.
It encourages engagement with your audience.
If you want to promote your business, then you have to engage with your audience. Of course, this includes regularly responding to comments, direct messages, and tagged posts. However, it also goes beyond these simple tasks.
Social media allows you to repost images of your fans benefitting from all that you have to offer, reach out to influencers to promote your brand, or launch giveaways of your products or services in a way that creates and cultivates organic growth. The key to making this a reality is to feel a sense of engagement with your social media. If you do not invest in the presence that you are creating, it will filter through in the quality of your publications.
There's an opportunity to provide support.
Whether you are a brick and mortar retailer, an eCommerce store, a platform-based business, or anything in between, users want impeccable customer service. By having a strong social media presence, you have yet another opportunity to provide support to those who need it.
By opening up another way that customers can reach out to you with concerns, questions, or even words of praise, you're making it easier for them to rave about how you are different from your competition. In short, this is another way that you can stand out in a sea of similar businesses with a unique point of difference, allowing your appreciation and dedication to your clients to shine through.
It boosts your SEO presence.
As previously mentioned, social media can potentially enhance your SEO rankings. Not only do popular social accounts drive more traffic to the users themselves, but linking your profiles to your website is a high-quality backlink that makes you even easier to find online.
With search engines such as Google constantly updating their requirements and "best practices" for higher rankings, websites and their business owners need to ensure that they are exploiting every possible opportunity to be visible. No longer is it enough to optimise the site itself and post regularly on your company blog; today, it is crucial to consider publicising your content across social media to further the notion of brand cohesion and authenticity. In doing so, this also solidifies a sense of integrity.
Social media is free marketing for your business.
With 60% of Instagram users saying they have discovered new products on the platform, the power of social media for potential conversions should be apparent. By identifying and targeting users on the right platforms, you can market your products to them directly, either through influencer collaborations, exposure techniques such as hashtags, or simply through effective and well-executed advertising.
If you opt to spend money on advertising on the social media platform of your choice (or, indeed, a combination), it is typically affordable and cost-effective in terms of marketing. Advertising can help you reach the niche audience that you are most interested in and can be an incredible opportunity for securing new customers and raising awareness of your brand.
In acknowledging all of the benefits of creating and maintaining social media accounts, it should be clear what you are missing out on if you're not capitalising. Not only are you marketing to younger generations, such as millennials and Generation Z, but you also have the potential to reach millions of consumers across multiple generations. The bottom line? Using social media for business is not something that you should be avoiding.
Now that you know the importance of social media, ask yourself: how can I harness the power of social media within my own business? Let us know your ideas and plans in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our breakdown of why social media marketing should be a critical aspect of your wider marketing strategy, either!