Why Social Media is Crucial to the Success of Your Business
Your brand doesn’t really exist unless it can be found online and is well-represented across a variety of Social Media platforms. If brands aren’t regularly interacting with their followers and proving that they are an expert in their industry, consumers are going to turn a blind eye when searching for a product or service.
Now more than ever, consumers are using Social Media as a search engine to make purchasing decisions. If they are searching for a new salon in their area, they may check Google or Bing but are most certainly going to rely on at least a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram presence to check the validity of a salon before trusting them with their hair care.
We’ve compiled 12 facts that business owners need to know about Social Media and how it is crucial to the success of their business in the twenty-first century and today, we’re sharing the first six.
1. Increased Brand Awareness and Loyalty
There are many benefits to using Social Media, including introducing people to your brand. With more than two-thirds of the country actively using Social Media on a daily basis, it is the perfect channel for promoting your brand and content to a new audience of potential customers. If you have a presence on Social Media, it also makes it easier for your customers to find you.
A report by Texas Tech University found that brands who actively post and interact with their customers on Social Media have a more loyal customer base, compared to those who don’t. When you start posting more content that is engaging your customers or potential customers, rather than just posting content and hoping that someone stumbles upon it, you become less of a corporation and more of a community of people who share values and interests.
Another study by The Social Habit found that 53% of Americans who are ages 12 and above that follow brands on Social Media are more loyal to those brands over others. Customer retention is just as important (if not more) than acquisition, so finding ways to keep your customers as repeat purchasers of your products and services is a very valuable asset.
2. Gain Valuable Customer Insights
Although Social Media is mainly thought of as a marketing tool for reaching customers no matter where they are, it’s also very helpful in generating a huge amount of data on your customers in real-time.
Since today’s consumers are constantly engaged with their smartphones, this allows marketers to stay connected to their target audience around the clock. Every day, there are over 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion Facebook Likes, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. Although these numbers seem staggering, think of the potential reach you have when posting content and the wealth of information that you have access to! Social Media allows you to find out who your customers are, what products they like and even how they feel about your brand. You can also gain valuable demographic data through basic tools such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights to see who really is engaging with your brand.
Who you are reaching through your content might be different than who you thought your target market was. Make sure to regularly analyze this data and make adjustments to your Social Media and Content strategies accordingly. Through actively engaging your customers daily and through social listening, you can gather useful customer information that can help guide you to make smarter business decisions for your company.
3. Run-Targeted Ads with Real-Time Results
Social Advertising is an extremely powerful marketing tool that is both an effective and inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute your content. With the extensive list of targeting options available (especially in the Facebook Ads Platform), you can easily reach the right audience with just a few clicks of your mouse.
If you are running a Facebook Advertising Campaign, the list of targeting options is almost unending. You can target based on demographics, behaviors, interests, and connections to efficiently reach your target market. The Facebook Ads Dashboard also allows you to track and measure your results in real-time and easily make adjustments to maximize the performance of your campaign.
4. Generate Higher Converting Leads
Social Media is a great way to provide timely customer service by efficiently responding to comments, reviews, or posts to your Social Media sites. Each post you make on your Social Media platforms provides another opportunity for customers to convert. Once you have built up your Social Community, you will have continued access to old customers, new customers, and recent purchasers. Although not every interaction with your brand will result in a conversion, each positive interaction you have with a consumer is an opportunity for a future conversion.
The key to success is staying in front of your customer base so they are more likely to think of your company next time they are looking to purchase the particular product or service you sell. In a 2015 study by MHI Global on Sales Best Practices, Social Media was rated as the most effective way to identify key decision makers and new business opportunities by world-class companies.
5. Increase Website Traffic and Search Ranking
Staying active on your Social Media profiles is not only good for engaging with your customers, but also for increasing the amount of traffic that your website receives. Maintaining a successful Social Media presence will help to improve the amount of referral traffic your website receives, which could play an essential role in your sales funnel.
Additionally, Social Media is becoming a more important focus as an SEO ranking signal. The more your brand is talked about or mentioned on Social Media sources, the more likely Google is to recognize that you are popular and have content that is worth discussing or sharing. When Google recognizes your website as more authoritative, it is one of the many signals that helps your website rank better in organic SEO.
6. Keep Better Tabs on Competitors
Through Social Media Monitoring tools, you can keep better tabs on your competitors and gain key information about their business strategies. Having access to this kind of information can help you to make more strategic business decisions for your own company and stay ahead of the competition.
Monitoring not only your brand’s name and your competitor’s brands, but also industry keywords and top-selling products is a best practice for a Social Monitoring program. Falling behind in your industry is not something you want to have to try and overcome. If your competitors are able to create a trusted relationship with your customers first, their brand loyalty is something that is going to be hard for you to win over.
Using Social Monitoring tools can help you to find loopholes in your competitor’s products or services, so you can be quicker at providing more problem-solving solutions or product enhancements they may be missing.
Social Media is many times simply misunderstood. Its impact reaches far beyond what most people believe. And we’re only halfway down our list! Check back next week as we share the final six ways to best utilize your company’s Social Media.