Social media is no longer just used for contacting friends and family. These days, it’s become a vital tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Social media can be a great way to market your products or services to your audience. But it can seem a bit overwhelming at times! The benefits of social media definitely outweigh the disadvantages though, so it’s essential that your business utilises social channels to their fullest potential.
As around three billion people use social media, it won’t come as a surprise that over 90% of businesses use social as a marketing tool. Those companies that don’t tackle social media tend to be smaller, so often think it’s not worth the time investment. And it’s easy to see why people have this view, as it can take a while to get any real traction with social platforms.
But once you’ve implemented a social media strategy, and built up an audience, there are a huge number of advantages to getting to grips with social media! We’ve listed the top eight benefits of using social media to market your business below:
1. Brand Awareness
If people haven’t heard of a brand, sadly they are less likely to buy it. Regardless of how superior your products may be when compared to those of your competitors, if they have better brand recognition, they’ll probably get more sales. Thankfully, social media offers a great opportunity to increase your brand awareness.
With social media, you can get your brand in front of your target audience pretty much instantly, and it’s easy to remind people of your existence on a regular basis. There is a general rule in marketing that people need to see something seven times before they take action. So it’s not enough to only post an update on your social channels every few weeks – you need to be regularly posting content to create brand awareness.
You should also ensure that the content you’re creating is both engaging and visually appealing. Try to produce posts that people will want to like and share! Just don’t stray from your brand in order to do this, otherwise people may not realise where the content originated.
2. Hype and Conversation
Your audience wants to feel connected to your brand, and with social media, this process is much simpler. You don’t need to get too personal, but if you open up the conversation via social platforms, users will become much more engaged. Customers like being heard, and enjoy interacting directly with a brand, particularly a well known one.
So if people start commenting on your posts, try and respond. Your audience needs to know that there are real people behind the brand, and that they’re not just speaking with a faceless corporation. You can also try asking open-ended questions in your social posts, so that people are more likely to respond, or offer prizes for likes and comments. The latter can also be a good way of building up a bit of hype around your brand.
3. Increase Traffic
You can use social media to direct traffic to your main site if you include links to your homepage or specific landing pages. Most social media platforms allow you to embed these in the post, with the exception of Instagram. With Instagram, you can put a link in your bio, or use handy tools like Linktree, which allows you to list a host of links.
You may wish to consider using short links in your post, which makes them look less intimidating and saves on space. Sites like Buffer (a great social media scheduling platform) will do this for you automatically, or you can use bit.ly to shorten your links.
4. Boost Conversion
Social media can have a brilliant ROI (Return on Investment). You can reach a huge audience for little cost, and target people that are more likely to be interested in your product. Getting that kind of reach elsewhere is almost impossible.
You can even remarket to your audience with social media, through running retargeting ads. These are based on the data taken from cookies – there are lots of retargeting tools you can use, most of which are incredibly straightforward. And if you use obvious calls to action (CTAs) in these ads, you’re more likely to encourage users to perform the required task.
5. SOCIAL LISTENING
You can not only engage with your audience through speaking with them directly, social media also allows you to connect with people through social listening. This is essentially where you monitor what people are saying about your industry and brand, and then respond to any issues or questions they may have. For instance, if a lot of people were struggling to assemble a particular product, you could then post a video tutorial on how to go about doing this, or a step-by-step guide.
Social listening is also a great way to find out more about your audience in terms of their language and tone. If you’re marketing to a younger audience, they are likely to use a lot of abbreviations, as well as memes and pop culture references. You may not want to mimic this style of writing, but you do need to make sure your posts speak to your target demographic, and are accessible to them.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter furthermore allow you to find out keywords your audience are using in relation to your brand. Simply view the insights these channels offer, and you can start formulating a strategy on what to do with this information – it will largely depend on whether the words are positive or negative!
6. BUILD LOYALTY
There is a pretty clear correlation between people following your brand and customer loyalty. If they are interested enough to learn more about who you are, or simply find your content engaging, they will probably choose you over the competition.
A few tips to improve customer loyalty include giving away small, inexpensive things, and offering promo codes and discounts to loyal customers. With the former, you also have the chance to get your brand out there – if you give away things like t-shirts or stickers with your logo on them, the receivers will become instant brand advocates!
7. IT’S PRETTY CHEAP!
In terms of digital marketing, social media advertising is one of the cheapest methods out there. You can get a lot of traction without spending much on your social campaign. You don’t even need to pay to use social channels if you don’t want to, though your reach can be more limited. If you’re patient, you can organically grow your audience through posting regular, engaging content.
One thing to remember when posting anything with a specific call to action, such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Get 20% Off’ is that you will need to pay for reach. Social platforms pick up on such content, and will limit your reach if you haven’t paid for it as an advertisement. And unless it’s a paid ad, it may just look like spam.
8. ANALYSING DATA AND TESTING
It’s pretty straightforward to analyse the results of a social campaign, at least on a basic level. You can see how often your posts have been liked, shared, or commented on, which can give a fairly good indication of reach.
It is also simple to A/B test on social media platforms. You can try posting similar content on one platform, and seeing which one does better. The platforms themselves may offer analytics on your posts too. The only thing to be careful with is trying to A/B test across different platforms – as they perform in contrasting ways, and you probably won’t have the same number of followers, the results aren’t likely to be accurate.