Why Social Media Is Important For Business Marketing
If there’s one thing that the digital world can agree on, it’s that social media plays a huge part in the online world today. With over 3.3 billion social media users active today, and a further 50 million small businesses alone utilising Facebook to reach a percentage of these users, it’s clear to see that social media is becoming a strong force in the marketing world. From paid advertising to customer service, utilising social channels can open up a wide range of service for your business, without having to invest a lot of money for the privilege.
With a number of different social channels out there from Facebook and Twitter, to LinkedIn, Tumblr, Snapchat and more, there’s certainly an abundance for your business to choose from. The question is, why is social media important for your businesses marketing? We’re exploring, below.
Table Of Contents
- Boost Your Authority
- Build Brand Awareness
- Show Your Authenticity
- Increase Engagement And Loyalty
- Communicate With Your Customers
- A Cost-Effective Marketing Channel
- Can Social Media Affect SEO?
- Which Social Media Platform Is Best?
Boost Your Authority
As customers become more and more focused on the brand behind the product or service that they’re investing their money into, businesses need to build up a sense of authority and social media offers a platform on which to do so. When consumers go looking for information about a brand, having a strong social presence that’s regularly active, relevant to the market and appears trustworthy and approachable, they are thought to be more likely to respond well to your products and services. Demonstrating your expertise through industry-relevant blogs and articles, responding to influencers within the marketing industry and establishing yourself as a business that can offer value, your customers will feel more confident.
Build Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is the very first step to building a stronger and wider audience – after all, without the awareness that your brand exists, the number of sales and leads can’t grow. Social media is a proven way of growing this, boosting visibility on what has essentially become one of the digital landscapes biggest advertising platforms. You can often do this without spending extortionate amounts on advertising costs, setting smaller budgets for things like Facebook ads dependant on what your brand needs at the time.
By securing a strong social media presence and a tailored strategy, you can target your posts, advertisements and communication towards your chosen target audience, helping to build awareness in the right places and produce higher ROI and lead generation.
Show Your Authenticity
In a similar manner to authority, customers want to know that the brands they are using are authentic, trustworthy and approachable both online and in person. It’s suggested that Millennials look at authenticity above everything else (with the exception of discounts for loyalty) as a reason to choose a brand and with a predicted $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, it’s an audience that many businesses are already catering for.
Increase Engagement and Loyalty
Engagement sits at the very core of social media – after all, these platforms are generally designed with interaction and communication in mind. For businesses, social channels offer the opportunity to engage with their customers right where they are, whether that’s with new features being released, old favourites or a blend of both. It can be difficult to determine what your audience want from your social platforms and what kind of content they will engage with most, and so for the first few weeks, utilising a range of different media types and tracking their success through likes, comments, impressions and more, may ultimately help you determine what your audience engages with most.
Everything from live stories showing the inner workings of your business, to quick, simple yet entertaining videos with just a smartphone and good lighting, can be all you need to capture attention and improve engagement. This kind of content can also have potential and returning customers coming back to your social profiles, ultimately growing customer loyalty.
Communicate With Your Customers
Did you know that around 63% of all customers expect brands to offer a form of customer service on their social media channels? This can be anything from responding to tweets, answering Facebook comments or utilising the chat features on Facebook, Instagram and more. With 90% of social media users already having used their platforms as a way of communicating with companies, it’s time for businesses who don’t currently offer this, to jump on the bandwagon.
With 71% of consumers recommending brands to their friends and family after experiencing good customer service on social media, it’s a clear show that just a simple response to a comment online can lead to growth in your audience, and therefore the number of customers you may receive as a result. With over 92% of consumers thought to trust these recommendations, that’s a significant amount of the market you can reach simply through communication.
A Cost-Effective Marketing Channel
For brands on stricter budgets, social media offers a relatively low-cost option for building up awareness, customer retention and ultimately, growing your brand overall. Not every business, particularly small or start-up companies, can afford extensive marketing campaigns and so social media can act as an affordable, if not completely free supplement to enhancing what they can afford. You can grow your audience organically with a well-executed strategy and invest in ads when the budget allows you to do so.
Can Social Media Affect SEO?
Google is constantly improving its algorithm and as it focuses more and more on expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T), a social media presence can help to encourage Google and other search engines to utilise this presence as a way of determining your brand’s identity, validity, authenticity and consistency.
In the past, social media hasn’t had much of an effect on your SEO ranking, this has been changing constantly. It’s no longer enough to simply optimise your website, and instead, brands are having to think about their reputation across the entirety of the web. This can include reviews, company profiles, your website and, of course, your social media profiles. If you can create a strong social media presence with a positive reputation, this can help to improve upon your E-A-T score and therefore, your ranking in the SERPs.
Which Social Media Platform Is Best?
The platform best for your business ultimately depends on what products or services you offer, your target audience and what they are likely to want from your brand. Take Facebook, for example – This is probably the one social media channel where there will be an audience you can capture regardless of your focus. The split of gender is relatively even, with 54% of women and 46% of all men using the social platform, and age-wise, there is still a fairly balanced user base, however, 25-34-year-olds hold the biggest share.
Instagram, on the other hand, tends to lean towards a younger demographic, with 72% of online 13-17-year-olds and 64% of 18-29-year-olds using the platform regularly. Compared to just 21% of 50-64-year-olds and 10% of 65+-year-olds, there is a clear bias towards the younger generations. The simple and photo-focused platform appeals to this audience, not least due to the fact that both millennials and the iGeneration both favour visual content online. When you consider that Snapchat also has a younger audience, with 69% of 13-17-year-olds utilising the platform, it’s clear to see that visual platforms tend to do well if your audience is of the younger generations.
However, with the likes of Facebook and Twitter both leaning towards visual content, there may not be as much of a split in the future as there currently is. As videos become a staple on our Facebook timelines and Twitter opens it’s arms to longer clips, there’s no limit to what businesses can do on any social platforms. For this reason, it’s important to look at your audience specifically and determine what they are looking for from their social media depending on their likes, dislikes and ongoing trends.
While social media shouldn’t be your only marketing avenue, it’s certainly a powerful force for building your brand, increasing engagement and reaching wider audiences in a more targeted way. Whether you’d benefit from starting up a Facebook page, or your audience tends to be found on Twitter or Instagram, crafting an integrated social media campaign could do your business wonders.
For more information on how our team can help with your social media campaigns, simply get in touch with a member of our team on 0800 088 6000.