As part of a global marketing strategy, social media brings your brand to life, allows you to engage directly with your target audience, and expands your reach cost-effectively.
Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing that makes use of the popularity of popular social media networks to achieve marketing and branding objectives. But it’s not just about setting up business accounts and posting whenever you want.
The days of social media platforms being just a place to share cute photos and stay in touch with high school friends are long gone. Over 5 billion people in the world now have at least one social media account. Over 65% of that group uses social media to browse and research new products and services.
Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity that their predecessors did not have even a decade ago: a captive audience of billions of people who visit the same location every day to consume information. Social media marketing is a low-cost, easy way to quickly build a brand. Over 90% of all businesses in the world use social media as part of their overall marketing strategy. Here are some of the most important reasons.
01. Brand recognition
It makes no difference whether the product or service is new or old; today’s market is crowded. Every day, new competitors emerge. So, how do entrepreneurs cut through the clutter to get their brands in front of potential customers? By repeatedly putting their brand in front of the right audience.
Social media is an excellent place to find new customers. As content is posted and then shared by interested viewers, brand reach grows exponentially. As that reach expands and branding is presented to the same audience multiple times, the messaging becomes ingrained in their subconscious, and they naturally recall that product or service when they have a need for it.
Social media, with nearly 2.9 billion active Facebook users alone, has become an effective accelerator for new brands to find their target audience and create stickiness with their messaging.
02. Enhanced web traffic
Websites are an absolute must in today’s hyper-digital, always-connected world. Before speaking with a salesperson or contacting a company, prospective buyers conduct their own online research. And e-commerce business owners understand that a polished, user-friendly website is essential for driving online sales.
Without traffic, even the best website in the world is useless. Social media marketing is a powerful tool for increasing traffic to business websites. A recent Hubspot survey found that 80% of marketers believe that social media posts have a direct impact on increasing web traffic. Businesses keep readers engaged with their website and spending more time browsing through it by linking to landing pages and home pages in social posts and directing followers to blog pages and promotions.
03. Prospect tracking and lead generation
What better way to reach out to potential customers than through a networking platform that allows businesses to interact with users one-on-one? For example, a company may monitor its competitors’ social media pages, and when a dissatisfied customer reports a problem with a product or service, they may contact the customer directly and offer a solution. That same company could look for hashtags or posts about their product and create a targeted ad to reach a specific audience.
Social media influencers are another excellent source of leads and brand recognition. Influencers promote a brand to their network of followers in exchange for a discount or free product or service. These followers may then buy the product or service based on the recommendation.
04. Savings on marketing cost
Entrepreneurship frequently necessitates some level of bootstrapping. The cost per lead is carefully monitored, and the marketing team considers only the most valuable tactics. Because of its broad reach and low cost per lead, social media marketing frequently produces one of the highest returns on investment.
Businesses can use organic social media marketing to post content and product information directly from their profile without incurring ad costs. Of course, the content is primarily restricted to the company’s current followers and their network (if they choose to share or repost the content).
Another way to promote content on social media is through ad targeting. While it has a cost (set in the form of a simple ad budget), it can narrow the audience’s focus to specific demographics or geographies, increasing the likelihood that the viewer will click on the ad and respond to its call to action.
05. Customer interaction
It’s no secret that the general public is generous with their feedback on social media. The internet is brimming with customer communications, ranging from product reviews to angry Tweets. Entrepreneurs can use social media to engage with their customers (and test messaging and new products with prospects). Business owners should not be afraid to solicit feedback from their target audience, and they should be willing to accept it.
Customers can send direct messages to brands via social media in addition to public posts. If an issue arises and a customer posts about a product defect or service issue, the company can reach out to the customer directly with a solution in time to save the sale and retain that customer’s loyalty. In fact, 58% of consumers prefer to receive support via social media over traditional methods such as email or phone.
06. Increased sales
Any company’s goal is to convert browsers into buyers and leads into conversions. Social media not only acts as an interactive catalog for products and services, but it also works in conjunction with the other benefits on this list to convert leads. Brand recognition, increased web traffic, and proactive customer support are all important factors in increasing sales.
As a company’s reach and brand awareness grow, each post becomes more valuable because it reaches a larger percentage of the audience and drives even more web traffic.
07. Make social media marketing effective.
Entrepreneurs who are unfamiliar with social media marketing may be unsure where to begin. With so many platforms to choose from, many new businesses believe they must have a dominant presence on all of them at the same time in order to be successful. The key is to master one or two platforms that cater to the brand’s target demographic before moving on to others.
The next step is to build a great content library and post it frequently. Many new businesses make the mistake of posting frequently at first, then gradually tapering off until their audience hears from them only infrequently. Followers will quickly lose interest in brands that do not consistently deliver engaging content.
Setting up a recurring posts system, which is a huge time saver, is a super-easy way to increase engagement. Certain static posts, such as events, product posts, or happy hours, can be set to be automatically repeated so that you don’t have to think about scheduling or posting them separately for months, or even the rest of the year.
Businesses must ensure that their website is ready for the traffic that social media sites will generate. The company blog should be visible, up to date, and linked to social media platforms. Branding should be consistent across the website and social media platforms so that prospects recognize the brand right away.
As consumers increasingly use digital resources to research and select products and services, social media will gain traction as a focused marketing strategy. There has never been a better time for entrepreneurs to capitalize on social media’s global audience and reach.