By Velly Angelova Although a relatively new phenomenon, social media is rapidly turning into a vital part of the modern marketing mix. Speaking of the so called social media revolution, nowadays managing a flexible presence on each of the "BIG THREE" (Facebook, Twitter and Google+), has become a MUST for any marketer striving to bring his or her business up to speed. What better proof than 665 million of daily active users on Facebook and over 500 million registered accounts on Twitter? Lacking social profiles on platforms such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Stumbleupon, and Reddit would be a strategic miss for those companies looking to reach greater exposure in the digital market.
Here are some quick facts showing the tremendous role of social media in today’s business world, as per the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report:
- A significant 86% of marketers said that social media was important to their businesses.
- By spending as little as 6 hours per week, 64%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media.
- 75% of marketers reporting positive results in terms of traffic increase as one of the major benefits of social media.
- A significant 89% of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure.
- More than half of marketers who have used social media marketing for over 3 years reported an increase in sales over that period.
Now that we have understood the influence of social media on your target market, let’s discover the applied benefits it offers to your business.
1. Showcase Your Brand
Handling a strong social media presence is an efficient way to build your company’s reputation and showcase your business. By regularly updating your prospects on all the brand and social happenings, they subconsciously start to view your company as an authority. Once you define your business objective--whether creating brand awareness, relationship building or driving new sales--you can work in parallel on all of them. It is just a question of how well you will manage to position your business on the major social media networks.
2. Develop a loyal community of prospects
In reality people simply enjoy being part of a business that is proactively building a lively community. Studies have discovered that customers would purchase from businesses with an active Facebook fan page rather than without. An emotional connection with your prospects will vouch for your positive business reputation. Community strength is a very powerful branding force, and social media offers exactly this kind of relationship-building opportunity that is virtually limitless. From a marketing perspective, it delivers the best chances for brands to create a massive community of loyal and active customers.
3. Increase digital exposure
If you are eager to be found among the millions of sites on the web, you sure need to work hard on enhancing your social presence. Social media leads to massive exposure due to its worldwide access, sharing capabilities, and huge amount of daily users. It delivers instant information in the digital marketplace, thus giving businesses the ability to advertise their products, going beyond distance. Statistics have proven that interacting in social media networks even 2-3 times per week can significantly increase your online presence in both the traditional and digital market space, while you are building new relationships outside the four walls of your office.
4. Enhance company trustworthiness
Social media channels are proactive tools when it comes to increasing your company trustworthiness. By closely communicating with your clients on a social media level, you become a trusted source of information which makes it a great asset when creating company awareness and brand credibility. Social media can be a great source of customer service, transforming negative customer’s experience into a positive outcome for your business. Always keep in mind that customer satisfaction is the key to retention and in the long run it is loyalty awarding to your brand.
5. Expand sales
Getting speed access to consumers' feedback is undoubtedly going to jump-start your sales results. Prospects are more likely to become customers if you respond to their specific requirements in a prompt and personal manner. Social media helps you easily discover your customers’ preferences so that you can: focus on meeting their special needs and expectations, gain proficiency in that exact niche, excel your product list, and research your competitors. Believe it or not, this will do the trick for your business and will monetize your efforts.
6. Boost traffic and search engine ranking
Social media channels are major generators, constantly bringing high volume of traffic to your webpage. That has brought to life the idea of integrating social media to companies' websites as a way to convert leads into prospects. Website builders, such as Puzl, now offer an option to connect your page with social media and share your business updates with a click. The more channels you participate in, the more the traffic to be reached online. In regard to the search engine benefits, the truth is that Google likes social media. In recent years, the search giant has allowed live tweets from Twitter to appear in search results, together with personal profiles and Facebook business pages. Businesses can easily use that privilege by optimizing keywords in the title and description in a way that reflects the search queries. Combining SEO efforts with social media will become a powerful mix to help maximize your marketing efforts.
7. Cut marketing costs
Social media marketing is one of the most affordable ways to brand your business. In the past years it has solidly taken over traditional print marketing and advertising. Promoting your products on social media platforms will increase your return on investment (ROI). With a strong social media strategy you can achieve business miracles in the market. Using social media lets your advertising opportunities grow exponentially, while energizing your PR efforts without a huge money and time commitment.
Social media has become an imperative for all brands looking to be a part of the digital market and create buzz around their business. Although the importance of social media in today’s business landscape is indisputable, businesses are still not making the most of its full potential. It simply takes creativity, passion, and consistency to keep your social media campaigns ruling and rolling. Regardless of the serious competition, there are millions of people waiting to be reached.
Don’t let your competitors beat you out in the socialsphere. Your next prospect could possibly come from social media.