It’s not just talk or gossip; it’s the truth. Social media is no longer an option — it’s a necessity.
In the age of social everything, your business can no longer choose to not participate. By being present in the social spaces your customers and prospects use, you are able to reach them in less interruptive ways along their customer journey.
But that’s not all you have to gain from being present in the social space…
6 Benefits of using social media for business
All aboard the social media express! Let’s explore six the reasons why your brand simply must be on social.
1. Gain fans and increase brand awareness
Your customers and potential new customers are on social media. Plain and simple.
Statista reports that last year, 81 percent of the U.S. population had a social networking profile, and this number has only continued to grow, year over year. Currently, it is estimated that there are 2.34 billion social media users worldwide, and by 2020 there are expected to be a whopping 2.95 billion users. That’s a lot of potential new fans.
Additionally, according to a study published by Hubspot, 69 percent of marketers who used social media for at least one year found it useful for building a loyal fan base.
And I’ll throw one more stat in for ya: Over 60 percent of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform. So, if you want to get your brand in front of more eyeballs and grow your fan base, social is the way!
2. Higher brand loyalty
We’ve all heard the statistic: It’s five times more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. In today’s market, where customers are bombarded with a variety of options, this adage has never been truer.
Back in the good old days, brand loyalty blossomed when a customer loved a product. Present day, things are not so black and white.
Customers today hold all of the buying power, and they know it. Now, brand loyalty is a two-way street, with customers expecting brands to provide them with something in return for their dedication. And this, my friends, is where social media lends a helping hand.
Studies show that 53 percent of all Americans and 66 percent of Americans age 18 to 24 who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands—So yes, social media marketing IS a key piece in building brand loyalty.
3. Humanize your company
Done correctly, social media can help humanize your brand and make it more authentic in the minds of consumers. And as it turns out, today’s consumers place a high value on authentic and honest brands.
Global PR firm Cohn & Wolf conducted a study of more than 12,000 people and found that the top qualities customers want to see from a brand are “communicating honestly about products and services” and “acting with integrity at all times.” In addition, a separate study found that more than half of adults don’t trust a brand until they have seen “real-world proof” that the brand is keeping its promises.
So how are you to prove to wary consumers that your brand is trustworthy? Use social media to show the human side of your brand!
Pull back the curtain and allow users to see what your brand is really about. Show your audience how you are adhering to your brand’s mission and values, show the people behind your brand, show your regular day-to-day. This is one of the key advantages of using social media for business.
Social also helps humanize your brand by allowing you to form real relationships with users by engaging with them, starting conversations, and responding to their concerns.
4. More opportunities for conversions
You should think of social media in this way: Every single social post is a new opportunity for a customer to convert. Note that I didn’t say that every social interaction will lead to a conversion, but with each positive social interaction, you are increasing the chance of conversion.
Your following will be filled with customers and prospects, and each piece of info you share is a chance to grab their attention. From blog posts to videos to curated industry content, each piece is an opportunity! Creating these opportunities is pivotal to small business marketing strategies that work.
5. Less advertising cost
Social media is one of the most cost-efficient digital marketing tactics you can use.
In fact, HubSpot reports that almost 84 percent of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as 6 hours per week invested in social media marketing. We’re talking about just one hour of labor per day to see some serious results!
Additionally, if you want to put some advertising dollars behind your social posts, paid social media ads can be a very cheap form of advertising, especially Twitter and Facebook. There are many advantages of advertising agencies, but they come at a cost that can’t compete with the value of using social media to advertise. Even when it comes to digital ads, the average CTR for AdWords can rarely be achieved at a lower cost-per-click than social media can garner.
Social media can truly help you get more bang for your buck!
6. Establish credibility
When it comes down to it, having established and active social media accounts is a huge part of creating a brand, and makes your company look more professional, legit and in the know.
It’s not uncommon for prospects to look your company up on social media to see how active you are. They use your social profiles as a way of validating your authority—Because let’s be honest, a company with 5,000 followers seems a lot more credible than a company with only 50 followers.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if you’re selling hamburgers or multi-million-dollar equipment—Your brand belongs on at least one, if not more, social platforms.
And if you’re not using social media already, you better get on board. Because you’ve already been left behind.