With all the marketing channels available, should your company focus on social media marketing? If you sell anything online, then the answer is yes. Every company from mom and pop to multi-channel industrial behemoths benefit when they are active on social media.
Each social platform has a unique audience. Companies can target those audiences, segmenting them by multiple specific demographics and interests. It’s the most cost-effective method of advertising businesses can use. However, social media is more than a business tool. It’s a vital communication link between consumers and the company.
If you’re on the fence about investing time and money into social media marketing (SMM), here are ten good reasons to hop over and get started. To learn more, Check out this resource on effective ways Instagram stories help grow your business.
1. Improved Brand Awareness
Did you know that 90% of people with social accounts have used them to communicate directly with businesses? Adding a social media strategy into your marketing mix increases brand visibility and recognition. It’s the perfect opportunity to share the latest news and product updates directly with your target audience. Unlike email, your message doesn’t get filtered out. Your content has a broader reach, and the brand becomes more familiar to new leads and current customers.
When you target the right channels for your prospects and customers, they begin to see your brand in more places. This increased visibility helps to gain their trust and can increase their interest in a repeat purchase.
2. It's Where Your Customers Are
59% of people visit a social site every day, and a third of those people check their accounts over five times per day! A business that posts regularly becomes more engaging to their prospects.
There are over 800 social channels, making it easier for marketers to target the right demographics. For example, Pinterest’s users are 68% female and 32%, male. LinkedIn users are 35 or older, and the most followed brand on Instagram is Nike. When you know your audience, you can concentrate on the social arenas they frequent.
The top 6 media channels are still the best place for any business to start their social media marketing:
Monthly Active Users (MAUs) for these sites are in the billions and growing. Marketers can target specific demographics based on their gender, age, location, interests, the brands they like, hobbies, or other specific interests.
3. Improved Brand Loyalty & Retargeting
As consumers, we all want to shop at a store where the staff pays attention to us. It’s human nature. It’s the same with online shoppers. By interacting with them, answering questions, or acknowledging concerns, customers are more likely to be loyal to the brand.
By working with a retargeting partner, you can retarget shoppers who abandoned their cart, by serving ads to them on their social platform. Facebook and Instagram are two prime examples. Through machine learning, your retargeting partner will continuously improve at displaying targeted ads to the right person, reducing abandoned carts. It’s another way of showing that you are attentive to your customer’s needs.
SMM is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising. It’s three times less expensive than traditional media. As an example, shown below is a brief cross-channel analysis of the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of advertising.
Cost Per Thousand Impressions
- Direct Mail - $57
- Broadcast TV - $28
- Magazine - $16
- Newspaper - $16
- Radio - $10
- Billboards - $5
- Social Media - $2.50
Social media marketing cuts costs without sacrificing results. The most significant investment is the time to create and publish content, as well as having conversations with your customers. However, the time spent is minimal when compared to the returns. According to HubSpot, 84% of marketers generated increased traffic with a weekly commitment of only 6 hours.
5. Marketplace Awareness from The Source
One of the greatest advantages to marketers is the marketplace awareness that social media provides. Market awareness is understanding the customer’s needs. By monitoring your social accounts, they are more than willing to let you know.
It’s like having personal conversations with hundreds of shoppers and learning their thoughts and opinions. You can observe customers’ interests and views that you might not know otherwise. And, you can respond to problems immediately rather than letting them fester.
6. Genuine Customer Satisfaction
Customers want the companies they follow to be trustworthy and to provide excellent service. Replying to comments in a personal way is one of the best ways a company can value and respect its customers. That includes prompt responses to negative feedback.
Responding to customers as soon as possible demonstrates that the company is engaged and interested in them. 88% of consumers polled say that they are less likely to buy from a merchant that doesn’t respond to customer comments or complaints.
It’s worth the effort to respond to every query with a direct, personalized message.
7. Building More Brand Authority
Online shoppers are skeptical of almost everything. That’s why 93% of shoppers say that online reviews impact their buying decision. Positive reviews help take the risk out of a buying decision by proving a business’s credibility and authority. The more Facebook likes and Twitter followers a company gathers, the more brand authority the brand receives.
Building authority on social platforms means posting quality content regularly. It’s about interacting with customers frequently. The more relevant the content, the more opportunities you have to demonstrate your expertise.
8. Increased Organic Traffic
Another beneficial aspect of a social media strategy is the increase in website traffic. Sharing valuable content on social provides shoppers with links directly to your site. The more content and links you can share, the more traffic and conversion opportunities you’ll have.
Interesting content gives users a reason to click through to your website. Convert your best content for social users, such as tips, videos, or infographics, to encourage engagement and drive traffic back to your site.
74% of consumers share video content from brands. The more actively you post a video or other content, the more opportunities you have to engage new leads and convert them into customers.
9. Enhanced SEO Rankings
While the official party line at Google denies that social affects a website’s ranking, other marketing experiments disagree. Various reports show that there is a correlation between the average number of shares, comments, and likes on social networks and the site’s rank.
A company’s social profile ranks in search engines. For example, if you do a Google search of the cosmetics company “Chanel,” you’ll see links to their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts listed on the first SERP.
All successful brands have a consistent social presence, which may act as an indicator to search engines that the brand is valuable, credible, and has authority. Though the ranking factors are forever changing, you can bet that an active social presence will boost your rankings. Be sure to update your profile regularly.
10. Experience Higher Conversion Rates
We’ve already discussed how consistently posting quality content builds rapport and establishes your company as an authority. But does it increase conversions?
Inbound marketing company HubSpot, claims a 100% higher lead-to-close ratio using Social than with other outbound tactics. For example, BigCommerce created three shorter video Facebook ad campaigns from an existing video. The results returned free trial conversions 3x higher than the previous campaign.
Why does Social media bring such superior results? It’s the ability to humanize your brand messaging. Social networks are places where people exchange information. Brands can show the human side of their brand, building relationships, and trust, leading to higher conversions.
Make Social Media a Priority
Shoppers trust the brands that interact with them on social. One study showed that 95% of all online shoppers from 18 to 34-years-old follow brands on their social networking platforms. Social channels are the best way for businesses to get to understand their audiences. By interacting with people on social media, marketers can see what drives customers.
Brand recognition, customer loyalty, increased conversions, and cost-effectiveness are excellent reasons to make social media marketing a priority for your company. It offers plenty of opportunities to measure conversions and other metrics to see if ROI’s are worth the effort.
There are still 3.2 billion users on social sites almost every day. That’s 42% of the world’s population. If you haven’t created a social media strategy, there is no better time to jump in.