According to recent data, more than 3.6 billion people across the globe were using social media, a number that is expected to reach nearly 4.41 billion by 2025. With nearly half of the global population using various social media platforms, it’s only natural for business owners to consider making social media marketing a part of their business plan. Additionally, with the majority of businesses already using social media for marketing purposes, you open yourself up to be surpassed by your competitors. After all, if you aren’t promoting yourself on social media, someone offering similar services probably is.
Of course, social media marketing isn’t just about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It also offers a number of unique benefits that can help business leaders expand their business. Simply put, if you’re not taking advantage of social media marketing, you’re missing out on arguably the fastest and most effective way to reach new customers. If you need convincing though, here are just 10 of the ways that social media can help your business grow!
1. Bolster Brand Recognition
Nearly half of the world’s population is on one social media platform or another, so it’s only natural that it would be a good place for reaching new and highly targeted potential customers. From a marketing perspective, the level of exposure offered by social media is too good to pass up. Not only are social media platforms an excellent way to learn about new brands or products, but their very nature makes them ideal for building relationships with existing customers as well, helping to build a loyal customer base that’s enthusiastic about you and your brand.
2. Generate New Leads
Social media is one of the easiest ways for customers to express interest in your business and your products. It is also one of the methods that require the least commitment. If you wish, you can invest money into Facebook ads or other paid lead generation strategies, but even just having an active social media account offers people a simple method for reaching out regarding your services.
3. Increase Search Engine Visibility
Whether it’s your social media profile or your online store, the easiest way to draw in potential customers online is through online search engines. Many don’t realize that search engine rankings tend to favor peer-endorsed websites like Facebook or Twitter. Additionally, if your other sites are talking about you and linking to your main website, then search engine algorithms will assume your site is of a high-quality and will be ranked higher accordingly.
4. Drive Website Traffic
Even if you primarily want to deal with customers via your business website, the fact is that social media can often serve as a gateway to your website. This means that every engagement and interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to guide new visitors to your site. That’s why you should be sure to maintain all of your various promotional channels: every broken link in the chain makes it harder for people to find you.
5. Strengthen Audience Engagement & Trust
Social media isn’t just a platform for promoting and selling your products or services: it’s an opportunity to connect with your customers on a personal level. By presenting your brand in an authentic and engaging manner, it is easier for customers to relate to you and your business, which in turn makes them more willing to work with you.
6. Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader
Out of the many ways to build consumer trust, one of the most important is by establishing your brand as a thought leader: a go-to-source for information related to your area of expertise. Posting timely and informative content on topics that fall within your niche demonstrates that you are knowledgeable and engaged with what is going on in your field.
7. Build Your Brand’s Story
Whether you know it or not, every brand has a story. Generally, it derives from a business leader’s goals and values, which help define why they started their business in the first place. Not only does this help to humanize your brand, making it easier for people to connect with it on a personal level, but it also gives you a point of distinction from your competitors.
8. Provide Fast & Efficient Customer Service
The most valuable resource that a company can have is the loyalty of its customer base, and the best way to build and maintain that loyalty is by delivering a high-quality customer service experience. Your social media presence will ultimately serve as one of the fastest and most convenient methods for customers to contact you with questions or concerns, giving you the opportunity to act quickly.
9. Pay Attention Through Social Listening
It’s always important to know what is important to your customer base, and social listening is one of the fastest and most effective ways to do it. Social listening refers to monitoring social conversations around certain topics that are relevant to your brand. Doing so helps you understand what your audience thinks about your business, what trends your audience is following, and what type of language or tone that they tend to use. This makes it easier to tailor your future content towards your target audience and their likes, needs, and interests.
10. Find Potential Business Partners
Social media isn’t just a way for brands to communicate with customers: it’s an opportunity for business leaders to learn from one another. If you know where to look, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are home to a number of supportive communities dedicated to bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs. In particular, FUSE Business Training is known for bringing together business owners from many different industries, so if you’re looking to expand your sphere of influence, we’re a great place to start!
Mark Buckner is a freelance writer and editor from Hammond, Indiana. A recent graduate of Purdue University Northwest, he has edited two books and written on topics ranging from social media to science fiction film. At this time, he is open to other freelance writing and editing opportunities.