It is safe to say that most businesses today are on at least one social media platform.
According to Social Media Examiner’s 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, a whopping 92% of the 2,800 marketers surveyed revealed that social media is important for their business. This percentage is up from 86% in 2013.
A 2014 article via Entrepreneur shares stats from another study which was conducted by LinkedIn and market research firm TNS. Their study includes survey results from top decision-makers for approximately 1,000 SMBs (small and medium-sized business). They discovered the following about social media use in this group:
- 81 percent use social media to drive growth
- 94 percent said they use social media as a marketing tool
- 90 percent called social media effective in building awareness
These statistics show how significant social media has become for business growth and success, don’t you think? As well, it is of growing importance that all businesses have a presence on social media.
Here are 10 reasons why social media is a crucial part of any business’ marketing plan
1) Social media gives businesses an opportunity to promote their brand without being pushy
There is nothing else quite like social media in the ways it lets businesses share what they are and what they do. For one thing, social offers businesses with a safe and open outlet where they can be “themselves,” and introduce their products and/or solutions without being sales-y.
2) It lets a business be where their target audience is
Sure, there are a lot of celebrities and teenagers using social media. However, there are also plenty of “regular” people – and your potential clients – using it as well. Establishing your business on social media helps you find your target audience, and lets them find you as well.
3) Enables your audience to find you more easily
This goes along with reason #2. If your business is active on social media then your online audience can find and follow you.
4) Allows a business to establish trust and relationships with its audience
Establishing a social media presence and finding a target audience is only the beginning of using social media as a business. The next steps involve interacting with that audience through replying, responding and sharing information. This proves effective for businesses as a way of gaining the trust of potential and current clients and building relationships with them.
Which leads to reason #5!
5) Opens the doors for engagement and 2-way conversations with potential clients
Starting and having conversations on social media is nearly effortless. Although some people feel uncomfortable having conversations with businesses in person, social media allows them a chance for having conversations with businesses without the pressure.
6) Helps businesses keep tabs on their online reputation
Knowing what other people are saying about you is essential for a business. Social media provides an excellent place for people to either air their grievances or sing their praises about businesses. If people are saying negative things about your business, you can easily learn those details online. Being able to turn a negative into a positive often makes a big difference for your business and your customers.
7) Gives your business the opportunity to receive and quickly address customer service issues with current clients
This one goes hand-in-hand with reason #4. The sooner you find out about customer service issues, the sooner you can resolve them.
8) Provides a way for businesses to spread their content further and wider
If your business has a regular blog and/or e-newsletter, then being on social media becomes even more important. Social media is one of the most effective and efficient ways to distribute your content to a larger audience. As more people view and share your social content, they help exposure your brand and content within their own audiences.
This exposure may also help boost your business website’s SEO, which leads into reason #9!
9) Social media helps drive traffic to your business website
Having a presence on social media is one of the best methods for driving traffic to your business website. People may be attracted to your social media profile(s) because of your blog posts or the other content you share from your website.
The more people who like and share your content through social media, the more potential eyeballs you gain. This helps lead more people to your website, where they can learn even more about you and your business – and hopefully become interested and start conducting business with you.
10) Maintaining a social media presence is much less expensive overall than traditional advertising
And last…but certainly not least…involves the overall cost of building and maintaining a social media presence.
Social media is not free, but costs can range from minimal to not-so-minimal. For example, one of your largest expenditures may include hiring a person or agency who specifically handles your business’ social media accounts and communities. However, the cost (which is often still less than traditional advertising campaigns) is certainly worth it once the social media marketing efforts produce qualified leads who become satisfied client
Is your business using social media in its marketing mix? If not, what has been holding you back? Hopefully the reasons above will help you understand how other businesses are using social media with success, and how it can help you, too.