12 Reasons Social Media is Essential to Your Digital Strategy
It’s official! SEM and social media have dominated the digital advertising industry and they’re only becoming stronger as they develop the features and tools available to users. Despite new players, such as SnapChat and LinkedIn, gaining speed in terms of advertising capacity, Facebook still remains the leader among its social peers and, regardless of what you sell of who you’re selling to, it is an essential asset to your digital strategy.
What can social media do for my business?
By leveraging shareable content and capitalising on the advanced targeting options available to the business user, with social media, your brand can send the right message to the right audience, at the right time and return some incredibly positive financial outcomes for your business. It is a must-have element to any digital strategy and here’s why…
- Free Exposure
When looking at social media as a marketing tool, the first positive is staring you right in the face. This form of advertising is totally free! Organic posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, LinkedIn and various other platforms available for social engagement fits every single budget and can cost you absolutely nothing at all if your business can’t currently allocate spend. If you’re willing to take the reigns on your own account social media is as cheap as it gets.
In the case that your creativity is somewhat lacking and the prospect of interacting with people online is daunting to you, lining up an account manager to do it all for you is definitely worth the expense. Inconsistency and lacklustre content on social media can be a huge detriment to the credibility of your brand, so the expertise of someone who knows what they’re doing and is on top of the latest trends will likely provide you with a healthy return on your investment.
- Brand Awareness & Loyalty
With exposure comes brand awareness. This awareness is your bread and butter. If no one knows about your business, you can’t possibly expect to make a sale. As Generation Z begins to infiltrate the workforce, it has never been more important to have a solid social media representation. Most consumers under 35 will use Facebook as a reliable source of information about the company, and as a measure for legitimacy of your business within the industry. You don’t want to be underperforming on social media when a potential customer comes across you page!
A strong social media presence also inspires loyalty in your customers as they come to see your business less as a corporation, and more as a united bunch of people with a single vision. This breaks down the corporate walls and allows consumers to see you as you truly are.
- Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website
Social media is a great way to incite intrigue in everyday consumers about your products and services and strategically designed content boosted across social media can drive more qualified traffic towards your brand.
- Boost Your Site’s SEO
A positive social media presence could see your Google rankings skyrocket! Your social engagement is monitored and measured by the powerful search engine, earning you higher authority the more activity takes place on your accounts. Not only does the social activity win you “Google points,” the traffic driven to your site from your social pages will boost your organic Google ranking, too. Ensuring you have a detailed and effective content strategy in place for your social pages will make all the difference once you get up there competing for the highest rank.
- Build Relationships
With engaging content and a solid strategy, you can build strong brand/consumer relationships. Not only does social media provide your business the opportunity to send marketing messages to your audience, it also provides you with a detailed insight into the daily lives of the very people you are targeting.
On a B2B (business to business) level, you can connect with like-minded, non-competing brands on social media. Many leading brand relationships are built through linking and sharing content across social platforms. This is a great way to “cross-promote” to each other’s social following and expand your audience further.
- Reach a Relaxed Consumer
Social media users aren’t in defensive shopping mode. Their guard is down because they treat it as a social space, rather than a marketplace, which makes them more receptive to your message. Rather than seeing your post as an advertisement and disengaging, they are more likely to be open and take in what you have to say. When well-executed and strategically linked, this translates to significant web traffic and multiple shares to a widespread audience.
- Home in On Your Audience
It is really easy to tailor your marketing messages to specific audiences on social media using the marketing tools available on the platform. For example, you can advertise your products and services to individuals based on age, location, education level, interests, industry and even their purchase history.
- Inspire Repeat Business
Social media also allows remarketing. Remarketing is the word we give to specifically targeting and engaging with repeat visitors and/or customers. By installing a pixel on your site or imputing email addresses from your database, you can retarget the users who have already clicked an ad or those who have already made a purchase from your site. These people are more qualified and more likely to convert into leads and sales.
- Receive Honest Feedback and Respond Immediately
While many businesses may shy away from the prospect of instant and honest feedback, businesses keen to grow and develop should jump at the opportunity to hear directly from their consumers. Business is no place for ego and, if there is a problem with your product or service, you should want to know about it. Feedback on social media marketing can help you make the right moves to solve the recurring issues. No one expects a business to be perfect 100% of the time and studies have proven that responses to customer complaints will be a favourable reflection on your brand.
- Modernise Your Business
Taking advantage of new platforms shows that your business is innovative and forward thinking. However, social media, in the general sense, is no longer a new advertising medium. If you are not on social media, you are officially behind the times. “91% of brands are using more than one social media platform.” Your competition is on social, so why aren’t you?
Social media may be free but, the later you jump on the bandwagon, the harder it is to catch your competition. If they get to the potential customers before you, they are likely to win when it comes to loyalty. Gain friends and followers before your competitors by consistently interacting with your audience across an array of networks.
- Increase Sales
Now you’re talkin’! If you have an active social media presence, you will increase your total sales. 70% of B2C (business to consumer) businesses have acquired customers through Facebook! It’s not rocket science that staying visible to your consumers will result in a higher chance of purchase once there becomes a need for your product or service. Further to that, using social media platforms to provide consistent incentive for the consumer to buy (through the use of coupon codes, competitions or other promotions) makes your audience feel appreciated and nurtures them to make that important first purchase or successive purchases.
- Unbeatable Return on Investment (ROI)
Social media ads, when monitored and optimised effectively, can provide you with a huge return. While SEM (AdWords) is up there for cost effectiveness, the average cost per click is between $1 and $2. With social media, you can direct traffic to your website or landing page for as little as 12 cents per click. This is incredibly cheap in the digital space and can provide you with uncapped financial rewards.
So, there you have it! There really is no reason not to use the ever-expanding social network to your marketing advantage. If you need some help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the strategists at Webcentral to see what we can do for your business’ social media presence today!