While the term “social” is commonly associated with hanging out with friends, the “social” in “social media” extends far beyond that. It refers to interacting with the outside world at large, and today, people are using these interactions to make decisions and meet their needs in just about every aspect of their lives. Being so pervasive in today’s society, there are many benefits of social media for business. This post will go over how social media helps businesses to compete in their market and grow successfully.
Social media helps businesses by strengthening their image in the eyes of their target audience, through brand awareness and brand loyalty.
The first of the benefits of social media for business is that it allows you to tell your story. Creating social media profiles and publishing content are excellent opportunities for you to express your brand. The content, images, and design of your social media profiles will help to convey your brand messaging. What you post to your profile, how you post it, and the comments you make on other social media posts will show people what kind of business you are, what you stand for, and what is important to you.
While brand awareness enables people in your target market to easily recognize and recall your business, brand loyalty enables you to retain customers over time and despite efforts made by your competitors.
Consistently engaging with your followers and customers on social media provides positive experiences and that will keep them coming back for more. Brand loyalty is one of the benefits of social media for business that provides a competitive advantage.
Social media helps businesses by improving the quality of its relationships—both with its customers and its broader target audience.
Customer service is one of the newer benefits of social media. In recent years, social media has become a channel for customers to voice concerns and communicate directly with a business. Social media allows you to provide quick and personable responses to negative reviews and customer questions, strengthening your client relationships. In addition, if the conversations are public, you are giving others a glimpse into how much you care about your customers.
Another relationship that benefits from social media is that of your business and your target audience. Social media allows you to meet members of your target audience where they already spend a lot of their time. In addition, people go onto social media platforms to interact with others and absorb information. It is easy to increase engagement on social media, because when you come into contact with users there, they are in the optimal mindset—one that is ready to engage or already engaging.
Social proof is behind the third benefit of social media for business. Your business website may help to clarify who you are and what you do, but an active social media account shows that you care about your audience. It also gives people the opportunity to connect with you and post online customer reviews about your business, such as with Facebook.
Social media can increase your online presence by putting your business in front of more people, as well is in front of the right people.
One of the most obvious benefits of social media for business is that of expanding your reach. You can put your business in front of millions of people in seconds, with the click of a button. In addition, by sharing your content with their audience, your followers are naturally marketing your business for you. They are introducing your business to new people and potential customers that you may not have reached or even thought to reach on your own.
Getting in front of more people is helpful when building your audience, but you want to make sure that your audience is made up of people who are interested in your business and most likely to become customers. Social media advertising platforms such as Facebook advertising offer extremely specific targeting options as well as the tools to identify who to target. Of the many benefits of social media for business, targeting is one that will help to ensure that the people who see your content are those most likely to engage with it.
Another one of the benefits of social media for business is that of increased website traffic. By promoting blog posts and including links to your website in your social media profiles and postings, you can drive more visitors to your website.
Social media helps businesses economically. Not only are the most popular accounts free, these accounts can help you to increase sales and obtain more leads at little to no cost.
Perhaps the greatest of the benefits of social media for business is free business promotion. Social media is free (yay!), and a great platform to promote your business’s products, services, and events to your customers. Just make sure you have the proper ratio of promotional versus educational content in your postings. It is a social media best practice for 80% of your posts to be educational, and 20% promotional.
The second of the economic benefits of social media for business is that it can lead to more purchases. People rely on customer reviews and latest trends to make purchasing decisions, and social media is a popular venue for obtaining this information. In addition, businesses can boost purchases by promoting products and services on social media, and sharing discount codes and coupons with followers.
Social media can also help in generating leads for your business at an extremely low cost. In fact, if you gain customers through organic social postings, your cost per lead is virtually zero. One great way to generate leads through social media is by running a contest or giveaway, where the prize is your product or service, free or discounted. Have people enter by providing their contact information, or by reaching out to you directly such as through Instagram Direct messaging.
Since the prize is your product or service, you know that entrants are interested in your business. Now that you have their contact information, you can follow up with them or continue engaging with them to increase their chances of becoming a customer.
Not only do many people use social media, they use it for many reasons and have many different accounts. With such widespread use, the benefits of social media for business will continue to grow as platforms evolve.