From increasing visibility to creating targeted campaigns, there are several benefits of social media for businesses. Social media interactions continue to increase in popularity since the first sites emerged more than two decades ago. Today, there are nearly 4.5 billion active users worldwide. Globally, the average user spends almost 2.5 hours a day on various social media channels. That’s a lot of time your business could be in front of current and potential new customers.
You might already have social media profiles for your business. If you’re not actively using them, however, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities to strengthen relationships with your current customers and draw in potential new ones. Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tactics — and it's highly effective. Here are a few of the top benefits of social media and how it can help your business.
How Social Media for Businesses Works
Social media was once primarily a place where people would go to connect with family and friends. Today, these online spaces are where businesses and customers can connect. Create a social media post, and your followers can react to it, comment on it, and even share it with others.
Essentially, social media marketing is another form of digital marketing. It allows you to spread the word about your business as well as the products or services you provide. More than that, it enables you to connect with people around the world. Due to the nature of social networking sites, those connections are much more personal than traditional advertising. Your customers get to know your business on a deeper level, which can lead to greater loyalty.
With social media marketing, you create and share content on one or more social media platforms. That content can be:
- A blog or white paper excerpt
- A video clip
Social media campaigns give you another way to reach your business goals. It's a perfect place for you to connect with your customers on a more personal level.
Social Media Platforms Businesses Use
Today, there are numerous social media networks, all with varying demographics as their primary users. While you can set up profiles on any ones you like, here are a few of the most popular social media sites for businesses:
Top 10 Benefits of Social Media for Businesses
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Brand awareness refers to how well your target audience recognizes your business (or brand), and it can play a vital role in buying decisions. The more familiar people are with a brand, the more likely they are to purchase from it. In other words, you want people to become familiar with your company.
One of the most significant benefits of social media marketing is that it helps to establish your brand and build awareness. With every post — whether it’s a picture, a video clip, or a snippet from your latest blog post — you expose people to your brand. Those posts help others to learn more about you and generate interest in what you have to offer.
Boosting your brand awareness requires regular posting. While you don’t have to post multiple times a day (or even every day, depending on the platform), consistency is crucial. It keeps you visible in your followers’ feeds and, therefore, at the top of their minds. That helps build familiarity with your business, which can then help increase conversions.
2. Expand Your Reach
Social media offers an excellent way to expand your reach and tap into audiences you might not otherwise be able to with other traditional marketing efforts.
Hashtags: Using keywords or metadata prefaced by the “#” symbol, hashtags indicate that a piece of content relates to one or more topics. When social media users perform a search, keywords can help them find your related posts.
Sharing: Another way social media expands your reach is through sharing. When your followers share your posts, the content becomes visible to their friends and followers. That puts you in front of eyes that might not have otherwise known about you.
Influencers: Working with social media influencers also helps to expand your reach. Influencers have larger audiences and loyal followings. Not only can they put your business in front of more people, but a recommendation from them to use your products or services holds a lot of weight. Their followers are more likely to check out your brand and products and services, and even make a purchase.
3. Humanize Your Brand
No matter how well-known or well-established your company is, it can be hard for customers to connect with businesses online. One of the unique benefits of social media is that it allows you to humanize your brand. You can post pictures of yourself and your employees, behind-the-scenes videos, and business updates. You can also show how your products or services are benefitting real customers.
Social media also allows you to demonstrate that you care about more than making sales. You can use your platforms to promote causes that matter to you. Or you show how your organization is working to make a difference in your community. Those efforts may resonate with your followers, which can make your brand more human and likable.
Humanizing your company on social media can make you more authentic. It allows you to show off more of your personality and that the people behind the brand are, in fact, real. That authenticity can make you more relatable to your followers. It also helps to establish trust, which can then drive more business.
4. Manage Your Reputation
There’s a good chance your customers talk about you on social media. They might mention a new product they bought or a service you provided. Or they might recommend you to others looking for the products or services you provide. At the same time, customers with negative experiences may air their grievances online. Without social media, you may never know any of this was happening.
A social media presence gives you another tool in your reputation management toolkit. When someone says something positive about your company or products, you can thank them for their kind comments. If someone makes a complaint about your business, you can reach out, apologize, and help make it right. Handling negative feedback tactfully, politely, and through direct communication, reflects positively on your business, which can help you maintain a solid, trustworthy reputation.
5. Learn More About Your Customers
Social media does more than let your audiences learn about you — it also allows you to learn more about them. Part of that ability comes from reputation management. Examining the customer experience through social media gives insights into how they feel about you. Every post you make offers valuable insight into your audience and their behavior.
The customer feedback you get from your followers, whether on personal pages or one of your posts, teaches you a lot. For instance, positive comments can show you what your customers like. Negative feedback, on the other hand, can show you what they don’t like. You can also learn about their values and preferences. All of that information can help you tailor your content more effectively and improve your enact changes that can improve your business as a whole.
6. Boost Website Traffic
One of the key benefits of social media is its ability to boost your website traffic. While search engines allow you to reach a broad audience, social media posts allow you to create direct connections with your customers. Some social networks allow you to better target your posts as well, such as through hashtags.
One of the easiest ways to provide direct access to your consumers is by including a link in your business profiles. On platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you can share links to specific pages on individual posts. For instance, if you share a snippet of your latest blog on Facebook, you can direct your followers to read more by including a link that takes them right to the full article. Or if you’re promoting a new product, you can add a link to the product page.
Indirectly Boost SEO
Another benefit of social media when it comes to website traffic is that it can indirectly help to boost your search engine optimization (SEO). Likes, shares, and links on your profiles don’t have necessarily have an impact, but positive mentions of your brand can help drive more people to click through to your website.
Essentially, social platforms give you another way to increase visitors other than someone going to a search engine and typing in keywords. In other words, it might not directly impact your ranking on search engine results pages, but social media can still provide a significant pool for website traffic.
7. Promote Content
By now, you likely already know the importance of content. Blog posts, white papers, infographics, videos, and more enable you to provide your customers with high-quality, relevant information.
What happens after you publish your content, though? With content marketing, you aim to draw attention to (and interest in) your business. One way to make sure that it reaches the eyes of your target audiences is to incorporate keywords and include quality backlinks. This allows your audience to find you through organic searches. Another option is to promote your most compelling content on your social media pages.
When you publish a new piece of content, let your social media followers know. It can help to establish (and maintain) your brand authority and expertise on the subject. Post a small section of the text or share a short video clip to tease it. That can encourage your audience to click through to your website and finish it. Social media can expand your reach farther than other digital marketing tactics so you can get your content in front of more potential customers.
8. Source New Content
If you’re running out of ideas for content creation, social media may be just the place for some much-needed inspiration. There are a couple of ways you can go about this.
One option for sourcing content ideas is to engage with your audience. Ask questions. Even something as simple as asking “what do you want to see?” can be enough to generate a few topics. As a bonus, you know they’ll find it interesting and want to read it (or view it) because it’s something they asked from you. In other words, give your customers what they want.
Social media can also help you curate user-generated content (UGC) that you can then reshare on your pages. Ask your audience to share pictures or personal stories regarding a topic related to your business. For instance, if you’re a clothing brand, you might ask people to post photos of themselves wearing a shirt or hat from your latest line using a specific hashtag. You can share those images on your social media pages so others can see what your clothes look like on people just like them.
9. Discover Industry Trends
In today’s digital world, things move and change rapidly. The last thing you want as a business is to get left behind. Social media is excellent for discovering and staying ahead of the latest industry trends.
Keeping your ear to the virtual ground with social listening can help you uncover what people are talking about, such as what they’re excited to see or what complaints they have. When you listen to what your customers (and target markets) are saying, you can take action to provide them with the things they want before anyone else.
10. Stay On Top of Your Competitors
Social media is also a great place to learn about your competition. It offers a couple of significant benefits. For one, it allows you to keep an eye on what your target market says about them. For example, you might learn about specific complaints or pain points that their customers have. That enables you to take action and offer solutions with your products or services that meet those customers’ needs.
You can also use social media to monitor what your competitors are doing. You can stay up-to-date on their latest products or services, promotions, ad campaigns, special events, and more. Not only can you see where they’re excelling, but you can also learn where their weak points are. You can address those weak points with your campaigns, which can help you win more customers.
The Benefits of Social Media: Helping You Stand Out On Social Platforms
The benefits of social media marketing are pretty compelling. Establishing a solid online presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others can expand your reach and tap into marketing you might not be able to otherwise. You can engage directly with your audience, learn about the people you serve, stay ahead of your competitors, and so much more.
As with any other form of marketing, a solid plan can help you get the most out of social media for your business. Set goals, understand your target market, post content regularly, and monitor your progress. The right social media marketing strategy can help you reach and convert more consumers, effectively growing your brand and boosting your bottom line.