If used correctly, social media can be a small business’s marketing dream come true. It can give your company the reach and exposure that it might not otherwise be able to attain with a small business’s limited resources and budget.
Are you using social media yet? If so, are you getting the most out of it? Here are seven benefits to using social media to market your business:
1. Engage with Your Audience and Build Relationships
Your audience wants to see the people behind your business. Social media easily gives you the opportunity to interact with potential and existing customers. From participating in a discussion on Facebook or LinkedIn to retweeting on Twitter, there are a variety of ways to let people experience the human side of your business.
On the flip side, following these potential and existing customers on different social media platforms can give you insight into their lives. You can see what they’re buying, sharing, etc. This can lead to a better understanding of your buyer persona (a fictional and generalized representative of your ideal customer), which can help you make good business and marketing decisions based on what you’ve learned.
2. Decrease Marketing Costs
At its most basic, social media is free. You can’t beat that price! You can pay for some advertising on the platforms as well, but it’s still probably going to cost you a lot less than it would to pay for a marketing firm.
3. Provide Better Customer Service
The nature of social media allows you to respond to problems in real time. Immediately addressing problems shows your commitment and care for your customers. Negative situations will give you a chance to show that you’re listening to your customers. Offer them a solution and hopefully they’ll give you a second chance. This can even be turned into a positive public interaction where a customer can talk about the wonderful customer service they received.
4. Increase Your Brand Recognition and Loyalty
Being present on social media makes customers more aware of your company. When they see you posting consistently, they recognize your brand and get comfortable with you. Posting quality content will increase their trust in your business. Seeing your presence on social media time and time again will make it easier for them to find you and connect with you. They’ll feel comfortable using your business because they see how easy it is to get in touch with you. Customers will also feel more loyal because they’re familiar with you through these steady interactions.
5. Convert at a Higher Rate
Of marketers who have been using social media for at least two years, more than half report that it helped them improve sales. A social media presence helps increase sales because it allows for regular interaction between the business and the customer. If you’re consistently present on social media, then you’ll be at the front of their mind when they’re looking for a product you sell.
6. Increase Traffic to Your Website and Improve Your SEO
Posting to social media directs people to your website. When people share your content on social media, it drives up your search ranking. Make people want to share your posts by consistently posting worthwhile content. This can be original or curated (a mixture of both is great) - just make it relevant and worthwhile. The better the content you post, the more shares it will get, and the more traffic will be directed to your website.
7. Improve Customer Insights
Through regular active engagement and by paying attention to what your audience is saying on social media, you can gather valuable information. This information can then be used to help make business decisions about products and services to offer.
If you’re concerned about the time you’ll have to commit to keeping up with your social media accounts, it’s probably a good idea to start small with 1 or 2 social networks.
Choose a couple that you feel would be most beneficial to your company to start, and post to these consistently instead of overwhelming yourself with four or five at once.
You can always add more later once you get comfortable.
Consistency is key!