Social media has ushered in a new era of unprecedented adoption. Of the 3.5 billion internet users, there are understood to be over 2 billion active social media users. What was once just a platform to reconnect with old acquaintances and friends has slowly but surely evolved into a marketplace with the ability to provide innumerable benefits and tools to potentially take your business to the next level. What makes it even more exciting is that it has absolutely no barriers to entry. It’s no longer just a buzzword, but has instead turned into a modern day business requirement. Here’s a look at some of the advantages that social media provides for businesses.
Right off the bat, social media can generate incredible exposure to a company thereby increasing brand awareness and loyalty. These networks provide ways to share information exponentially, and every single post can reach a wide audience thereby increasing your visibility and potential to draw in more customers. A 2016 industry report from a research company found that over 97% of marketers engage in social media marketing. Global Web Index’s research studies report that in 2016, over 30% of internet users research products through social media channels and over 37% of them follow their favorite brands on social media networks. This has given popular social platforms the power of marketing giants, and in-turn given businesses an opportunity to increase their recognition and sales in a cost and time efficient manner. Another study reported that 53% of Americans who follow specific brands on social media end up being more loyal to them.
Social media provides a unique and invaluable ability to gain both customer as well as competitor insights in real time. Is it estimated that over 500 million Tweets, 5 billion Facebook likes and 100 million Instagram posts are created every single day. Access to this incredible wealth of information provides a doorway to understanding the mindset and desires of these users who are potential customers. Engaging in social media conversations, discussions and requesting feedback can only help you make smarter business decisions. It also doubles up as a strategic research tool that provides information about the latest trends in your industry and helps you monitor what competitors are doing in order to keep up with them or even stand out. These marketplace insights can then be used to target a demographic through advertising to create a higher rate of conversions.
Social media advertisements offer a cheap and convenient way to draw the attention of your target market to your business. Every content post, be it an image, a video, or a comment gives you the power to not just interact with your audience but also acts as an opportunity to convert leads. Every positive interaction works towards building a following and increases your chances of a getting a conversion. your opportunity of along with the ability to track the performance of these ads in real time. The best part about this is that you have the ability to track and measure how well these social ads perform, all in real time! Regular interaction through social media channels works well since it humanizes and personifies a brand, and people prefer doing business with other people rather than with companies. Studies from 2015 report that nearly 3 out 4 companies that sell through social media channels report a major increase in sales in a year. Social media has therefore eclipsed the results of traditional inbound and outbound marketing tools.
Social media interaction increases a business’ credibility, leaves a better impression and helps develop relationships with customers. This enriching customer experience has resulted in social media becoming the first point of contact for customer service, with fast response times and 24 hour support becoming key to their increasing financial returns. Replacing traditional email and phone call support with social media also has helped make businesses more accountable since social network like Yelp and Twitter can be used to voice customer satisfaction levels. You can immediately address complaints, apologize and rectify errors when need be thereby maintaining public trust in your business. The use of personalized human responses instead of automated responses also improves customer satisfaction and retention.
One of the greatest advantages of social media is its ability to increase website traffic and search engine ranking. Businesses no longer have to rely on just people familiar with their brands since social media directs new visitors to their sites. Every content post is a new opportunity for a visitor, and high quality content promises greater inbound traffic and a higher lead-to-conversation rate. Since social media networks also possess the search features of search engines, businesses can open themselves up to a huge network of consumers all over the globe. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you increase your business’ visibility and ranks you high on search engines like Google when users search for specific keywords. This is crucial since people rarely go beyond the first page of a Google search result. Active social media engagement helps signify a brand’s relevancy, legitimacy, and trustworthiness.
A strong influential social media presence can go a long way to increasing brand equity, value and authority. Regular interaction through digital social channels makes a business appear more credible and results in greater satisfaction among customers, who can build a strong image for the business by expressing their opinions and reviewing their positive experiences thereby promoting the business. Social media users who have a large following are dubbed ‘major influencers’ and have the ability to skyrocket the reach of any product or service by lending their credibility and worth to it through a simple post. Cristiano Ronaldo, the world’s most famous athlete, has the third highest followers on twitter and earns roughly about $400,000 per post from sponsors.
With the vast majority of businesses already adopting social media to further their goals, it is safe to say that any business without a social media presence stands to lose more with every passing second. It is easy to get started and can provide instant benefits at negligible costs. Both small as well as big businesses have started to realize how a positive social media presence can go a long way to attract new potential customers and stay relevant in the marketplace. This is especially critical now more than ever in the face of the rapidly increasing number of people who prefer utilizing their mobile devices and social media accounts for their shopping experiences.