Social media is far more than just page likes and tweets. While most people accept that social media is important, many still don’t understand why. That’s where we come in! It’s our job to help our clients understand how and where to use these online tools to contribute towards their business goals. Here I’m going to break down a few of the benefits that will (hopefully) turn some of the skeptics into social media believers!
Increases your brand awareness. Social media is an excellent (and probably the most inexpensive) way to introduce people to your brand. Simply put, if people don’t know you exist how can they hire you or purchase a product from you? Social networks are used by two-thirds of Canadians, with one-in-three checking their news feeds at least once a day, so social media is the perfect vehicle to effectively promote your brand. According to a recent study, 75% of social users said product information found on social media influenced their shopping behaviour and enhanced brand loyalty.
Increases your search engine ranking. You have a great website, now what? One of the greatest benefits of social media is that you can use it to increase your rankings on search engine sites like Google or Bing – generating more traffic to your website. In smaller businesses, content on the website is not always updated on a regular basis, so it’s increasingly important to post content on your blogs and social sites with news and articles relevant to your industry. The more your content speaks to your audience, the more engaged they’ll be, and more willing to share your stories within their circles.
Confirms your business is real and active. A great website establishes that a brand exists, but a social media presence establishes that the brand is active. It's also worth noting that poor social media can delegitimize a brand. A new customer may assume your business is no longer operational if they visit your page and find that no posts have been made in months, or ever. A major faux pas!
Improves the customer experience. People will have questions, so let’s make it easy for them to find help. Even if a business has a dedicated customer service department, it's important to handle issues through a variety of social communication methods (ie. a Facebook comment, a direct message or tweet). The fact that people use social media to ask questions amongst each other is reason enough for businesses to ensure an active presence offering answers straight from the source!
Ultimately…increase sales! In the end, social media marketing needs to help increase sales. Hopefully by improving the overall brand awareness on your social platforms that will help, but there are other ways to use social media to directly steer potential customers. By spending a little bit of additional dollars, boosting promoted content and creating ads can directly target customers to the products we feel they might be interested – this is all available through collected demographic information on Facebook and Twitter.
My final thought: Nobody loves someone who only talks about themselves, so don’t forget to shout out other businesses, re-tweet, re-post, share and comment on other pages and show the social love!
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