Does your business really need to be on social media?
By Jawad Khan
Let’s answer this with another question.
Can you afford to ignore a medium that’s used by 73% of internet users (2.77 billion people worldwide)?
A 2018 study by Nielsen found that an average American spends almost 47 minutes every day using different social networking platforms.
As a smart business owner, you should always be where your audience is. Which makes social media almost a mandatory part of your marketing strategy.
However, apart from the usual hype, social media offers several business benefits that were inconceivable just a few years ago.
Here are a few ways you can take advantage of social media to grow your business.
1. Create Brand Recognition and Awareness
Whenever we drive by a McDonald’s restaurant, I have to buy french fries for my 3 year old. If I don’t, I have to deal with a full day of mourning. She’s so crazy about it, she can identify the iconic “M” board from miles.
That’s brand recognition and it’s important because 71% of consumers prefer buying from brands they know.
But you don’t have the advertising budget of McDonald’s do you? Which is why social media is your best chance to be a recognizable brand to your audience.
The starting point, of course, is to use your brand’s color scheme, logo, and tone of voice uniformly across all social networks.
The social media profiles of Adidas are a good example.
Here’s their Twitter profile
Source: Adidas Twitter
And here’s their Facebook Page
Source: Adidas Facebook
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are all free platforms that give you access to billions of highly engaged users.
You can use this exposure to create brand awareness, highlight the values that you stand for and the things that make you different from your competitors.
2. Uncover the Real Needs of Your Audience
The biggest mistake a brand can commit is to assume things about its audience without doing the necessary research. What you think your audience wants is often drastically different from what they actually want.
Social media is an amazingly useful medium to understand the real needs, wants, fears, and aspirations of your target audience.
In fact, a study by Social Media Examiner found that marketers rate “research” among the top three benefits of social media
All major social networks like Facebook, Pinterest etc. give you detailed user insights that can help you uncover audience trends, interests, and the things that engage them the most.
You can use social media to understand audience sentiment towards your brand, listen to what they’re saying about your product/services, and what they miss in your product. You can even use it to run surveys and polls to gather primary data from your audience.
The possibilities are endless.
3. Complement Your SEO Strategy To Drive More Traffic
There’s no direct relationship between social media and SEO.
But that doesn’t mean your brand’s social media presence has no impact on its search rankings. In fact, a Google representative confirmed its algorithms monitor the social media activity and the follower count of brands to evaluate their authority on a topic.
This claim is also backed by a recent study conducted by Cognitive SEO which found that the more social shares a page has, the higher it ranks in Google Search.
Higher search rankings, of course, mean more traffic to your site and a higher probability of your content being shared on social media which results in more referral traffic.
This not only helps you diversify your traffic sources but also sends out positive social signals about your brand to search engines.
And the cycle continues.
4. Tap Into the World of Video Marketing
Video content consumption is exploding worldwide.
And social media is the primary platform where most of it is viewed and shared. Research shows that 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter. Facebook video content is getting 500 million+ views every single day.
Consumers clearly love consuming videos and you need to take advantage by building your social media presence and publishing highly interactive videos.
B2B companies in particular can use a variety of videos on different social networks to engage their audience. A 2019 study of different content consumption trends found that B2B consumers are willing to spend up to 60 minutes watching webinars.
Source: Content Preferences Survey 2019
All these video types are proven to attract a lot of engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
You can funnel this traffic from social networks to your website and turn these visitors into subscribers and customers.
5. Delight Customers With Amazing Service
If your customers still have to wait 48-72 hours to get email responses or stay on the phone forever to talk to a customer service representative, you’re likely to lose them pretty soon.
A Forrester study found that 66% of consumers feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a brand can do to provide them with good customer service.
With a well-managed social media team, you can provide fast and timely responses to customer queries and get a clear edge over your competitors. The average response time for customer queries on social media is 9 hours but the best customer-centric brands act much faster.
Even if you can’t immediately resolve a problem, a quick message via Facebook or Twitter can help calm your customers and reassure them that they’re being looked after.
6. Use Targeted Advertising To Accelerate Growth
Perhaps the biggest advantage of social media is that it gives you the ability to run highly targeted advertising campaigns based on the interests and the behavior of your audience.
Unlike traditional advertising, social media ads are displayed only to the audience segment that matches your targeting criteria.
Digital advertising is so effective that it now accounts for more than 50% of the total global advertising spending and the trend will continue to grow.
You can also use retargeting to show customized ads and marketing messages to people who’ve previously visited your website or engaged with your content in any way.
And I haven’t even gone into the advanced analytics and marketing insights you get as a result of running social media ad campaigns.
Can You Afford to Stay On the Sidelines?
Your competitors are already using social media to create brand awareness and deliver tailored marketing messages to their audience (your audience)
It offers you powerful tools, features, and, above all, unprecedented access to a global audience that is waiting to hear your brand’s story and share it with their social circles.
There’s no reason why you should miss out on this opportunity.
Want to know how you can kickstart your brand’s social media marketing strategy? Get in touch now.
Jawad Khan is a seasoned content marketing strategist and consultant for B2B SaaS and eCommerce companies. He regularly contributes to leading marketing sites such as HubSpot, Adweek, MarketingProfs and many others. Follow him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JawadAliKhn) and his blog (https://writingmydestiny.com)