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    Benefits of Social Media Marketing

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    The advantages of social media marketing (SMM) are undeniable, whether it’s to improve brand awareness, drive more conversions, or help with SEO, there are many ways SMM can help your business.

    In fact, over 75% of the world’s population uses social media. This is a reason on its own that your business should be utilizing SMM.

    This is why it’s surprising that roughly 40% of businesses don’t actually use social media.

    Perhaps this is because they are not aware of the benefits of social media marketing and how it can help them achieve business goals.

    Social media should be a primary factor in a business’s strategy as it helps push growth, and revenue, and develop a brand. 

    Let’s take a look at what social media marketing is:

    What is SMM

    Social media marketing refers to the strategic use of social media platforms to promote products, services, or brands. It involves creating and sharing engaging content, interacting with users, and leveraging social media’s vast user base to drive brand awareness, increase website traffic, and generate leads or sales.

    If used correctly, social media can be an excellent tool for businesses to build brand loyalty, drive revenue, and understand consumer behavior.

    Here are the benefits of social media marketing

    1. It’s free
    2. Build brand awareness
    3. Helps to manage reputation
    4. Increase WOM advertising
    5. Learn about customer/audience interests
    6. Tell your brand story/narrative
    7. Improved customer service
    8. Build and improve brand loyalty
    9. Increase traffic
    10. Can repurpose content
    11. Can help with SEO
    12. Boosts content performance
    13. It’s not time-consuming
    14. Stay up to date with trends/identify opportunities
    15. You can run a competitor analysis
    16. You can sell products directly
    17. Identify partnerships and collaboration opportunities
    18. Builds social proof
    19. It’s a good data source
    20. Engages your audience
    21. You can use it for retargeting

    1. It’s Free

    Usually, when making an investment into a new tool or platform for your business, cost is one of the main issues.

    Unless you plan to use paid advertising, social media is completely free. 

    Social media gives you the opportunity to build your brand, increase sales, and grow an audience, without any additional costs. 

    Of course, time and content creation is still a factor, but that can be done in-house to avoid costs.

    Every business should at the very least be present on social channels and post weekly.

    2. Builds Brand Awareness

    Building brand awareness is vital for businesses as 77% of consumers prefer shopping with brands they follow on social media.

    Of course, you can’t just create an account and put 1 post out, leaving it to nurture and improve your brand.

    Branding requires consistency, strategy, and resonating with your audience. 

    Social media is the perfect platform for building brand awareness as it’s much easier to reach potential audiences than other forms of marketing.

    With the power of hashtags, trends, content going viral, and sharing, your content can be seen by millions.

    The best part is that the audience doesn’t need to search for your brand first – you can show up for them to see without them having to do anything.

    Just remember to stay consistent, use brand tone/style/colors/voice, and post regularly for this to be effective.

    3. Helps to Manage Reputation

    Reputation management is one of the most vital aspects of the success of a business and is often ignored by many. 

    Roughly 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

    Being active on social media allows businesses to manage their reputation effectively and put out any fires before they happen.

    54% of people use social media to research products and if your business has a negative reputation, it will likely put them off purchasing.

    You can use social media to track reviews, see what users are saying about your brand, see what they are saying about your product, and also respond to customer service queries or complaints.

    You can learn a lot about what your business is doing right and also what it is doing wrong, to change for the better.

    By responding proactively and positively to your audience, whether it’s reviews, complaints, or discussions, you can prevent your brand reputation from being damaged.

    For example: Imagine if you create a social media channel and a customer posts on the public page asking questions in a ‘complaint’ format – but you never look at the platform, it’s just there. 

    This will cause damage to your reputation for all the customers that look your business up.

    4. Increases WOM Advertising

    WOM is commonly known as ‘word of mouth’ and is the process of people/consumers talking about your brand or product to inform other people about it.

    For example, if you have ever had a friend or family member tell you about a great 

    Hair stylist’ or a ‘nice pizza place’ you haven’t heard of – that’s word of mouth.

    According to HubSpot, 75% of people don’t believe advertisements, but 90% trust suggestions from family and friends.

    Whilst you might think WOM advertising is out of your control, creating an incredible customer experience and enhancing your brand experience encourages WOM.

    You can use social media to establish your brand reputation and repeatedly appear in feeds for consumers that have already purchased from you – in turn, they will likely tell other people.

    This is also the case when social media users create a post talking about your brand or product. Which happens if they truly have a great customer experience.

    On the other hand, people are twice as likely to post negatively on social media, so be sure you don’t create a bad experience.

    5. Can Learn About Customer/Audience Interests

    Learning about your customers or audience on social media is also referred to as social listening.

    Using social listening to understand your audience can help shape your brand, define your services, and build trust with the audience. 

    In fact, almost 61% of businesses now have a social listening system in their strategy.

    You can use it to identify pain points, how your products perform, brand experiences, and also to see what’s missing from your business.

    This information can be used to adjust your positioning and focus on what your audience actually wants.

    However, this should be done with correct measures and research plans in place. 

    If you react to the first thing you find, you could actually do more harm to your brand than good. 

    Look to identify common trends that your target audience is mentioning; for example, if you notice several posts and comments of people saying that don’t trust the website.

    This would be enough to warrant fixes on your website to improve trust.

    Primary reasons for using social media listening (Social Media Today)

    To utilize social listening, search for popular hashtags, join groups, and do some digging with people that have interacted with your business’s social media accounts.

    You can also use certain social media tools that have social listening features built-in – however, these are usually paid.

    6 Allows You To Tell Your Brand Story

    Social media gives you a platform to tell your brand’s story and influence how your audience perceives your brand. 

    This is completely under your control and should align with your overall brand strategy,

    You can use it to reinforce your brand’s mission, build your brand image, and show your brand in the directive that you choose. 

    You should identify a narrative, be consistent, and most importantly – adapt to the audience you are targeting. Remember each social platform has a different audience with different content preferences.

    7 Improves Customer Service

    People don’t want to call companies and be placed on hold anymore, that’s why roughly 64% of Twitter users say they’d rather Tweet a brand than call them.

    Social media provides easy access for consumers to interact with brands but it also provides a way for brands to excel at customer service.

    Especially as some platforms show posts publicly – therefore how your brand responds and how quickly it responds, will be visible to everyone.

    Consumers also become frustrated when they can’t find a brands social channels to communicate with them – causing them to seek other brands and find dissatisfaction. 

    You should be active in providing customer service and even have someone dedicated to checking it multiple times per day to ensure fast response times.

    Here are some expected response times according to Sprout Social:

    8. Builds and Improves Brand Loyalty

    Making sales and driving traffic to your website is one thing – having an active and loyal social following is a powerful resource for a business.

    Social media allows people to follow or subscribe to your brand’s page. 

    This is one way the audience shows loyalty and will happen regularly if you are consistent, honest, and post good content.

    Of course, people will say don’t pay attention to how many followers you have.

    But you also need to think about the potential power your social channels will have when you have built a loyal following of 100,000+ for example.

    This can increase your chances of regular sales, repeat purchases, WOM advertising, customer research, and many more benefits.

    9. Increases Traffic

    One of the main goals for a brand is to drive social media audiences to a website to take action.

    One of the many benefits of social media for businesses is that it provides a free source of traffic.

    This doesn’t happen overnight though. It comes with consistent posting that aligns with your audience.

    You also need to craft well-thought-out posts that include a call to action but don’t blatantly try and ‘sell’ to your audience.

    You can use the AIDA formula here: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. For example, in the below Instagram post:

    Attention – The image of a person in a bathrobe is not something you see every day and immediately stops users from scrolling – grabbing their attention.

    Interest – You then have the user’s interest and they want to know more, which usually leads them to read more.

    Desire – The caption indirectly tells users that they can look as ‘nice’ as the person in the picture, creating a desire to be like that.

    Action – Unfortunately, Instagram lacks the ability to include links and push an action, but the hashtag can encourage people to repost using the same hashtag and increase brand awareness. 

    Source: Dollar Shave Club

    You should remember that users in this day and age have a short attention span – don’t write essays in your posts and expect people to go to your website.

    Keep it short and concise.

    10. You Can Repurpose Content

    Social media is an excellent platform for repurposing content. 

    It’s that good that 42% of marketers say updating and repurposing existing content led to successful marketing campaigns.

    Repurposing in content is the process of taking existing content, shrinking it, and utilziing it in other forms for different platforms.

    It’s effective for brands as it saves huge amounts of time, rather than creating posts from scratch all the time.

    If you use this in your social media strategy, do not just copy a random piece of blog post and post it on social media.

    That will not work.

    Instead, find interesting snippets from your website, blog posts, and even the news, and add something small to it before posting. Even if it’s just a question.

    You can also take ‘quotable’ sections out and put them into an image format to use. 

    It’s your chance to get creative and maximize marketing effectiveness, without investing masses of time.

    11. It Can Help with SEO

    Now, I know there will be a huge debate over this… but to clarify, social media will help with SEO indirectly.

    Social media does not influence SEO directly.

    When you have a large presence and engagement on social media, people are likely to share your content.

    If you have a useful and resourceful blog, people will also share this across social media.

    What that does is increase traffic to your site and provide the opportunity to get backlinks.

    It does NOT come with a backlink from social media (although these will show up in reports they do not carry page rank or any form of ranking signal).

    There are also suggestions that ‘mentions on social media can help with E A T’ (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) which is a ranking factor:

    Gary Illyes (Google) discussed the influence of mentions at Brighton SEO 2017, (e.g. in social networks), and seemed to suggest that Google was interested in these signals:

    “If you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet — and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that. Then you are doing great.”

    12. Boosts Content Performance

    Similar to the above point, another benefit of social media is boosting the performance of your content.

    One of the main goals of your written content is to get more readers.

    Within that readership, you will aim to take them through a funnel for sign-up, download, purchase, or an end goal.

    Using social media, you can post snippets and links to valuable content to drive traffic and get more readers, which can lead to an increase in conversions.

    When I say boosting content performance, that refers to individual content pieces and its goal – not SEO performance.

    13. It’s Not Time-Consuming

    One of the more obvious benefits of social media marketing is that it doesn’t take much time.

    One person can manage the social platforms for your business entirely alone.

    Even then, with scheduling tools and repurposing content, you can create posts for 1-2 months in advance.

    With the amount of time it takes to invest in social media vs the returns your business can get… it’s a no-brainer that every business should be using at least one social platform.

    With more people turning to influencers and social media for the news compared to regular media outlets, there’s no denying that social media is thriving with opportunities and trends.

    You can follow industry hashtags, influencers, and accounts with large followings to keep an eye out for any potential trends.

    You should aim to focus on trends that align with your business to avoid confusing your audience.

    For example, if your business is fashion and you hop on a trend about a new Tesla feature, it wouldn’t make any sense.

    However, you can be clever and try to use trends to relate to your products/business. 

    15. You Can Run a Competitor Analysis

    Social media provides an excellent platform to identify and monitor your competition.

    It can allow you to:

    • See how customers interact with other competitor brands and what the brands do well.
    • Learn what type of content works well for your competitors, helping to shape your strategy.
    • Understand what gaps are present for your brand to fill.
    • Identify new competitors that might become a threat to your social media performance.
    • Generate ideas for new content.
    • See different customer pain points.

    By conducting a thorough social media competitor analysis, you can excel above other businesses and become a leading figure in your industry.

    16: You Can Sell Products Directly

    Did you know that you can actually sell products directly on some social media channels?

    This can be a useful feature but depends on your brand strategy. If you would rather get customers to your website, then this probably doesn’t apply to you.

    For example:

    • There is an Instagram shop where users can purchase directly in the app.
    • TikTok has live shopping features for creators or accounts that go live.
    • Facebook marketplace offers a platform to sell products directly.
    • YouTube can now integrate Shopify to allow purchasing of merchandise.

    Each one has its own benefits and will overall be more effective for smaller businesses.

    17. Identify Partnerships and Collaboration Opportunities

    Brands can use social media to identify influencers and partnerships to promote their brand.

    In fact, 92% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.

    You can search for terms relating to your brand and products, then look for accounts that have high followings and high engagement rates. 

    You can also do a Google search for the top influencers in your industry.

    It’s not only influencers that you can utilize for your business, you can also find partnerships with other brands. 

    As long as there are mutual benefits, it can be a great way to improve your presence, grow your following, and build brand awareness.

    Choose your partnerships and collaborations wisely though, unlike the recent Bud Light marketing fail!

    18. Builds Social Proof

    For 43% of all internet users, social media is a source of information on what they should buy. 

    By having an active social media strategy, your brand can establish social proof which is a term that has been around for many years.

    Users will look for recommendations from other social users, reviews on your accounts, awards, achievements, customer service, and more.

    This also links into influencer marketing as influencers can be a contributing factor to social proof.

    Social proof isn’t something you can build overnight, it takes time to build a reputation and gather reviews/testimonials. 

    19. It’s a Good Data Source

    Social media can be a good data source for two reasons:

    1: Audience demographics – Data that you can gather from running advertisements on social platforms.

    2: Customer surveys – Marketing surveys you can create to gather data from your existing customers.

    There is no ‘correct’ way to use this data as it will depend on the individual marketing strategies of your business. 

    The data can go as far as audience interests, professions, education levels, and so much more.

    Of course, surveys can be tailored to gather whatever data you need and be a valuable marketing tool.

    You can create surveys using built-in ‘polls’ on social channels or with an external tool such as Survey Monkey or Google Forms.

    20. Engages Your Audience

    A major benefit of social media marketing is that it keeps your audience engaged. 

    People spend more time on social media than on websites, in fact, they spend an average of 2 hours and 28 minutes per day on social channels.

    If you don’t have social media, you are missing out on keeping that audience aware of your brand and interacting with you.

    Unless you have a trending product or well-known brand, people aren’t going to spend 2 hours and 28 minutes on your website. 

    Regular posting every week can remind your audience that you exist and encourage them to repeat purchase or head to your website.

    21. You Can Use it For Retargeting

    Retargeting is one of the primary benefits of social media marketing and is the process of targeting users, generally through paid advertisements, who have already visited your website but left without converting.

    According to Mailchimp 97% of visitors that leave a website, never return to a website. 

    Which is why it’s important to use retargeting.

    Also, according to Spiralytics retargeting is head and shoulders above other ad placement strategies with a 1,046% efficiency rate.

    This should be one of the main marketing strategies that a business uses to drive brand awareness, sales, learn about your audience, and more.

    Chad Wyatt
    Chad Wyatthttps://chad-wyatt.com
    Chad Wyatt (MBA) is a professional in the digital marketing industry, specializing in content marketing, SEO, and strategic marketing initiatives. With a track record as a 6-figure marketing entrepreneur, Chad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and has been recognized by renowned media outlets such as CNN, Business Insider, Yahoo, MSN, Capital One, and AOL, where he has been featured for his industry insights and success stories.

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