However, before we get into the how and why, let’s look at just how influential social media really is to give you some perspective.
Social media’s reach
As of January, 2018 there are 3.2 billion people (42% of the world population) actively using, engaging and interacting on social media worldwide!
Let’s bring this a bit closer to home. Just looking at the U.S. market of 327 million people, 77% of the total population have a social media profile. That’s over 251 million people you have the opportunity to connect with every day!
That’s a lot of people, and it’s a mistake not to take advantage of social media as a resource. Maybe you feel because your business is small, that the benefits of social media for business would be too. That’s hardly the case.
In fact, social media may offer a larger benefit for your business because of your size. Here’s how.
Top 7 benefits of social media marketing
1. Brand awareness
Websites and email are two of the most common tools for marketing and brand awareness. However, how will your target market discover your website… especially if it’s new? How will you develop and expand your email list?
One of the immediate benefits of social media for business is being able to tell more people who you are and the services you provide. Social media gives your website a boost to help your audience discover your site and ultimately you!
86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks.
Social media helps you tell and share the story of who you are and what you have to offer.
2. Simple customer contact
Social media also makes it easier for customers to reach you. When you have a question or a customer service issue what source for information do you think of first? It’s likely you go online. Your customers do the same.
In fact, 59% of the U.S. public find social media the easiest way to resolve customer service issues. This is especially true when they follow you on the social platforms they use everyday.
Social media provides more and faster ways for people to connect with you.
3. Expanded reach
Let’s talk about your exceptional sales team. They are busy everyday on the phone, meeting people in person, and sending emails. But how many people do they reach on any given day?
The reality is your team’s reach is pretty limited compared to what social media can provide. Look at what social media can offer: (source)
- As of June 2018, Facebook had 1.47 billion daily active users and 2.23 billion monthly active users.
- LinkedIn has 562 million members.
- There are 369 million monthly active Twitter users as of 2018.
- Instagram hit 1 billion monthly users in June 2018.
Obviously, your social pages are not going to reach all these users or have a huge following overnight. Growing your own following takes time, but the pool of available contacts is significantly larger than what your sales team can do alone. And so are your opportunities to take advantage of these benefits of social media marketing.
Social media increases the audience you have access to so you can develop a relationship with them.
Check out these related topics:
Using Facebook for Marketing
4. More avenues of communication
The average number of touches needed to engage a potential buyer seems to go up every year. It may be easier to discover the number of licks it takes to get the center of a tootsie roll pop! If only there were an easier way to make those initial touch points…. queue social media.
Opening avenues of communication is significant on the list of benefits of social media marketing for business. With 73% of the public using more than one social media platform, the opportunities to make these important initial touch points also increases.
The good news is that the volume and variety of engagement not only benefits your team, it also benefits your buyers. (source)
- 74% of people say they use Facebook for professional purposes.
- 80% of millennial Pinterest users say that the platform helps them decide what they should buy.
- 47% of buyers view at least 3 to 5 pieces of content before deciding to speak with a sales rep.
Social media can become an extension of your sales team, and using it effectively increases the number of ways you can connect with your market.
More information you may find helpful:
5. Cost effective advertising
Okay, so the sheer volume of people active on social media may or may not surprise you. Let’s take a look at the benefits of social media marketing from another perspective – cost. There are many variables that factor into the cost of advertising before you even get into production costs, but here is a simple breakdown based on the average cost per thousand (CPM) across the country.
While every form of advertising has its pros and cons, online advertising offers the added benefit of control. While you can target an exact person with direct mail, social media allows you pay for only those who engage with your ad, making it much more effective.
Social media has become one the most effective and efficient use of your advertising dollars.
6. Thought leadership promotion
Social media is much more than posting pictures of your cat or what you had for dinner last night. It is an avenue for sharing your knowledge and expertise in your field.
When you take the time to craft a blog post (and we hope you are) on a topic that addresses a specific question or challenge your customers are facing, social media provides a vehicle to share that information. And your customers are already actively looking for it. (source)
- When it comes to delivering content and securing audience engagement, LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform.
- Facebook sends 82% of social media traffic to longer stories and 84% of social traffic to shorter news articles.
- 76% of people use their Facebook feed to find interesting content.
- Written articles, videos, and images are the three most engaging types of content on social media.
Among the benefits of social media marketing is the ability to share your knowledge in a non-intrusive way. Doing so allows potential customers to learn more about you when and where they want to.
7. Effective research tool
I would be missing a key feature of social media if I didn’t mention research as one of the benefits of social media for business. You cannot possibly be successful in business without listening to what people are saying. Social media allows you to do that.
What are people in your industry and customer base talking about? What is your competition doing? What hashtags are trending?
You can also use social to test out content. Does your audience respond more to video messages or links to your content? What can you learn by posting a quick poll?
The dashboard of the platforms your business uses are also a great source of information – both demographic and psychographic. Beyond age and location, you can learn what industries, roles and interests your followers have. Use this information to fine tune your online paid advertising to reach more potential customers with similar profiles.
With a little effort, the benefits of social media marketing as a research tool can help you learn what customers want and influence future business decisions.
Social media and inbound marketing
The benefits of social media for business have many different applications for how you market your business, especially as part of a larger inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing positions your company to be ready when and where potential customers are, and for your online presence to help generate revenue for your business.
Want to know how this works? Download this resource to see what inbound marketing is and if it’s the right option for you.