Every business needs a social media presence, and most can benefit from actively trying to market and generate leads on the most popular social platforms.
The fact of the matter is that social media has become the preferred form of media in our day and age. 67% of people say they get their news from social media first, for instance. News breaking most often comes from shares or second-hand sources on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In effect, content publishers have to have social media at the front of their mind if they hope for their outlet to get exposure for breaking a story as opposed to a competitor.
For businesses, this same principle holds true. If you aren’t active on social media, others may talk about your business and seize control of the narrative. Or, even worse, your business is all but invisible until someone else shares content or news talking about you.
In addition to providing visibility, having a proactive social media marketing strategy can help boost your sales performance and help you achieve your marketing goals. You can earn new customer leads, increase brand awareness, and even offer customer support through social channels.
To cover the full scope of why your business needs to be on social media, consider the following five benefits described below and how they are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy.
Create a Highly Visible “Hub” for Your Business’s News and Announcements
Let’s be honest. Very few people are going to religiously check your business website’s “News” or “Blog” page for announcements and press releases. If most people don’t visit news sites to get news, they certainly aren’t actively going to business’s websites to see the latest developments.
This assertion isn’t meant to discourage you from tending to your website at all, but rather to make you realize just how much more visibility being on social media adds for your business. Sharing news and announcements on social is dead simple, and your followers may even help share those materials for you once you release them into the wild.
In this way, your social media profiles serve as your business’s online “hub” away from its main website. Your profile photo, the content you share, and the announcements you make all have the effect of turning your social accounts into an official mouthpiece for your brand. From here, you can help shape your public image and control the flow of information you release into the world.
Increase Your Visibility on Search Engines
The jury is still out as to whether social media engagement and content shares can raise the search engine ranking for a business’s website pages. Hootsuite, for instance, found a small correlation but concluded that a deeper study with more data points was needed.
Even if social media can’t help raise your web page rankings, it can help you occupy a more obvious spot in the rankings altogether. Why? Because social media platforms have great domain authority, which allows them to rank highly any time a search is made.
So, if someone searches for your business name or a related topic online, your social media page and posts talking about your business are highly likely to appear near the top of search results. Twitter is especially good at earning top ranks, since Google features recent tweets similar to how they would news posts.
Having a social media profile and actively discussing your areas of business can therefore give you additional opportunities at ranking near the top of search engine results.
Publish Your Content and Earn Traffic for Your Marketing Campaigns
While people are more likely to check your social media pages than your homepage for business news, you can encourage more traffic to your website by posting on social media.
With the right images and messaging, you can easily pull in huge amounts of traffic just from one post. The aim is to get people’s attention and to make full use of your available resources. In other words, you are going to craft great content previews for content like shared blog posts.
For campaign-related traffic, you can describe your offer in attractive terms to earn attention and traffic. A retail business can describe a sale for their website store, for instance. Or, you can encourage people to sign up for entry in a contest by posting a link to the relevant landing page.
Social media posting is particularly useful for boosting the ROI of your content marketing campaigns. Without social sharing, many businesses would get little traffic to their blogs. By posting on social, the business can boost traffic and potentially up their correlated domain authority, which explains the positive effect Hootsuite saw between social engagement and SEO rank.
Raise Brand Awareness and Earn New Customer Leads
Social media creates opportunities for countless people to discover your business and what it does. Google searches for business names spike if that business can generate social buzz, for example.
You also have the opportunity to earn exposures through people who follow and engage with your brand on social media. For instance, someone who “likes” or comments on your post on Facebook can have those interactions appear on their friend’s newsfeeds.
Social media advertising is also another potential source of significant new impressions and customer leads. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn have powerful audience customization tools that allow you to get in front of your most valuable buyer personas with just a minimal budget.
A landscaping company could target business owners in their area, for instance, by selecting job titles as an audience filter. Or, they could target a wealthy neighborhood with large estate-style land plots that can offer lucrative contracts.
Software companies can similarly offer free demos or pitch their product’s benefits to relevant audiences. Social media provides the visibility, and once you have someone on your landing page or on your email list, you have opportunities to convert.
Interact With Your Audiences and Provide Customer Support
Brands can do an excellent job of building relationships with their audiences when they can create content that encourages engagement.
The UPS Store, for example, came out with a powerful social media post that piggybacked off the popularity of a recent Nintendo product release. To date, the post has gotten 3,200 shares, over 200 comments, and 10,000 “likes.”
Interactions like these don’t just multiply brand impressions. They also change the way people might perceive a brand. Someone who loves the playful tone of the post can then translate these positive associations to the business posting it. Or, the brand can help forge strong associations between itself and the values it cares about most.
People who interact with the brand can therefore end up being more loyal customers, while repeating the desired positive brand associations to their friends and followers. According to one survey, 48% of people say they are more likely to make repeat purchases from a brand that engages with them, and 90% of millennials consider it “cool” when a brand responds to their questions.
But what about people who have nasty things to say about your business on social media, or people who have a complaint? That is actually a great opportunity!
After voicing a complaint about a company on social media, 71% of people who have a positive experience and have their issue resolved say they are likely to recommend that company to others. They also say they are likely to spend 21% more than they normally would.
Don’t Ignore Social Media Marketing, Or the World Could Ignore You!
Because of all these benefits social media marketing provides, especially for visibility, having a social media strategy is no longer optional for businesses. Even if they do not intend to advertise or promote themselves on the major social platforms, they need a professional presence that responds actively to people looking for support and answers.
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