Can Social Media Marketing Actually Help My Business?
Businesses large and small benefit from social media marketing. In fact, not using social media can actually do harm to your business. A front desk receptionist is no longer the first point of contact between your business and the wider world — now it’s often a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile page.
Having a social media presence is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. But if you’re still looking for more proof, here are six ways social media can immediately start helping your business.
Claim Your Own(ed) Media
It’s true that many consumers talk about products and brands. You, as a brand, are often not part of this conversation. But some folks do more than talk. Some want to do research before they buy.
In fact, around 30% of consumers are researching products on social media before buying. And here you do have an opportunity to claim a spot at the table. Claim your own media profiles on the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.) and start producing your own “owned media” about the benefits, features, and USP of your brand.
Offer Social Proof
Social proof is powerful, and one of the best resources for serving up social proof to your audiences is social media. Kissmetrics says that positive social proof is more influential on a consumer’s buying decision than the prospect of saving money.
There are many opportunities for social proof on social. Likes and follower counts are some of the most obvious and easiest targets to achieve. With a bit of effort, nearly any business can accrue 1,000 to 2,000 likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter. Great blog content and proper marketing can garner a respectable number of post likes, comments, and shares. And great customer service paired with an IRL marketing push can get your shop a 4- or 5-star review on your Facebook page.
Stay Top of Mind
The latest stats say the average user spends more than two hours on social media per day. That’s good news considering more and more people are dropping cable and using ad-blocking software while web surfing.
Combined with other tools — display ads, tracking pixels, custom audiences, refined user-base targeting, retargeting — social media is a fantastic way to stay top of mind with customers and potential leads.
Improve Customer Care
Consumer interest in social media customer service is growing. According to SproutSocial, 35% of customers look first to social media for customer service help. Nielsen found 33% would rather leave a Facebook comment or tweet at the business than pick up the phone. This makes sense to consumers, as phone lines for big companies are often swamped anyways.
Social media can even provide an opportunity to solve issues you otherwise wouldn’t hear about. We’re all familiar with the dissatisfied customer who won’t tell you there’s a problem. In the modern era, those folks will often post on social media about their problem, which gives socially savvy companies the opportunity to publicly reach out and offer help. This is good for helping disgruntled customers, but also for online bystanders who see that you care.
Boost Conversions and Sales
Social media can help both conversions and sales in other parts of your business. One Hubspot study found a 13% increase in conversion rate via social media leads as compared to other lead sources. The effect on sales can be even better. A KiteDesk study from a few years ago found 64% of sales professionals had closed at least one deal as the direct result of using social media. The trend has only grown since then. The bottom line is that social media marketing helps your bottom line, improving brand awareness, loyalty, equity, authority, and more. All of which lead to more conversions and better sales.
Enhance SEO Performance
Lastly, it’s worth considering the off-platform benefits of brand social media. Links back to your site from high-authority platforms can factor as a ranking signal for your SEO. And few sites are as highly regarded by Google as the major social media websites.
Your own posts of your website content to your owned social profiles counts just the same to Google that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. Of course, when your fans create their own social posts linking to your website content, this further amplifies your SEO boost.
There you have it — six more great ways social media marketing can help your business. It’s been proven again and again by business after business. There’s no downside to doing at least some social media marketing for your brand, yet there are many benefits beyond these six. So claim your brand’s social media platforms and usernames and begin getting to know your customers, offering value and customer service, and growing your conversions and sales.