Social media marketing requires both strategy and creativity.
While it may seem overwhelming, its importance cannot be overstated. It’s so important that 97% of marketers are using social media and 78% of salespeople outsell their peers by using social media for their business.
Plus, its benefits extend far beyond increasing sales.
However, not all businesses are aware of the benefits of social media marketing. In fact, 50% of small businesses aren’t using social media to promote their business. That’s an alarming number. Even more concerning is that an additional 25% don’t plan to use social media in the future either.
1. Create Brand Recognition
Gaining brand recognition is one of any business’ most important marketing goals. That’s because consumers want to buy brands they recognize. Thankfully, social media allows for easy and effective brand building.
Social media has a benefit over traditional media because it can get your brand in front of people much more quickly and easily. Furthermore, it gets your audience looking at your brand even when they aren’t thinking about your brand or product.
2. Generate A Conversation Around Your Brand
A strong social media marketing strategy will generate conversation about your brand, products, and partners.
Take this example from PlayStation. A simple post saying congratulations to Naughty Dog (the company behind the new video game Uncharted 4) for its success generated feedback on the game.
3. Learn How To Connect With Your Audience Through Social Listening
Social listening is the act of monitoring social conversations around certain topics. It helps you understand what’s important to your audience and identify trends your target audience is following.
You’ll learn about what they’re struggling with, which can help you create content addressing those pain points.
You can also identify the tone and language that your target audience uses.
4. Tell Your Brand’s Story
Using social media is a great way to share your brand’s mission and share stories. Effective stories can have a great impact on your brand’s image. They can be simple or extensive depending on what you think will be most effective.
5. Gather Data From Audience Research To Improve
Audience research is similar to social listening. It searches the keywords your audience will be using, but it’s more focused on your specific product. You can use social media to gather this information.
6. Provide Exceptional Customer Service That Keeps Your Followers Happy
Customers now expect companies to handle their requests through social media.
A strong investment in customer service can build meaningful relationships between your company and your customers. And with social media, the challenge of customer service remains as demanding as it had before.
Social media allows for immediate interaction and customer feedback. Businesses can also respond to their customers right away. With nearly half of U.S. customers using social media to ask questions about products or services, having a social media customer service strategy is extremely important.
7. Build Customer Loyalty
What could possibly be better than building brand loyalty for free?
Customers follow and interact with the brands they enjoy. But what’s interesting is that 53% of customers who follow your business are likely to be loyal to your business specifically.
It’s an obvious direct correlation: If customers follow you, they are more likely to choose you versus your competition. Furthermore, if they’re loyal customers, they’ll increase your traffic.
8. Direct Referral Traffic To Your Site Or Blog
Social media marketing can assist in sending customers directly to your site.
It’s unlikely that all of your traffic will come through search engines. Social media channels allow for more diverse inbound traffic streams.
9.Social Media Can Assist With Link Building
Social media can have an indirect impact on SEO.
For example, let’s say that you get 1,000 shares on a blog post because it contains strong content. Some of your followers who see your post may write similar content and link back to your original post as a source. Search engines will then pick up on the fact that your content has linked back to a good amount and (hopefully) rank your post higher than your competition.
Google and Bing also display tweets in search results. This feature is more relevant for trending topics.
10. It’s (Mostly) FREE
Thats right, (mostly) free.
It’s free to create social media profiles and post organic content. For some, that may be enough, and the quality of the content may promote the content on its own. However, if you’d like to go the extra mile and promote it further, paying for promotion will help increase exposure.
You can promote your business on Facebook for any budget. Facebook also automatically directs your ad toward users that are interested in what you’re advertising. Twitter works the same way.
You have to set up a campaign, and they’ll work with your budget. That means you’ll have a huge ROI and you'll use your marketing budget in an effective way.
11. Establish Your Brand As A Topical Authority
Topical authority means your business is a trusted source of information on a given topic.
So where does social media come in? Establishing topical authority is a subset of content marketing. The more you use social media to post relevant content, the more search engines will pick up on your authority on that subject.
This can make you become the “go-to” authority for a specific topic. The more authoritative your page, is the more traffic will increase.
12. Retarget Your Audience Using Social Media
Retargeting is a wonderful tool for social media marketing. Generally only 2% of customers will actually purchase something during their first visit to your site. Advertising can help reach that other 98%.
One way to do that is to run retargeting ads.
Retargeting works by keeping a list of people who visit your site and placing anonymous “cookies” within their browser. When they visit a social media site, a retargeting service then displays the ads. This allows for your business to be in the eyes of the customer beyond just when they’re on your site.
13. Help Your Cause To Go Viral
We’re all familiar with viral ads; just take a walk down memory lane and take a look at some of these great viral campaigns. Social media can have a huge impact on making ads viral. In fact, that’s where most of those ads are shared.
14. Driving Conversions
Traffic is just traffic, right?
Not quite. What you really care about is how much your traffic drives conversions.
Here are four great ways to drive conversions with social media:
Add calls to action: A call to action is helpful because it motivates your customer to do something. They feel empowered to purchase your product. You can also design your social media messages to appeal the to the customer so they’ll want to take a specific action, such as purchasing your product.
Take a look at CoSchedule’s cover photo on our Facebook page, it engages the audience to start a 14-day trial because it shows that they can rock their content marketing strategy.