The real social media benefits for business can often get lost in the social network engagement metrics we all love to focus on when we check our social marketing statistics. But the truth of the matter is that the numbers of likes, followers, shares, retweets and other social metrics are just a small piece of the marketing puzzle. In fact, there are many “big picture” benefits of social media marketing that are much more important to a business’s success.
Want to know what they are? Sure you do. Here’s our super seven social media benefits for businesses of all sizes.
1. Join the Crowd
If you want to be where your customers and prospects are on a daily basis, then social networks are the place to be. Erik Qualman’s highly-regarded Social Media Video 2013 is loaded with facts that point to this benefit. Here’s a few. “If If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest and 2x the size of the U.S. population.” “Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn.” “92% of children in the US have a digital footprint/shadow.” Simply put, the majority of your target audience is using one or more social networks regularly. You need to be in the center of it all to reach these people.
2. Build a Brand Bullhorn
There may just be no better way to build brand recognition and control your brand messaging than using social media. It is effective, efficient and inexpensive when compared to traditional marketing methods. When done correctly, your social networks can be used like a brand bullhorn blasting your content to all corners of the online universe. The ability to control your brand and then build a community of fans and followers who are willing to spread your brand’s message is a big-picture benefit not to be ignored.
3. Turbocharge Your Website Traffic
Online advertising and a wide-range of traditional seo tactics were once the main way to rank higher in the search engines and drive people to your business website. Not only can your social media channels help improve your search rankings, but you content can increase your website traffic. In fact, there were studies in late 2012 showing Pinterest overtaking Yahoo organic traffic in sending visitors to websites. Don’t miss this opportunity to grab the social search rankings and online visitors attention before your competition does.
4. Grow Your Bottom Line
The increased traffic your social marketing strategy provides should also lead to an increase in leads and sales. Don’t count on this to happen by chance. When linking back to your website via social media, always have a clear goal in mind – capturing email leads, converting with ecommerce, etc. – to see the true benefit of this increased traffic. By following best practices of social media marketing, your business will have a ready-made audience that wants to buy your products/services and more importantly, recommend those products/services to their social network friends.
5. Gain Market Insight
Want to know exactly what your prospects and customers want? It’s simple – just ask them! Gaining market insight has never been easier than it is now with social networks. You can proactively – and inexpensively – ask for input from your fans and followers. You can lurk in the shadows and see what your target audience is saying online, and peek in on your competition to see what their social community is discussing. You can also use features like Twitter hashtags to search for real-time market data. The possibilities are endless for gaining market insight and spotting opportunities before your competition does.
6. Increase Value of Digital Assets
Your business website or blog, when drifting alone at sea, is not as valuable as a well-organised online footprint consisting of multiple marketing channels. Businesses reap the benefit of increased value of their digital assets when their online marketing channel functions as a well-oiled machine. Social media is the fuel that drives that machine by repurposing content in various forms for various outcomes on a variety of channels. Your businesses perfectly-implemented social marketing plan is the key that unlocks the value of your online assets.
7. Create Space Between You and Your Competition
Odds are that your competition isn’t using its Facebook for business page, Twitter account or other social networks as efficiently as they could be. Smart businesses know that and take advantage of this lack of social media know-how to gain an edge on their competition. Creating space between you and your competition while establishing your brand as the go-to business on social media is a benefit that should have all business owners salivating. After all, once you connect, engage and build a loyal following on social media, it will take twice the effort (probably more) for your competition to get their foot in the door.