Among all the leaps in technology, without the doubt, social media is among those that have drastically changed how society operates as a whole. We went from connecting only to those in our periphery to being able to reach virtually anyone anywhere at any time.
Social media has had its fair share of doubters and skeptics in the beginning but slowly, people have come to realize that it offers a lot of benefits, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Below are some ways that social media impact online businesses.
- PREDICTING EMERGING TRENDS
Social media today is a source of big data production machines. The analytics used in social media platforms are able to produce insights on new and trending topics that can be used for different domains, from politics to advertising. Social media trends are also good indicators for different phenomena, from a shift in opinion about an emerging situation to disease outbreaks.
In business, shared content and social activity by your target audience is a great predictor in knowing what trends are currently happening that could benefit your business. For example, hashtags on Twitter and Instagram can be used to shed light on what both influencers and users are discussing at the moment, from the latest fashion trend to dramas that are happening in different demographics.
Listening to what your target audience is talking about on social media can help you make informed business decisions that’ll drive up sales, or at least boost your brand’s social media presence. This process is called social monitoring which involves monitoring different social channels relevant to your brand for direct mentions, feedback, and mentions of specific keywords. This is a great way to get insights about your industry as a whole.
2. BETTER CUSTOMER SERVICE
Like it or not, social media is a customer service channel. It is more than just a platform to connect with friends and family. It provides a good platform for existing and potential customers to reach out to your company, voice out concerns, seek help for their queries, and ask questions about the product or service that your brand offers.
The rise of social media has paved a new way for consumers to interact with brands that they love and support, and a place to air out their grievances and complaints when those brands disappoint. Many companies have also begun to realize how powerful connecting directly with customers can be when those same customers start posting about their experience with the business, especially a positive one, to their followers.
At the same time, if a customer takes the time to contact a company or a brand through social media, they expect to get a response. If they’re treated well, they will become loyal customers. Treat them badly, or ignore them and you will possibly have in your hands a PR crisis that will only be bad for business.
3. INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR SITE
A lot of businesses are now publishing content in order to build their audience as well as to increase traffic to their websites. But sometimes, even the best content no matter how engaging and valuable may not be enough to drive up traffic to their site and increase conversion. One way to rectify this is to share that content on social media.
At the moment, it’s safe to say that social media is here to stay – it’s not just another fad that many experts were quick to point out when it first started gaining traction. As of writing this article, Facebook has a total user count of 2.498 billion, YouTube has around 2 billion users, Instagram at approximately 1 billion, and the emerging platform TikTok sits at about 800 million active users per month. Even if you’re only able to tap into a small portion of, say, Facebook’s user base, it would be an enormous boost to your site’s traffic.
In order to become effective at sharing content on social media, here are some tips you can follow:
- Take your audience into consideration. Your feed is for them, not for you.
- Don’t become a spammer. Plan a posting schedule rather than post several contents all at once.
- Never do anything you wouldn’t like.
- Always share content that has value for your audience.
4. INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS
It’s easy to understand why building brand awareness is important to the success of any business. Businesses with good brand awareness are those that are frequently mentioned in conversations and are the big players in their respective industries.
Many believe that we are currently living in the digital age. Never before are we more connected, and mainly through different social media platforms. Marketers have started to realize the value social media presents to companies and have started integrating it into their marketing strategies. One such way is to increase brand awareness.
There are different ways social media help increase brand awareness. Some include:
- Increasing engagement. Brands are able to connect directly with existing customers as well as their prospects.
- Promoting content. Good quality content gets a ton of attention on social media, whether it’s video, blog posts, or photos.
- Social sharing. Share-worthy content can help brands extend their reach.
5. MULTICHANNEL CAMPAIGNS
Multichannel marketing is the practice of engaging and interacting with customers through the use of direct and indirect communication channels such as retail stores, direct mail, email, mobile, video marketing for small businesses, etc. This allows customers to pick their responses using the channel they’re most comfortable with.
Consumers of today shift quickly between different channels – from social media to email to websites, and back to social media again. While it is true that social media offers significant value on its own, it can have even more impact and power if it’s used together with other marketing initiatives and strategies. The messages you post on social media help to support and reinforce your company’s messaging on other channels. It can help provide your brand with another opportunity to reach more of your audience no matter where they are.
6. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP AND DELIVERY OF CONTENT
Business owners have to remember: creating amazing content is one thing, effectively delivering those to your target audience is another. This is where social media becomes crucial for businesses to reach their audience and effectively deliver content to those who are most likely to respond to them and potentially share them with others. This helps to build a strong relationship between your business and your customer base.
If the content you’re sharing is valuable, helpful, and influential, then your business will be seen as a leader within your industry. It is important, therefore, to strategize and implement a social media marketing strategy that’s well-thought-of, that offers value that is fresh, and can help your target audience see you and your business as an industry leader which will inevitably make you stand out.
7. INCREASE SALES
The main goal of marketing, whether it be content marketing or video marketing for small businesses, is to drive up sales for the business. Although social media marketing might not be focused on direct selling, it can invariably drive up sales by creating and maintaining and meaningful and healthy relationships with your customer and target audience, while at the same time showcasing the products and services, case studies, feedback, testimonials, and the like. These connections would make your business at the forefront of customers and would be the first things they would consider when the time of need arrives.
Eliza Brooks is a passionate blogger and frequent traveler who loves to write about digital marketing, seo, social media marketing, and more. She is currently working with Arcane Marketing, the leading social media advertising agency in Idaho, which offers search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, social media marketing, video marketing for small business, web design and development, and more.
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