There is no doubt that social media marketing has become a valuable tool for promoting businesses. With the exception of adults over the age of 65, the majority of Americans from every age group are using social media in some fashion. The point being, it is safe to say that a good amount of your target audience is on social media. While your business may already have social media accounts, succeeding in social media marketing goes far beyond simply creating an account. Strong social media marketing takes time and effort to execute, but its rewards can be very lucrative.
Here are some of the few advantages of social media marketing and how it can affect the value of a company:
1. Targeting Your Audience
Like in all marketing channels, social media marketing works best when properly targeted to the right audience. A social media platform allows your business to directly communicate and share information with your audience. With the right platform, you can start learning more about how your customers see your business. For example, one of the biggest decisions linked to social media marketing is choosing the right platform for your business. While you might be intrigued to create an account on as many platforms as possible, this strategy may produce diminishing returns for the simple fact that some social media platforms work better for some businesses than others. Therefore, the best way for you to make an engaging presence is to choose primary platforms to focus on. The best bet is for you to pick a platform that is used by your target audience regularly.
For instance, B2B companies might experience a narrower set of platforms that apply to them as some social media platforms primarily target consumer facing solutions. Examples of this would be corporate law firms, security services, and any other B2B service that prioritizes privacy.
Therefore, the best way for you to make an engaging presence is to choose primary platforms to focus on. The best bet is for you to pick a platform that is used by your target audience regularly. A simple way to choose a platform for your business is to look at the most popular social media platforms based on the age and demographic group you are targeting. As of 2020, both baby boomers and generation X Americans primarily use Facebook while young adults and teenagers use Instagram as their social media of choice.
2. Growing and Catering your Audience
Simply setting up a social media account for your business does not cost anything; however, the financial benefits can be very rewarding. One of the major benefits of social media marketing comes in user-generated messaging and engagement. Having content on social media makes it easier for satisfied customers to show your business to others. You can also execute campaigns to garner more attention. With contests, giveaways, and sales, followers will be motivated to share their experiences with friends through comments, posts, and stories. All of these initiatives combined can lead to steady growth of followers and a higher potential of new customers.
Social media makes it easier for your customers to be reminded and become loyal to your brand. While email marketing might be effective for certain scenarios, social media provides a complementary route to get your message heard. Furthermore, the reader is more likely to engage with your material on social media- over say, email- as it is much simpler for them to “like” or comment on a post than to reply to an email or follow instructions on a website.
3. Product/Service Involvement
Customer feedback is an important resource for growth, success, and sustainability in any business. Using traditional methods of getting feedback like paper surveys or comment boxes have become close to obsolete due to the rise of the internet. While email marketing still has its place in the world, features such as spam detection can make it difficult to reach a significant sample size of your audience. Fortunately, through social media, getting good-quality feedback can be easier. For example, Facebook has a feature where followers can leave reviews of a business directly on a business’s page. This can allow you to get instant feedback to make specific operational decisions.
Another scenario is if you are thinking of launching a new product or service and you are concerned about its reception, you can leverage your social media audience to test the waters. Social media is a great tool for you to receive initial feedback on launches. A lot of smaller businesses handpick certain loyal customers or local influencers to test their new products. Loyal customers can give honest feedback on behalf of their audience, while influencers can also boost your reach and garner attention when it comes time to launch your new product.
4. Great Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Social media platforms already have some of the best SEO strategies in the digital world. When you look up any person or celebrity, one of the first search results you will see are their social accounts. The same logic can be said about businesses. Social media accounts tend to rank high due to the amount of constant activity and engagement that they produce. By creating regularly scheduled social media content on your account, your chances of your business being recognized on digital search engines will definitely increase. Each piece of content created will increase your likelihood of engagement from your followers which will create a positive feedback loop to your native website, resulting in better SEO.
5. Gaining Earned Media
In marketing, the term “earned media” refers to any material about your company that you did not create or pay for. This includes reviews, word of mouth, press mentions, and more. It can be very difficult for any small business to receive earned media especially when first starting out. Fortunately, social media marketing opens up a beacon of potential earned media. Social media is all about sharing experiences, thoughts, and recommendations to others including business products and services. There are thousands of local community blog accounts that are designated to talk about new and trendy businesses. This could be an avenue for your business to receive notoriety without the need to reach for the wallet.
6. Unlock New Sales Channels
New features on platforms like Facebook and Instagram now allow users to buy products directly from the app. This opens up the possibility of removing friction between the customer and the commitment to purchase.
Tying it all together
When it comes time to sell your business, a good social media presence is an amazing asset to have. Prior to the internet, it was difficult at times to tangibly show how big your reach is and how loyal your customers are when marketing the sale of your business to potential buyers. However, with social media, they provide all necessary analytics (customer demographics, conversion rates, etc.) for free with just a few taps on the screen. At the end of the day, it is an indicator of progress and positioning in the market- two very important indicators for any buyer. By having a reputable social media account with a strong following, you are in essence bringing to life an intangible asset (brand equity) that can increase the value of your business.