by: Finella Kristle Panlilio
Friday, December 12, 2014 |
When it comes to social media, entrepreneurs are split into two groups: there are those who have embraced it as the “next big thing”, taking advantage of its powerful influence for the time being, and there are others who view it as an unprofitable buzzword with a steep, complicated learning curve.
But social media is backed by statistics that, according to HubSpot, show 92% of marketers in 2014 claiming social media marketing is important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. In addition to that, Social Media Examiner reports that 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media, with 85% of participants unsure of the best social media tools to use.
These numbers alone present a huge potential for social media marketing to increase sales, but a lack of understanding on how to achieve those results. Forbes gives a look at 10 of the best ways social media marketing can improve your business:
1. Increases brand recognition
Social media networks give you the opportunity to syndicate your content and increase your visibility. These channels make you more accessible for new customers, and make your existing customers better acquainted with your brand. Seeing your presence on multiple networks makes your brand recognizable.
2. Improves brand loyalty
A report published by Texas Tech University states that brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Take advantage of social media tools available for you to connect with your audience. Don’t forget to have a strategic and open social media plan in place - this could prove influential in transforming consumers into being brand loyal.
3. More opportunities to convert
Building a following lets you interact with all of your customers - new, recent, and old. Every post you share on a social media platform - be it a blog post, an image, a video, or a comment - is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Although not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, the positive ones increase the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Don’t be put out by low click-through rates. The sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant.
4. Higher conversion rates
Social media marketing’s humanization element brings in higher conversion rates. The ability to interact in social media channels makes brands more humanized, and this is important because people like doing business with other people, not with companies. Furthermore, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. A high number of social media followers improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. It’s as simple as building a strong following in social media to improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.
5. Higher brand authority
Interact with your customers regularly to show good faith for other customers. People turn to social media to compliment or brag about a product or service. When they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow you for updates. The more people who are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users. Interacting with major influencers on Twitter or other social networks increases both your visible authority and reach.
6. Increases inbound traffic
Not using social media limits your inbound traffic to those who are already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Keep in mind that every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site. Work on publishing quality content to generate more inbound traffic. That means more leads and more conversions, eventually.
7. Decreases marketing costs
It only takes about an hour a day to develop your content and syndication strategy, and according to HubSpot, 84% of marketers found as little as six hours of effort per week to generate increased traffic. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively inexpensive, depending on your goals. Start small so you never have to worry about exceeding your budget. Increase your budget once you get a better feel for what to expect.
8. Better search engine rankings
SEO is the best way to gain relevant traffic from search engines, but times have changed and it's no longer enough to regularly update your blog, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be using social media presence as a significant factor in calculating their rankings. As such, a brand that is active on social media sends a "brand signal" to search engines that it is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. If you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.
9. Richer customer experiences
At its core, social media is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Interacting with your customers on social media publicly demonstrates your customer service level and enriches your relationship with your customers. Let your customers know that you care about them by addressing their complaints immediately and thanking those who compliment you.
10. Improves customer insights
Social listening gives you the opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave. Know what people think of your business by monitoring user comments. Segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest - and then publish more of that type of content.