Not so long ago, social media was thought to be nothing more than a passing trend. Also, not so long ago, the Internet itself was considered to be a “most trendy and oversold community” by skeptics who failed to envision what a valuable asset the information highway would potentially become.
Much to the chagrin of those skeptics, 3,885,567,619 people were using the Internet worldwide as of June 2017, and 2.6 billion of them are actively using social networking sites. Here’s why business entities are finally starting to see the light and learning how to harness the power of social media to gain an advantage over their competition:
- Gleaning valuable customer insight and feedback
Social media platforms employ sophisticated algorithms to catalog vast amounts of metadata about their users in real-time. Every day, billions of people are logging on to their social media accounts and sharing a wealth of information about themselves, which businesses can draw from to make improvements to their products and services or pinpoint the appropriate demographics.
Businesses with an active social media presence can grow their brand by culling and compiling relevant customer data and feedback and utilizing it to enhance their overall business strategy and customer experience.
- Increased consumer base, improved brand awareness, and demonstrated brand loyalty
Your brand’s presence on social media allows consumers to find and “connect” with your company. By reciprocating that connection and forming an interactive “relationship” with your consumer base, increasing consumer retention and fostering brand loyalty is easily achievable. A study conducted by Edison Research and titled, “The Social Habit 2014,” found that “53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.”
- Publish targeted ads with immediate results
Publishing highly targeted ads via social media is an inexpensive yet highly successful approach to promotional advertising and content distribution. Using the free or low-cost tools available with any social media account, businesses can run effective ad campaigns by fine-tuning their audience targeting to ensure their content is seen by their desired demographic. These same tools also provide valuable feedback as to the effectiveness of your campaigns by capturing user behavior and providing detailed reports of their interactions with your content.
- Generating higher conversions
In today’s marketplace, consumers turn to social media and product review websites when they are actively shopping for a product. That means when they arrive at your business’s social media page; they are likely already in the mindset to make a purchase. Social media allows you to capitalize on that frame of mind and increase your sales conversions – so long as your content is relevant, persuasive, and perceived as value added.
- Increase search results ranking and increased website traffic
Landing on the front page of Google’s search results is every business’s greatest desire because a first-page ranking drives massive traffic to a website. There are several methods to achieve such a high ranking, but those yielding the most significant results include amassing a wealth of valuable content and a high volume of traffic to your site.
Social media can be a hugely useful tool in driving traffic to your company’s site because a single article or meme about the right topic shared at the right time can achieve “viral” status literally overnight – sending tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors to your site. And all that traffic, including social media shares, retweets, likes, and comments counts toward elevating your site’s Google ranking.
It’s about building relationships, not your sales pitch
Ultimately, social media is about building and maintaining relationships with your audience. It’s not meant to be a place where your timeline is plastered with promotional material, so when visitors see that’s what you’re about, they’ll quickly unfollow your company’s feed.
In today’s modern society, social media platforms provide a one-stop forum for users to read about current events, keep up with family and friends, and find valuable information about their community and the world. Littering it with ads only serves to make the internet look like a highway full of billboards – unappealing and tedious.
The most successful businesses find creative ways to generate content which demonstrates how their brand fits into the bigger picture and shared values of their consumer base, and that innovative content makes up the bulk of what they share on social media.