Social media’s impact on personal and professional spheres is undeniable. Who would have thought apps like Facebook and Instagram, which were created for fun and entertainment amongst friends, would become integral marketing channels for businesses small and large alike.
Companies should embrace social media as an integrated marketing and CRM channel for its far-reaching and instantaneous ability to convey messages to existing and potential customers. Other benefits of social media use include:
- Obtain customer insights:
Social media gives you the chance to obtain valuable information about your customers’ interests and behaviors. For example, you can monitor user comments and sentiments to know how they perceive your products/services.
- Show your human side:
Allows you to show the personal side of brands. Through the tone and content of your communication, customers associate certain qualities (bold, direct, environmentally-conscious, edgy, etc…) with your brand, just as we do for fellow friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Customers then see the brand as more personable and accessible, and hopefully “one of them” on some level, leading to a deeper connection with the business.Fun facts about the staff, behind the scene preparation for an event, birthdays and success parties in office, and such similar “unfiltered” and “non-commercial” insights into your business will invite the customers closer to your service/product.
- Higher engagement with customer base:
Social media provides an opportunity for real-time engagement with your potential audience and customers. Your audience can now interact with your brand, enquire in detail and engage with your content, all in a fraction of the time it takes to do the same via a phone call or email.
Through feedback, customer inquiries, lifestyle tips, contests and competitions, social media can help you keep your audience engaged with your brand. This leads to brand loyalty and higher conversions in the long run.
- Increase inbound traffic:
Drive traffic to your website. The more high quality and relevant content you distribute through social media, the more inbound traffic you will generate. Higher inbound traffic results in higher conversion rates.
For example, professionals may reach out to your business through interesting articles you posted on LinkedIn whereas a person looking for photography services may come across your work on Instagram.
- Improve search engine optimization
Google has confirmed that it does take “social signals” into consideration when ranking a page. The more widespread your brand is across social media channels the higher your chances of being found via a Web search. Optimize your social profiles with fresh, updated and relevant content to gain increased exposure on the Web. Don’t forget that nowadays Google is not the only search engine. Considerable content is created and shared on social media and social platforms have therefore become very relevant search engines.
- Gain brand advocates:
Customers talking positively about their experience with your brand helps you increase your credibility within their network. As per a study conducted by Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. The ratings and reviews on social media platforms impact your revenue considerably so give them due attention.
How has social media impacted your business’ marketing? Do you like the spontaneous nature of social media?