22 Benefits of Social Media for Businesses
Social media is more than just a platform for people to connect, it is a powerful business tool. These platforms are becoming an essential part of businesses of all shapes and sizes. If you and your business are not convinced, you are missing out on plenty of great opportunities.
Consider the fact that there are 4.2 billion active users across the social media platforms. That is A LOT of people you and your business could reach, with a quick and inexpensive marketing campaign!
Stacey McLachlan, Christina Newberry, writers for blog.hootsuite.com, a social media marketing specialty company, share 22 benefits of social media for businesses. In their article, they break up their benefits into 7 main categories: Branding, Growth, Content Creation and Distribution, Communication, Gaining Insights, Advertising, and Proving ROI.
Benefits of Social Media for Brand Building
1. Increase brand awareness
With over half of the world’s population using social media, platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter are a natural place to reach new and highly targeted potential customers.
Think people only connect with brands they already know on social media? Consider that 83 percent of Instagram users
say they discover new products on the platform.
2. Humanize Your Brand
The ability to create real human connections (a.k.a. Meaningful Relationship Moments) is one of the key benefits of social media for business. Introduce your followers to the people who make up your company and showcase how existing customers are using and benefiting from your products.
Authenticity builds trust. Trust, in turn, builds marketing receptiveness and drives new business. And social is the best place to get real!
Show how you’re embracing your brand values, how your product works in real life, and how you’re putting the interests of your employees and customers first.
3. Establish Your Brand as a Thought Leader
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer
found that while there has been a recent swing towards distrust of government, NGOs and media, business is an institution with a 61 percent level of trust. People are looking to brands for insights and information… and there’s no better place to share that than social media.
No matter what industry your business is in, social media offers the opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader—the go-to source for information on topics related to your niche.
4. Stay Top of Mind
Seventy percent of social media users log into their accounts at least once per day, according to a 2021 study by Pew Research Center
, and many people (49 percent!) admit to checking social media multiple times per day.
Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with fans and followers every time they log in. Keep your social posts entertaining and informative, and your followers will be glad to see your new content in their feeds, keeping you top of mind so you’re their first stop when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Benefits of Social Media for Growth
5. Increase Website Traffic
Social media posts and ads are key ways to drive traffic to your website. Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to get readers as soon as you publish a new post.
Participating in social chats can also be a great way to increase your visibility, get attention from new people, showcase your expertise, and drive traffic to your website. (Though make sure to go beyond self-promotion to offer real value!)
Include your website address in all of your social media profiles so that people who want to learn more about you can do so with one easy click.
6. Generate Leads
Social media offers an easy and low-commitment way for potential customers to express interest in your business and your products. Lead generation is such an important benefit of social media for business that many social networks offer advertising formats specifically designed to collect leads.
7. Boost Sales
Your social accounts are a critical part of your sales funnel—the process through which a new contact becomes a customer. (Lingo alert: this is called social selling!)
As the number of people using social media continues to grow and social sales tools evolve, social networks will become increasingly important for product search and ecommerce. The time is right to align your social marketing efforts with sales goals.
8. Partner with Influencers
Recommendations from friends and family play a huge role in consumer decisions, as do reviews. When you get people talking about your product or company on social media, you build brand awareness and credibility, and set yourself up for more sales.
One key way to drive social word of mouth is to partner with influencers—people who have a large following on social media and can draw the attention of that following to your brand.
Benefits of Social Media for Content Creation and Distribution
9. Promote Content
Promoting your content on social channels is a great way to get your smart, well-researched content in front of new people, proving your expertise and growing your audience.
To maximize the benefits of social media for business, make sure to have a content marketing plan in place, too.
10. Go Viral
As people start liking, commenting on, and sharing your social posts, your content is exposed to new audiences—their friends and followers. Going viral takes this concept one step further.
As people share your content with their networks, and their networks follow suit, your content spreads across the internet, potentially getting thousands or even millions of shares.
This exposure is especially beneficial because, in a world where there is far more content than any one person could ever consume, a friend’s social share acts as a kind of pre-screening.
Going viral is no easy task, of course, but without social media, it would be next to impossible.
Being on social media also means that your fans can help you with this goal… like when one TikTok user created choreography for Grammarly’s Youtube ad audio and sparked a trend of 100,000-plus users doing the same.
11. Source Content
There are two key ways businesses can source content on social media:
Ask your followers what they want, or engage in social listening, to come up with ideas for content you can create yourself. Put simply: Give people what they’re asking for. It’s a sure way to create content that people will want to read and share.
Source material for posts:
Create a contest or use a hashtag to source user-generated content (UGC) you can share. Getting your followers involved can build excitement about your brand, while also providing you with a library of social posts to share over time.
Benefits of Social Media for Communication
12. Reputation Management
Your customers are already talking about you on social media, whether or not you’re there to respond. If you and your team are on the ball, you can pick up on important social posts about your brand to highlight the positive and address the negative before it turns into a major issue.
Is someone saying something about your business that’s not true? Be sure to share your side of the story in a polite, professional way. Someone singing your praises? Send them plenty of thanks and draw attention to their kind words.
13. Crisis Communication
Does your company have a plan in place for dealing with a crisis? While small businesses may not have a crisis blow up to the same sort of scale as, say, an issue with Starbucks, a smaller number of shares can have a devastating impact within a tight-knit community or niche.
Silence is not an option when it comes to responding to crises on social media. Maintaining well-run and managed social accounts and having a plan in place can help make sure you’re present and ready to engage if the worst occurs.
14. Customer and Audience Engagement
Social networks allow you to interact directly with customers and fans, and likewise give them the chance to interact directly with your brand. Unlike traditional media, which offers only one-way communication, social media is a two-way street.
If you want customers and followers to be engaged, you have to be engaged yourself. Stay active and respond to comments and questions on your own social media posts in a way that’s appropriate to your brand.
You can also use social media monitoring to keep an eye on what people are saying across the social web.
15. Customer Service and Customer Support
People expect brands to be available on social media and seek out their social accounts for customer service — and beyond that, about half of social media users expect a response from brands on social media within three hours.
Benefits of Social Media for Gaining Insights
16. Learn More about Your Customers
Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real-time. You can use that information to make smarter business decisions.
All of the major social networks offer analytics that provide demographic information about the people interacting with your account. This can help you tailor your social media marketing strategy to better speak to your real audience.
17. Gauge Sentiment around your Brand
We mentioned social media monitoring above as an important element of audience engagement. But it’s also a key source of intelligence about your brand itself. While it’s important to know how much people are talking about you online, it’s also important to know what they’re actually saying — and feeling — about your brand.
Lots of mentions could be a good thing… but if you’re getting lots of mentions with a negative sentiment, you need to do some quick thinking to figure out what’s gone wrong and address the problem.
Using social media for your business allows you to stay on top of sentiment analysis so you can protect your brand reputation.
18. Keep an Eye on the Competition
It’s also important to know what people are saying about your competitors.
For example, tracking mentions of your competitors might reveal pain points with their products or services that you could reach out to address, winning new customers in the process.
Monitoring the competition on social media also means you’ll be aware when your competitors launch new products, run promotions and release new reports or data.
19. Stay on Top of Industry News
In the online world, things move fast—and you can’t afford to be left behind. Keeping a virtual ear to the ground through social listening is a way to stay informed about upcoming changes to your industry that could affect the way you do business.
Benefits of Social Media for Advertising
20. Targeted Advertising
Social ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute content. They also offer powerful targeting options so you can reach the right audience and make the most of your budget.
Savvy marketers have embraced this key benefit of social media for business: by 2022, advertisers are expected to spend over $56 billion
on promoting products over social media.
With ad targeting options including demographic information, geography, language, and even online behaviors, you can craft specific messages that best speak to different groups of potential customers, and only pay for the exact viewers you want to reach.
Nearly 70 percent of online shopping carts
People who have abandoned products in a shopping cart are prime potential customers. They have already found your website, browsed your products, and made a decision about what they might want. People abandon shopping carts for many reasons, but someone who has expressed this degree of interest in your company should not be ignored.
Benefits of Social Media for Proving ROI
22. Reporting and Analytics
It is always a challenge for marketers to prove return on investment. But with social media tracking and analytics tools, you can see the full impact of your social media activities, from follows to engagements right through to purchases.
Tools like Google Analytics
and Hootsuite Impact
track website traffic generated from social media, conversions, email sign-ups, and ROI for both organic and paid social media campaigns.
are another great tracking tool that will help you see which social networks are providing the most benefits for your business.
Like McLachlan and Newberry state, social media for business is no longer optional. It's an essential way to reach your customers, gain valuable insights, and grow your brand.
If your business is on the fence about the power of social media, now is the time to dive in. Experiment to find out what works and set goals for your social media marketing campaigns.
For more help with starting up your social media and managing accounts, reach out to us
Read the full article
by McLachlan and Newberry.