There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing fad.  It was thought to be something that “the kids” were wasting their time on and businesses could never really benefit from.  Over time, the sceptics were proved wrong. There are over 3 billion internet users—and over 2 billion of them have active social media accounts. The popular social platforms are offering businesses valuable data about their customers and very effective (mostly) free methods to reach them.  It is our opinion that Social media for business is no longer optional.

If you’re wondering how social media can benefit your business, take a look at the points outlined below:

1. Gain valuable customer insights

Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real time. Every day there are over 500 million Tweets, 4.5 billion Likes on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram.  Behind these astounding numbers is a wealth of information about your customers—who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand.

Through daily active engagement and social listening, you can gather relevant customer data and use that information to make smarter business decisions.

 

2. Increase brand awareness and loyalty

When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. By connecting with them on these platforms, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty.

 

3. Run targeted ads with real-time results

Social ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute content. They also offer powerful targeting options so that you can reach the right audience. If you’re running a Facebook ad, for example, you can target your ad based on location, demographics, interests, behaviours, and connections.  You can track and measure the performance of these ads in real time.

 

4. Generate higher converting leads

Social media increases sales and customer retention through regular interaction and timely customer service. In the 2015 Sales Best Practices Study from research institute MHI Global, world-class companies rated social media as the most effective way to identify key decision makers and new business opportunities.  Lead generation and therefore ROI is also trackable via digital platforms.

 

5. Provide rich customer experiences

Even if you aren’t on social media, most of your customers expect you to be. Over 67 percent of consumers now go to social media for customer service. They expect fast response times and 24/7 support. While not all businesses require 24 / 7 responses -It is critical that fast response times are met.

 

6. Increase website traffic and search ranking

One of the biggest benefits of social media for business is using it to increase your website traffic. Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the higher your search ranking will be. For example, if every person who follows your company on Twitter and retweets post, it’s more likely to rank higher in Google’s search engine results page for variations of the topic addressed.

 

7. Find out what your competitors are doing

With social media monitoring you can gain key information about your competitors. This kind of information will allow you to make strategic business decisions to stay ahead of the pack. You are able to monitor industry keywords and mentions of your competitors’ names and products, using various apps. Based on your search results, you can improve your business to offer product enhancements, service, or content that they may be missing.

 

8. Share content faster and easier

In the past, marketers faced the challenge of ensuring their content reached customers in the shortest possible time. With the help of social media, specifically when it comes to sharing content about your business or for content curation, all you need to do is share it on your brand’s social network accounts.

 

9. Geo-target content

Geo-targeting is an effective way to send your message out to a specific audience based on their location. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have tools that allow you to communicate the right kind of content to your audience.  You can target Twitter messages to followers in specific countries, or send messages from Facebook and LinkedIn company pages to specific groups based on geographical and demographic parameters.

 

10. Build relationships

Social media isn’t about blurting out your company’s sales pitch on social, it’s a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers. For example, social media allows brands to create dialogue with customers therefore creating relationships with them. This kind of social media dialogue between brands and customers is something traditional advertising cannot achieve.

 

We are sure you will find all of this a great reason to get started on social to grow your business!

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