Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing that utilizes social media networks to generate and share content to promote products or services. Since 2013, the number of companies that utilize social media marketing grew from 86.2% to 91% through 2019. Social media marketing has been continually trending towards an increase in commerce, user base, and ephemeral content.
With the continued adoption of social media by both businesses and consumers, a market value increase can be predicted. Listed below are 10 advantages of social media that can benefit a business.
1. View Industry Trends In Real-Time
Some social media platforms thrive on real-time updates. Companies have started to piggyback on these real-time trends, instead of waiting for statistics and market research to be published. Having access to real-time information and trends can be advantageous, as it allows businesses to get advertise or create products/services that coincide with these trends.
2. More Comprehensive Competitive Analysis
Analyzing the social media activity of competitors allows businesses to adjust strategies and monitor brand perception in real-time. What promotions are being run, how they are promoting, and consumer response can all be found in one place — essentially for free.
This information can help provide a comprehensive understanding of what strategies are working to produce customer engagement and sales revenue without increasing research costs. This is an extremely useful source of data, and furthermore can be implemented by current technology to create repeat sales strategies.
3. Efficient Customer Service
Customer experience is an influential component of any business’s success. With the advent of social media, immediate and accessible information can be made available publicly, so having a plan for responding is necessary.
Addressing the customer through these channels allows additional consumers to witness the interaction. If handled well, it may increase the perception of consumer advocacy towards a brand, while helping companies avoid negative reviews on review sites.
4. Curate Relevant Content
Some social media platforms have a “story” option. A “story” is a piece of ephemeral content consisting of either a video or photo that chronicles daily activity without engaging a specific user. Stories can be targeted at an entire following, instead of a specific subset of those people.
Businesses can use a “story” to create content for and about their customers, products, services, employees, and more while reaching large followings of consumers. The content should be relevant and attention-getting, while considering what consumers will most likely respond to.
5. Leverage Referral And Word of Mouth Traffic
“Word-of-mouth” referral doesn’t just happen in person anymore — social media can be a lucrative platform for referrals. By creating a visible, active presence on social channels, referral traffic can be generated through shares and clicks.
It’s important to remember that getting referrals is only part of the goal; businesses also need to qualify leads and connect new customers to the right service or package. Using scheduling software to turn referrals into appointments ensures new customers get on the calendar and into company records.
For example, a lawn care company likely sees an explosion of interest and referrals when spring comes around and demand spikes. Using scheduling software can keep all these new relationships organized and positive — which opens the door to new referrals.
6. Appeal To A Younger Demographic
Social media users are typically much younger than the average adult, and can be influenced through these channels more easily as their frequency of usage is higher. It is important to note that while the younger demographic constitutes a larger percentile of social media users, content should still be directed towards target consumers as a whole.
7. Become Relatable
Regularly maintaining and creating content on social media can help a company seem more tangible. The more relatable content is, the more inclined a consumer may feel to share that content.
User-generated content that customers have created regarding a business can be shared and liked by a business as well. This reduces the number of assets, photos, and content that companies need to spend time creating, and lets customers feel a more personal connection with the brand.
8. Networking and Partnership Opportunities
Companies that engage in frequent social media use may increase the likelihood that audiences recognize their brand through visibility. This can impact both consumer and business demographics alike, and can be a great way to establish brand trust.
With increased trust and visibility comes the credentials for networking and partnership opportunities. Other companies might feel more attracted to a company that is both trusted and has a positive brand image.
One of the most influential aspects of social media usage is establishing a sentiment about a brand. Creating content that is engaging and supports an authentic image of a brand is possible by leveraging various social platforms. Companies can pick and choose what features to highlight while addressing audiences in a large capacity.
Social media marketing can be considerably less expensive compared to other marketing and advertising options. Typically, creating a social media account and posting content is free.
It is not practical for most businesses to establish a presence on every major social media platform, due to the time it can take to develop quality and compelling content. Researching and picking the right social platform to advertise on, such as Facebook or Instagram, should help companies meet their marketing goals in an extremely cost-effective way.
It takes time to build up a reputation and presence on social media platforms. It is important to continually utilize social media for marketing as audience size increases over time. Old content can be seen as being less relevant by consumers, and with the constant flood of new content, may not even be seen by them at all. As social media becomes an increasingly prominent source of data and marketing resources, businesses should consider investing more into utilizing these avenues for their gain.