Social media is such a central part of today’s digital marketing that any business that is seeking to stand out from its competitors must create and implement a social media marketing plan. While some entrepreneurs have resisted social media, the majority have recognized it for what it is: the 21st century way of connecting with and selling products and services to customers. This explains why many marketers now use social media as one of their primary marketing platforms.
Hubspot reports that by 2014, 92% of marketers considered social media marketing important for the companies they work for. Fast forward to 2018 and find that 97% of marketers use social media in one way or another to market products and services. This is according to a report published by Social Media Examiner. As you can see, social media marketing has been embraced by practically all marketers in today’s marketplace. The following are some of the benefits of using social media for marketing:
Improved brand loyalty & recognition
Social media can help you increase the loyalty of your customers to your brand. Companies like Starbucks and Nike discovered this secret long ago. They use social media to create deep connections with their customers, who are often willing to still buy from them even when newer and cheaper alternatives emerge in the market.
Through social media, you can interact with your customers and address their concerns. According to a research report by Rare Consulting, the two main drivers of brand loyalty are trust and likability. By create a likable brand image on social media and growing in trust with your customers by addressing their concerns and responding to their queries, you help these customers make a decision to stay loyal to your business.
Social media marketing also helps improve your brand recognition. Every time you put out content on your social media pages, you make a step towards increasing its visibility online. One social media user might come across your brand through a comment that someone in their circle posted to your page, another may start to recognize your brand as a result of seeing in regularly on a number of social networking sites.
Share content faster and easier
Social media helps businesses inform their customers of new products and services as soon as they become available. In past approaches, they had to send out press releases and hope that the information somehow got broadcasted and distributed to their intended audience. Social media gives these companies the power to get to their customers directly and at a fraction of the time, it used to take before social media.
Higher conversion rate
Social media marketing often gives marketers better conversion rates than other digital marketing methods. Indeed, available research suggests that social media marketing has a 100% higher rate of conversions than outbound marketing. The interactions that social media makes possible create a human-element for brands, making people feel more comfortable buying goods and services from them. After all, people prefer doing business with other people instead of companies.
Through increased conversion rates, sales go up. That is, perhaps why many sales professionals use social media. 64% of them say they have closed one or more deals in the past year using social networking sites. Companies in the B2B niche can use LinkedIn to reach out to CEOs, CFOs, and other decision makers and seek out opportunities to avail of their products and services to their companies.
Companies in the B2C niche can use social sites like Instagram and Twitter to nudge their customers to buy their products and services. Long gone are the days that people had to wait in line for 30+ minutes to buy what they want. In the emergence of social media, more and more customers now want the ability to ask for a product to be delivered to their location by going through the purchasing process via social media.
Naïve social media marketers often use social media as a platform for blasting their business’ sales pitch every few hours. The experts have a different approach: they use social media channels to create rich relationships with their customers. Using a tool like Growr, marketers look for the right people to build lasting business relationships with on social media and start conversations with them. They use social media platforms to start conversations and build long-lasting relationships that extend beyond the social networking sites.
Instead of just sending out information, they use the platforms to dialogue with potential customers, understand their fears, hopes and expectations when using the company’s products or services. Before social media, these interactions were extremely difficult. Furthermore, they hardly ever happened in real time.
Boost customer engagement
Social media marketers must keep engaging their audiences on social media if they are going to keep them. Every opportunity to engage with your customers is an opportunity to stop them from engaging with your competitors and ultimately buying from them. Gartner reports that failing to engage with customers on social media can increase churn by as much as 15%.
Improved customer insights
Every minute of every day, social media is generating overwhelming volumes of data that businesses can use to better understand their customers. This understanding helps companies improve their product offerings. Through social sites, you can learn what people think about your products, the feelings they’ve attached to your brand and suggestions on how you can make them better for your target market. Social media marketing experts use engagement and social listening to gather customer information that they can use to make better decisions for their businesses.