According to HootSuite, 10 Benefits of Social Media for Business Every Skeptic Should Know: Sharing content with thousands of followers at once isn’t the only benefit of social media for business. Small businesses all over the world have been discovering the ways social media can contribute to success and growth in all areas of their companies. However, there are still skeptics who still don’t see or understand the benefits of social media for their business. In this post, we go over 10 benefits ofsocial media for business that will turn skeptics, like your boss (or even yourself!), into believers.
1. Social media is an easy way to learn about your audience
For businesses in any industry, the key to success is knowing your audience. Social media makes this possible, and easier to accomplish than ever. With tools likeFacebook Insights in Hootsuite you can learn the dominant languages spoken among your social media audience, as well as their age and gender. This knowledge can help you cater campaigns and product offers to your target audience, which will provide you a better return on investment.
2. Social media helps target audiences more effectively
Geo-targeting is an effective way to send your message out to a specific audience or demographic 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. For example, in Hootsuite you can target by ‘Location’, ‘Language’, ‘Age’, ‘Gender’, ‘Relationship status’, ‘Interested in’, and ‘Education’ on Facebook, and ‘Country(s)’ on Twitter. For example, if you want to send out a post to people who speak Spanish, geo-targeting is an easy and effective way to do it.
3. Social media helps find new customers and expand your audience
Social networks like Twitter allow small businesses to locate their current customers or seek out potential customers. For example, if you open a new coffee shop in the neighbourhood, you can create a geo search in Hootsuite to locate anyone tweeting about needing a morning cup of joe within your area. After locating those tweeting about coffee, you can start reaching out to them, and invite them to come try a hot bevvy at your new coffee shop.
4. Social media allows you to receive instant feedback from your customers’ perspective
Social media for business gives you instant access to positive or negative feedback, which provides you with valuable insights on the customer perspective. For example, if you launch a new product and share it on social media, you’ll instantly learn what your customers think of it. Another way to gain customer perspective with social media is by learning how they use your product; brands often base new products or services on their customers’ original ideas. Below is Contiki Holidays’ take on learning what people feel or think about their experience on a Contiki tour.
5. Improve market intelligence and get ahead of your competitors with social media
With social media monitoring you can gain key information on your competitors, therefore improving your market intelligence. This kind of intel will allow you to make strategic business decisions in order to stay ahead of your competition. For example, you can create search streams in Hootsuite to monitor mentions of your competitor’s name or product. Based on your search results, you can improve your business to offer something your competitors are missing.
6. Social media can help increase website traffic and search ranking
So you built a website for your company, now what? One of the best 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 Hootsuite on Twitter retweets this post, it’s more likely to rank higher in Google’s search engine results page for variations of “social media for business.”
7. Share content easier and faster with social media
In the past, marketers faced the challenge of ensuring their content reaches their customers in the shortest possible time. With the help of social media, sharing content got easier and faster. When you use social media for business, specifically for sharing content about your business or for content curation, all you need to do is simply share it on your brand’s social network accounts. But keep in mind that getting your customers to share your content with their followers means you need to make sure your social media content aligns to your brand and interests your audience.
8. Social media helps generate leads for one third of the cost
Social media is an easy way to generate leads. For example, Hootsuite’s marketing department was built around content and social platforms, and Twitter ads has allowed us to scale, increase reach, and fuel demand generation. Hootsuite promotes two types of content via Twitter Ads: ungated content (free content requiring no email address for access) and gated content (free content requiring an email). Sharing gated content on social media is a great way for any company to generate leads.
Social customer service is the future of customer satisfaction:http://t.co/mvWuVdEKmf Download our free whitepaper to learn more — Hootsuite (@hootsuite) May 15, 2014
9. Create meaningful relationships with customers through social media
Social media is great for creating meaningful relationships with your customers. For example, social media allows tourism brands to create dialogue with travellers, therefore creating relationships with customers before, during, and after they have booked a trip with the company. This kind of social media dialogue between brands and customers is something traditional advertising will never achieve.
10. Social media lets you increase brand awareness and reach with little to no budget
Social media for business has allowed companies to increase brand awareness and reach of their brand at little to no cost. The costs associated with these strategies are a lot higher with traditional advertising methods. Recently, marketing departments across companies started hiring community managers to increase brand awareness and reach through social media. Community managers foster relationships with online audiences in different regions. At Hootsuite, we have community managers for each of our three regions: APAC, EMEA, and The Americas. This helps us make sure we keep expanding the reach of our brand to those regions and maintain relationships with key stakeholders.
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1. Increased Brand Recognition. Every opportunity you have tosyndicate your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers. For example, a frequent Twitter user could hear about your company for the first time only after stumbling upon it in a newsfeed. Or, an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.
2. Improved brand loyalty. According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. The report concludes “Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.” Another study published by Convince&Convertfound that 53% of Americans who follow brands in social are more loyal to those brands.
3. More Opportunities to Convert. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Even if your click-through rates are low, the sheer number of opportunities you have on social media is significant. And as I pointed out in my article, “The Four Elements of Any Action, And How To Use Them In Your Online Marketing Initiative,” “opportunity” is the first element of any action.