When ⅓ of the world uses social networking platforms regularly, having a social media presence for businesses is the need of the hour. With more people joining social media platforms each day, it’s on the track to be the biggest and most convenient source of all kinds of communication in the near future. To put things into perspective, the number of American adults using social media went from 7% in 2005 to a whopping 69% in just ten years.
What does all of this mean? It means that hundreds of people are scrolling through their feeds every day, looking to discover fresh content and engage with their favourite brands.
It means that you, as a business, need to build a social media presence if you want to attract attention and more importantly, retain that attention.
90% of all marketers already admit that social media marketing has increased their brand’s exposure vastly. Having a social media presence not only helps you generate more business, but also helps you connect with and understand your customers better.
There will be some businesses that will wonder if it really is all that necessary to get into social media. The short answer is – yes, it absolutely is.
And if you still need more compelling reasons to prove the importance of social media presence and why your business should consistently strive to grow your social media presence, keep reading.
Here are the reasons why any business, however big or small, should build social media presence:
1. Having A Social Media Presence Boosts Brand Awareness
Social media is constantly changing ways in which we communicate and connect with people, and most importantly, with brands. Pew Research Center found that 72% of adult internet users use Facebook, 28% use Instagram, 25% use LinkedIn and 31% are on Pinterest. These are numbers you cannot afford to ignore.
Having a social media presence gives you access to all these users. It can help you connect with new audiences, giving you a chance at getting discovered by potential customers. Just a single post allows you to boost your brand awareness more efficiently as compared to any physical marketing campaign.
Here are a few tips you can use to build social media presence and increase your brand awareness:
A. Choose the Right Platform
Before you begin advertising or communicating online, it is important to find the correct platform to propagate your products/services. To do so, it is important to have a clear idea of your target market. Once you have outlined your target market, the next step is to gauge where your target market is most active. For example, if your target audience comprises of young adults and your product is handmade soaps, then Instagram or Facebook could be your best choices.
B. Create valuable content
Now that you have found a place to connect with your target audience, you can begin engaging with them by creating valuable content. Your content should be concise, engaging and creative. It is important to stand out and carve your own niche online and your content will help create your brand identity. Don’t be afraid to try new things to showcase your best stuff. That being said, ensure that the quality of your content is consistent. This will increase your engagement rate as well as your retention rate with your audience. Create images and videos, which will help you increase your social shares and thus boost your brand’s awareness.
C. Connect with your audience
The best part about social media is that it lets you interact with your target audience (zero in on the right audience for your product or service with the help of analytics) and appeal to them directly. It also allows you to listen to them. Use this space to really engage and communicate with your audience by responding to their comments, reposting them, mentioning them and asking them questions.
D. Track your efforts
To improve your social media presence, you need to track how well your content is doing. All social media platforms provide tracking tools for businesses. Apart from using those, you can also make use of third party tools like Google Analytics and Unbox Social to understand where you should be optimizing your efforts. These platforms guide you to improve your content and place your efforts in the most efficient spaces online.
When you actively take steps to improve your social media presence, you increase your brand awareness and impact the overall growth of your business.
2. Social Media Promotion Increases Inbound Traffic
When you update your blog or website, it may take time for it to gain traction when left up to Google. This means that very few people will be aware that you have posted new content and the only real audience you will get for your blog or website will be limited to people who are actively searching for your content.
When you promote your content on social media platforms, people who are already interested in your brand can easily access it with just a click. By sharing your content at strategic times of the day, you also get a lot more shares on your links and reach a much wider audience that can then boost your website traffic.
By having a social media presence for your business, you connect with a bigger, untapped audience that diversifies your customer base. This is crucial in order to create authority for your brand in the niche.
Gaining that extra amount of traffic is also necessary if you want to rank on the first search pages. Remember that search engines take into account how much traffic your pages are getting before deeming them relevant.
The idea is to create valuable content and share it on the prominent social media channels at the specific times to attract the maximum high-quality traffic.
3. You Get To Know Your Audience Better
The customers and audience are the most important aspect of any business. Knowing them gives you a chance to better devise your campaigns or products.
Build social media presence for your business so that you can interact with your customers and target audience more efficiently. You can then begin to answer questions like:
- What products are they using/buying?
- The kind of content do they like to read?
- Kind of posts do they like to share?
- Which websites do they visit?
- Which influencers are they fond of?
Through interactions with them, you will gain an understanding of who they are. Having a better understanding of your audience will help you connect with them more easily and create long lasting relationships that will eventually help your business grow. You can also then create the kind of content that resonates most with them and gain the most traffic. Ultimately, this will improve conversion rates and product strategies.
4. An Active Social Media Presence Helps Build Valuable Relationships With Customers
The next step after getting to know your audience is to connect with them.
Why is it important? Because your audience doesn’t just want to read about your products or services and hear your marketing pitches. They want to engage with you.
30% of millennials engage with a brand on a social media platform at least once per month. So you can understand how important it is to engage with your audience in order to connect with them, instead of just using social media as a channel to pitch your products.
Social media has made it tremendously easy for you to directly be able to interact with your audience, one on one. Take that opportunity to:
- Ask your audience questions.
- Respond to the comments on your posts.
- Entertain your audience with relevant content.
- Form bonds with your audience over shared interests.
- Repost/Retweet your audience whenever you can.
- Take part in trending conversations.
- Build connections with industry leaders and influencers.
If you do these things, you will not just be promoting your brand, you will be creating a sense of community around your brand. And people love to be part of communities.
These interactions will increase your brand awareness, which will bring in new leads. Your followers will become loyal customers and over time become brand promoters themselves.
5. A Good Social Media Presence Management Helps Improve Customer Service
It is difficult to gain a new customer, but it is relatively easy to retain an existing one. Which is why good customer service is something every business needs in order to survive.
With social media, while it is easier for you to connect with your customers, it is also just as easy for your customers to reach you directly, without having to go through tedious customer-service phone calls. Which means quick customer service is not just optional anymore, it is mandatory. Your customers expect you to fix problems and respond to their doubts immediately.
In fact, Sprout Social recently found out that an average user expects a brand to respond to them within 4 hours, and yet the average response time for brands remains 10 hours.
Not giving quick responses on social media platforms could actually cost you a customer. Studies have shown how users reward a brand that responds to customer requests and complaints on social media quickly. 72% of users are also likely to recommend a brand to others after having a positive experience with it on social media.
Now that you know the importance of social media presence in terms of customer service, here are other aspects to keep in mind when aiming for customer satisfaction:
- Monitor conversations about your brand by tracking your brand mentions.
- Hold regular question & answer sessions for clearing doubts about products and services.
- Have a good social media presence management team ready to respond to complaints and queries immediately.
- Give each user individual attention and provide them with personalised solutions.
- Actively ask your customers for feedback to improve your brand image.
6. Social Media Presence Helps Your Brand Stay Relevant
In today’s fast-paced digital world, there is no saying what kind of trend may go viral and become the next big thing. And when it does, there’s no saying how long it will stay in the limelight either.
Having a social media presence means giving your content the opportunity to get featured on the news or have your brand get tweeted about by an influencer. Having an idea about trending topics is what allows your content to have a chance to blow up.
Keep an eye out for trending conversations that you can take part in. Memes or pop-culture phenomenon that align perfectly with your brand can be used strategically to reach a wider audience.
You can jump on the bandwagon and engage in stories while everyone else is talking about it. This will bring you traffic boosts, press coverage and higher visibility.
Since trends tend to die out quickly, it is crucial to take part in them as they are happening. Which means you need to be active and constantly tracking new trends and current events that you can then react to.
7. You Cannot Ignore The Social Media Presence Of Your Competitors
In case you haven’t noticed, your competition already has a social media presence, most likely on more than one social media channel. 83% of marketers actively pursue social media marketing initiatives. This means your competitors are persistently tapping into the power of social media marketing. What are you doing?
The best thing about social media is that information is free. All you need is a bit of research and you can track nearly everything from how your posts are faring to how your competitors build social media presence.
You can learn a lot by observing what the social media presence management of well-established brands is like. Monitor their social media marketing activities, keep an eye on how well their campaigns are doing. If they are succeeding, it means they are doing something right and you can take a few notes.
- Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- How often do they post?
- What kind of content do they post?
- How do their followers respond to their posts?
- Can you take inspiration from your competition?
- How many people are having conversations about your competitor on social media?
- Who is comparing your brand to your competitor on social media?
Once you can answer these questions, you can begin to improve your own social media presence and even work on your marketing strategies. You can even avoid mistakes that your competitors have made. For instance, if your competitor isn’t posting regularly, or engaging enough with their audience, you can make sure you take time to develop a better social media strategy.
Wire’s Newsfeed tool is pretty amazing if you want to track the campaigns of your competitors.
8. Social Media Presence For Business Means Leveraging Targeted Advertising
When it comes to the importance of social media presence, there is one thing you absolutely cannot ignore – social media advertising. Having a large following on social media is not enough. Your ultimate goal is to drive sales, and for that, you need a strategic way of advertising your products or services on social media.
The thing is, social media platforms allow you to create highly-targeted ads, which you can customize according to your audience’s needs. Facebook Ads, for instance, allow you to target your customers by age, gender, education level, location and even user behaviour. Which is why the majority of digital marketers, 84% to be exact, use Facebook Ads.
Here are more reasons to invest in social media advertising:
A. Lower ad costs
Investing in social media advertising is not only convenient, it is also much cheaper. When compared to the amount of resources required to carry out a more traditional media, print, or outdoor advertising campaign, the expenses of a social media campaign are much less.
You are also given a chance to grow at your own pace before you decide to convert a post into a paid advertisement. Take for example Instagram’s promoted posts, that lets you convert posts you have already shared into promoted ads.
B. Real-time performance analysis
When you run an ad on social media, it is much easier to analyse your performance. Doing so equips you with all the data you need to know whether or not your campaign is bringing in the desired results. Most social media platforms and third-party tools allow you to track and analyse your campaign while it is taking place.
It is integral to know if your ad is performing well in order to improve your campaigns.
C. Targeted audience
Traditional advertising does not allow you to target your customers with your ads in the way that social media advertising does. It is more like taking a blind-shot and hoping it reaches your target audience.
Social media campaigns, on the other hand, allow you to know your investment is in the right place and reaching the right people, ultimately leading to better conversion rates.
To conclude, having a social media presence for any business is an absolute must in today’s day and age.
It gives you the much-needed exposure and helps you boost brand awareness very efficiently. We have helped you outline the first few integral steps towards building a social media presence.
You must find your target audience on the chosen social media platform, create valuable content that your target audience is likely to engage in, engage with your audience, and finally, know whether or not your efforts are working by tracking them.
Social media also helps you to increase inbound traffic by driving your audience towards your website or blog. When you post a link on social media, you get traffic from not only your followers but also other people that you may not have reached otherwise. Gaining traffic is crucial for SEO of your blog or website as well.
You learn a lot more about your audience through social media by tracking their demographic and behaviour. This can help you craft better campaigns in the future. You also get a chance to develop lasting, valuable relationships with your audience by having an active social media presence.
When it comes to customer service, having a good social media presence management is necessary. Improving customer service by listening to your customers on social media, responding to their complaints and queries ultimately helps you improve your brand image.
Through social media, you can keep an eye on your competitors and their latest campaign strategies.
And lastly, you can convert valuable leads into sales through social media advertising, which is cheaper and more efficient than traditional advertising when it comes to targeting customers and analysing performance.