Social media is an effective marketing tool that can really help your brand get noticed.
Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat (the list goes on and on) keep increasing in popularity. One would think that their membership numbers would have plateaued by now yet their numbers keep rising with each new milestone announcement.
Social media is the new water cooler. It is where people go to voice their opinions, post reviews (and spoilers) about the new Game of Thrones episode, pass along viral info or read up on news.
It is also the new marketplace. As my marketing comms lecturer once said to me, “Anywhere people gather together for anything, give it time, it will become a market”. If you’re active on any social media, you’ll run into at least one person/brand trying to sell you something every day.
Today, social media might be the main (or even the only) place where people are interacting with brands. As a result, these platforms have become essential in the marketing plan of most brands. They are the perfect tools to engage with stakeholders, increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a website and generate a buzz around your business.
If you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer or anything in between, how does social media help your brand?
1. Increased brand recognition
Every opportunity you have to increase your brand’s visibility is invaluable. Social media offers you another way to get your voice heard by a wider audience. As a platform, it offers you the opportunity to reach and engage new or prospective customers, whilst continuing to engage your existing customer base and other stakeholders thereby driving loyalty.
2. Improve your converting potential
Every time you engage customers with your kick-ass content online (you do churn out kick-ass content, don’t you?), you move them further down the customer conversion funnel. Building an effective social media presence helps you to reach out and create positive interactions, with each interaction building on the last. Even if your click-through rates are low, social media simply increases the number of opportunities your business has to reach out and target new customers.
3. Creating richer experiences
The digital nature of social media with their constant updates and upgrades to their technology allows you to share dynamic and interactive content easily which is near impossible with other traditional marketing channels. With social media, your creativity goes a long way in crafting unique and brand specific messages which your target audience can appreciate and even celebrate. If you can get your audience hooked on your quality content, you’ve ruined them for other brands, they will never remain the same again.
4. Cost-effective campaigns
Social media allows you to be incredibly targeted in your marketing campaigns. For example, Facebook allows you to target based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. With their in-depth targeting options which allow you to advertise to only the demographics you want to reach and their analytics which help you measure results, social media is the tool every marketer has been wishing for.
Tracking success rates and adjusting campaigns in real time ensure that your marketing is as cost effective as possible. As any marketer who has been in the game long enough knows, insight is the lifeblood of marketing. And social media gives you a bucket load which brings up the next point….
5. Amass valuable customer insight
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 staggering 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 align your content and target users to a far greater degree than offline communications, thereby making smarter business decisions.
6. Increasing organic ranking on Google
User behavior increasingly shows that people Google anything and everything. So, having a way to rank for Google is important.
Well, a good social media strategy helps you improve your business’ search engine ranking. Google loves high-quality content, created with a defined keyword strategy in mind. With your website hosting this content and links to this content across your social platforms, you create valuable links back to your website. For Google, these backlinks are a vote of confidence and it ranks pages with multiple, authentic backlinks highly. Google also loves moving and evolving content, so regular, targeted and compelling content will rank highly on Google and attract more interest and virality (which also ranks highly on Google!)