Benefits of Social Media Marketing

“Social media is a savior not a nemesis, an asset not a liability, a time saver not a time killer for ad agency new business” – Michael Gass

Companies have jumped onto the social media bandwagon as it is touted to be the next big thing for marketing. Everyone is attempting to milk as many benefits of social media marketing as they possibly can while it is still ‘hot and in the news’. Some however feel that it is a passing fad, has no real advantages and is a laborious and complex learning exercise which is best avoided. It seems unprofitable to get with the social media marketing drive. A report released this year revealed that at least 92% of marketing companies said that social media marketing was extremely vital for business and 80% revealed that with their marketing efforts they were able to increase the flow of traffic to their website. Another report revealed that although 97% marketing companies use social media marketing, 87% are unsure of what tools within social media are most efficacious.

While this proves to be a huge market and potential within social media marketing it also reveals a severe lack of knowledge and know-how about achieving great results. So what can companies do to leverage the power of social media marketing to improve their business results and increase profitability?

– Treat website and social media marketing content as an asset. Everything that is put up on social media should be recognized as an opportunity to increase the visibility of your brand and your company. This content is the potential to not only keep yourself current in the minds of existing customers but also makes your company visible and accessible to new customers. It makes your brand and products familiar and easily recognized. Social media marketing has the potential to turn disinterested customers to sit up and take notice and for potential customers to make informed decisions about what they considered to be an unknown brand after noticing your presence on multi-channels.

– Since social media is a highly visible platform, companies that use it to their advantages are also able to increase loyalty to their brand. If you are constantly there, it will be easier for existing and potential customers to follow your brand and the happenings in your company. Also it’s a two-way process – customers see it as an opportunity to promote themselves by being associated with a ‘well-known and closely followed’ brand.

– As soon as new content is posted on social media platforms, the opportunities that are presented are numerous. When people begin to ‘follow’ your brand online it concurrently opens up access to potential customers, current customers and previous customers and makes it much simpler to interact with them. This being possible without spending time and effort on extra promotional or advertising activities! Even though every connection may not result in a sale but the more positive interactions created are potentials for future conversions. The numbers of opportunities you can create for yourself via social media marketing are immense and these opportunities are potentials and a ‘call to action’.

– The human and personal touch counts. Social media marketing has a high potential for conversions since brands are providing a more humanized feel and every promotion seems customized enough to reach all segments of customers. Customers reach out to people within a company and when brands are represented as persons and made to act similarly, customers find it easier, more interesting and engaging to connect with this ‘human’ brand. As conversion to sales goes up, others tend to follow suit and also a positive brand experience will lead the customers to speak well of it on these very social media platforms, raising the possibility of more sales and profitability. The higher the number of customers via social media marketing, the level of trust, loyalty and credibility for the brand also significantly increases. A large audience over such a powerful platform is bound to yield results that are favorable.

– Constantly monitoring and updating the information on your brand and other interesting tit-bits you add, leads to increased inbound traffic to your site and social media pages. Every new ‘visitor’ is a potential for business and will add to the reputation of your company and your brand. Each new content and information on these platforms has potential for bringing increased traffic and so for social media marketing to be successful, companies must ensure that the brand information and content must always be fresh, relevant and enticing.

– With increased traffic, more conversions and a high number of followers – your brand becomes popular and increases its hold and authority. When your brand is constantly communicating with an audience it shows transparency and confidence. It is easier to speak about a brand and a company over such a visible platform especially to let others know about their opinion of the brand. The more people talk about your company and brand, the more your brand seems valuable and having significant standing in the market. The higher the number of visitors, the greater the impact and brand authority!

– As briefly mentioned earlier on, increased social media marketing efforts generate audience and sales. This becomes a cycle with ‘pleased’ customers and visitors spreading the word and discussing your brand openly. For a company it translates to only a few hours of content upgrading and a significant decrease in marketing and other promotional costs. This saves huge amounts of money that can be used to better the brand and products which in turn will result in a surge in sales and customers. A great and positive cycle of events!

– Social media marketing increases your search engine rankings as well. Being active on these social sites and having an increased number of followers, indicates to popular search engines that your brand is strong, legitimate, credible and worthy of being promoted. So every time there is a search resembling your brand, these search engines will send traffic to your site and media pages. Ranking high on a set of such keywords automatically means that it is indispensable to have a strong and significant presence over social media.

– Social media marketing also increases your customer service and customer experience levels. As customers see your presence on social media sites, they begin to communicate with you via these channels. If they are dissatisfied in some way and express the same, the company has an immediate opportunity to rectify the problem that not only provides a solution but also makes the customer very happy. Such service recoveries prove to be strong and robust means of letting others know how committed the company is to customer service.

– Due to its high visibility and transparency, social media sites provide invaluable opportunities to companies to gain first-hand knowledge and in-depth insight into a customer’s needs and interests. Monitoring comments, buying patterns and the likes allows companies to understand the kind of information and topics a customer would be interested in. This would makes personalization easier and coupled with a great brand and product companies arrive at a winning combination for greater business success and richer rewards.

Few social media sites and a few tips – long term, robust and sustainable results. If you still need more convincing on the benefits of social media marketing, consider the fact that:

– Your competition is already out there and has their share of traffic and sale conversions. This means that the longer you take, the more you lose out and your brand would need to work harder on making itself known and recognized.

– The sooner you get started the benefits will start showing faster. Building relationships and trust is a time taking process and one that needs sustaining. You do not stand to lose anything but the gains are certain and long lasting. The time, money and effort that your company puts into creating presence via social media marketing pales in comparison to what is gained and for the long haul.

Getting social media marketing may take some time to perfect, but when the right balance is achieved it will lead to benefits that are majorly significant and will contribute to your company’s reputation, authority and earning potential that will be hard to beat.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerber

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