A modern customer is used to doing everything on the fly. Since their smartphones developed into universal machines for selecting, trying, paying and receiving goods and services, the importance of social media has become obvious to the most avid critics.
Social media’s role in business success is critical. A customer gets most of the information they need from social media profiles, ads, reviews or references. Thus, if your brand or product is not properly covered in social media, you can hardly expect to get as many customers as you need to profit.
We should admit that social media has changed the way we expect companies will do their business. We now wish for a more customized approach, targeted advertising and regular follow-ups to make us consider buying or sharing our feedback on one product or another. At the same time, companies also use social media as a relatively low-cost method to test new ideas, get credible feedback, conduct analysis based on customer behavior, etc. Obviously, these are only a few of the most evident social media advantages.
In this article, our digital marketing experts are going to dive deeper into the nature of social media and its role in marketing strategy for businesses. However, before we proceed, we need to shed light on what social media really is.
What Is Social Media Used for?
Social media is a much wider category than we used to think. The first thing most of us think about when somebody talks about social media is Facebook and Instagram. However, in fact, social media also includes websites and applications where users can share their content in the real-time regime as well as provide their opinion, exchange ideas and leave feedback.
At its dawn, communication was the only thing in the social media list. Mark Zuckerberg intended Facebook to become a platform for global communication. He managed to turn it into a powerful instrument for uniting people and letting them share their ideas, while at the same time, it has been growing into a great marketing tool.
At its early stages, Facebook really served merely for communication. However, it could not be left unnoticed that people’s opinions, events, ideas, and suggestions could be effectively used to promote certain products and services. What started with messages and links has developed into complex technologies that attract customers with various tricks, such as visuals, content, and sounds.
The importance of social media in marketing is hardly overestimated. All social media platforms together have become a single product promotion tool. Today, it only includes the function of communication rather than focuses on it. All you share online is used in data mining to predict what you might need. Based on this analysis, it offers the goods and services that might be of interest to you. Thus, your data has become the most valuable asset on Earth.
Benefits of Social Media for Business
Both well-established companies, as well as startups, enjoy the opportunities social media provides. People voluntarily share their data online while machines, technologies, and algorithms filter, group and target them in the ways each company finds best. Nowadays, marketing specialists can use special algorithms that will send the right message to the right person at the right time. Every company has its own social media marketing strategy that includes budgeting, targeting, content managing, etc. SMM has turned into a profitable industry where content, quality, and visibility play a key role in the success of the entire venture or a particular product line.
Communication and Customization
Your company can communicate with customers through social media accounts, responding to the most frequently asked questions and resolving their concerns. As for clients, most of them feel privileged for such an individual approach that ensures higher retention rates and improved customer satisfaction. Potential customers are flattered with the brand’s way to reach out that also guarantees their conversion into loyal clients.
Some of the benefits of using social media are not so obvious. Social media actually serves for networking as well. It not only helps companies find their clients but also creates an extra room for partnership. Increased referrals, retweets, shared posts, etc. – social media has made it possible to partner without borders. It allows you to build relationships with other companies, influencers, and affiliates without even leaving your office or home.
One of the most significant social media advantages is the fact that your brand or your product gets higher visibility. Images, content, and visuals matter if you want your goods and services to sell well. If you pay enough attention to what you post and nurture your content with valuable, relevant information and links, be sure that your posts and ads will be receiving enough attention. Social media platforms expand this visibility to Google and other search engines where your posts can be found as well.
You can get immediate feedback on new ideas and products, and this is an obvious benefit of social media for startups. The target audience can provide a characteristic of your new ideas as well as give you suggestions where you should be moving further. At the same time, the way you manage unsatisfied clients who leave negative comments via social media will also demonstrate how good you are at customer service.
Companies can use social media to track their competitors and conduct an analysis based on this. It was not that easy before because ads in newspapers or TV advertising provided only limited information. Today, successful companies willingly share their statistics, mission, vision, success rates and other information which can be very useful for competitors. Most importantly, competitors can read customer feedback and see what these clients miss in Company X’s services or products.
Big companies have already built and established their brands. Their presence in social media is needed for customers to know about new collections, devices, interesting ideas, etc. For smaller companies and startups, social media is the way to create their brand. Social media is where its business is done. A modern startup may not even have a proper office, but its presence online accounts to over 2m followers. Given such a wide pool of followers, it may not even need to establish a real point of sale.
Social media has changed the way people see and do shopping. Before going to the traditional shop or ordering something online, a customer spends time reading about the product or service. If your social media marketing team works well, your brand and your profile should be on the top of the list this potential customer will have.
Businesses, especially a new and small one, cannot compete without social media presence. Most frequently, if the potential client hears about the brand, they go searching from it online. Without this information, they are unlikely to convert into buyers. Thus, nice and comprehensive profiles on the most popular social media platforms are a must for businesses and startups for higher ranking in SERPs. Apart from it, paid social media advertising that would be interesting and creative enough to hook your target audience and lead them to your brand is also necessary for expansion.