What are the Advantages of Social Media for my Business?
Social Media is a lot of work.
Don't be fooled by the pretty pictures and vicarious videos.
Not everybody wants to do it, mainly because they've got other things to do. (If you're a Social Media Executive/Manager we salute you)
So you're probably thinking "Eurgh Social Media, I don't wanna do it."
But sorry (not sorry) if you want to have a successful business, you have to.
The advantages of social media in your business are just too big to ignore.
Let us explain.
Social Media advantage #1 Brand Awareness
Facebook - 2 billion usersd
Instagram- 700 million users
Twitter- 328 million users
LinkedIn- 500 million users
The world (or at least a significant portion of it) is and will continue to be on social media.
Within that portion is your target audience. They spend a lot of time scrolling through their feeds aimlessly. Business' that use social media effectively should be able to give their target audience something to aim at.
You need to go to where your consumers already are. Globally people are spending 135 minutes a day on Social Media. They should be spending time on your businesses's Social Media Page as part of that 135 minutes.
Social Media advantage #2 Brand Voice
Think of Social Media as a stage for your business to 'perform'. It's an opportunity to personify your brand, to bring it to life. Whether your business persona is funny, stoic or caring.
All these emotions of a business can be expressed through social media.
GIF's, images and videos are some of the most engaging ways this can be done.
Social Media advantage #3 Brand Loyalty
Business is a relationship. Think of your customers as your girlfriends/boyfriends (we know it sounds weird, bear with us) and business becomes a little easier.What do you do for your other half/sweetheart?:
- Look after them
- Treat them well
- Be in regular contact with them
- Show them that you care/appreciate them
You should do exactly the same for your customer base. Having a Social Media presence, makes it easier.
- Be in regular contact with them (Send out regular Tweets, Facebook Posts, YouTube videos etc)
- Show that you care and appreciate them (By giving out rewards, discounting products and services)
- Look after them - (Try to help customers with any additional problems - within reason.)
- Treat them well - (Reply to social media interactions etc.)
Social Media advantage #4 Reputation Management
The year is 1990, no Facebook, no iPhone, no Internet.
Yeah, remember those days? TV and magazines dominated the media. They were the rulers of information. One way communication. Boring. Also, dangerous. Because you weren't in control of the narrative.
If someone tried to damage your reputation back then it would be tough to repair it. Magazine interviews would take ages to be publish and can be re positioned to fit a narrative. TV appearances were at the mercy of the networks.
Nowadays, if someone tries that, you can hop on Twitter or Instagram and take back control of the narrative.
This is one of the major advantages of social media and the best part is that it's a lot cheaper than hiring expensive PR pros. (Nothing against you guys, you can be great for business. But not everyone has that kind of budget, and we're suggesting a more affordable alternative.)
Social Media advantage #5 Faster Communication
No more customers waiting on hold to get in touch with you.
No more taking weeks to create a Consumer Insight Session.
(Although they are still useful) You can speak to your audience faster and more efficiently, either in the office or in transit.
Social Media advantage #6 Increase Sales
Social Media is a part of the "soft sell" Every Tweet, every Facebook Post, every Instagram post is selling. You're always selling, your brand sells values, a lifestyle a code, which people buy into.
Then they buy your product or service. Without Social Media, though it's hard for them to know where your business stands.
It's hard for them to know what your values are, what you believe in. They are then less likely to buy what you're selling.
Social Media advantage #7 Content Distribution
You've got a vault full of content #marketinggoals! but you don't have your own TV channel (yet) so how do you distribute it? *Drum roll please* Introducing Social Media.
The ability to reach (potentially) millions of people with the click of a mouse. (It’s a lot more complex than that, but you get the picture) YouTube for example, gives you the opportunity to have your own TV channel of sorts.
Social Media advantage #8 UGC (User Generated Content)
Social Media allows your consumers to show off their experience of your product/service. It's free PR! It's also way more powerful than you saying you're good. (You’re supposed to!) It all ties in with the concept of social proof.
People are more likely to do/trust something if they see their peers or people of influence doing it/endorsing it.
Social Media advantage #9 Increase Website Traffic
The internet can be a slippery slope. One minute you're watching a Justin Bieber video, the next you're watching a death match between a cobra and a mongoose. Social Media is also part of that slope.
You can get the attention. (And hopefully the repeat custom) of both passive and active internet users. Social Media creates curiosity.
If a potential customer sees your content on Facebook and is intrigued by it, they will want to find out more. This can happen in many ways.
But the main two are either through a Google Search of your company. Or the easier option of clicking on the link to your website that's already on your Social Media channels.
Giving you repeated opportunities to increase your website traffic.
Social Media advantage #10 Cut Marketing Costs
Marketing Agencies, they’re a great partner to have - if you can afford them.
For a lot of businesses, hiring a one of them isn’t an option. Social Media is an easy way to reduce marketing costs.
One of the benefits of having social media is that you can run a full blown campaign from your Instagram account. All you need is someone who knows what they’re doing.
Social Media advantage #11 Audience Information
People share a lot on Social Media. From their location, their outlooks on life, even what they have for breakfast.
Your business having a presence on Social Media can take advantage of that.
You can do in depth research on your audience, just by browsing their social media profiles.
Social Media advantage #12 Crowdsource New Ideas
Need inspiration for a new product/service? Crowdsource it. We’re serious. You can ask a question to your audience and they'll respond honestly.
It’s also a great way to engage your audience and make them feel closer to your business.
If you use the information from the Q&A session for a new product, they can say "I helped make that"
They then end up having a more tangible stake in your business. Which means they are likely to stay loyal to your business. Which means great news for your business bank account.
Social Media advantage # 13 Test the Waters
There is a saying that Social Media takes the social temperature of the world. Why? because people voice their opinions on various topics on there.
If you ask a question on Twitter for example, about what people think of a certain aspect of your business, you can get an almost instant response.
People in this context are pretty honest when voicing their opinions of a company (As long as they don't work for said company)
So it's a free bit of Market Research. Result.
Social Media advantage # 14 Opinion Leader/Authority
To be successful in business, it's important to be seen as a "voice of authority" in your industry segment. Social Media is an effective way of doing that.
You can publish videos, blog posts, text excerpts on Social Media and position yourself as an Opinion Leader in your industry.
Also, other notable businesses can share your insights on social media whilst tagging you. Giving your brand even more power, as you'll be associated with another authoritative brand.
Social Media advantage #15 Customer Service
Gone are the days when if you had to call a company, you got put on hold for longer than a round trip from London to Sydney. Now you can (sometimes angrily) contact them on Social Media.
If that company is good (and has the budget) should not commit the mistake of not having a person manning their social media.
That person will reply sharpish and begin the process of solving the disgruntled customers' query. Social Media will elevate your business' customer service into the next level.
It will also save you money as all you need to do is get a Social Media Executive/Assistant in and let them handle it v.s. building a call centre.
(Hey, if you've got the budget and think it's effective, go for it, but we're just saying that there are cheaper options)
Social Media advantage #16 Targeted Advertising
If you’re a regular social media user, the platforms you use know a hell of a lot about you, including:
- Which foods you like
- Which foods you don’t like
- Where you like to go for fun
- Where you work
- Who your friends and family are
- How old you are
- Where you live
Not so great if you like privacy, but wonderful if you want to use paid advertisements.
You're able to be more accurate when targeting an audience. Think of Social Media paid advertising as a Sniper Rifle. Efficient and accurate.
Think of other forms of Marketing e.g. Print/Outdoor as an Uzi Mac 10. There are a a lot of them and they can be effective, but they’re not that accurate.
(We don’t endorse violence here, it’s for explanation purposes only. Peace be to all)
Hootsuite have written an excellent guide to paid social media advertising, which you can find here.
Social Media advantage #17 Event Engagement
If you’re at an event or sponsoring it (well done) Social Media is a great way to get your audience engaged with it. Simply Tweeting about an event can significantly increase visibility of it.
Live Streaming or Live Tweeting can be even more effective, as you can produce real time content and have conversations with your audience as the event is in progress.
Social Media advantage #18 Corporate Espionage
We’re just joking. But you can spy on what your competitors are doing. Everything is public, so all you have to do is click on their profile and you can carry out a detailed audit of your competitors' social media account.
Social Media- one of the few areas of business where spying is legal and common.
Social Media advantage #19 Watch The News
Or read it. Most major (and not so major) news outlets have a strong social media presence. They post a lot of their web content on their channels, Twitter is particularly good for this. This is your chance to catch up with whats going on in your industry.
Social Media advantage #20 Grow your audience/customer base
The humble share button.
The button that changed Marketing, Media and some will say culture forever. It allows users to instantly share the content that they view to their audience.
Their audience then does the same, the cycle continues. And like a chain reaction, content spreads out through a group of people. This could be your content if you’re on Social Media.
Think of it like a digital business card, given out by a squad of people who love and believe in what you do.
Social Media advantage #21 Employee Advocacy
After the consumer, they are the most important people in your business. They will be advocates of your amazingness.
An easy and effective way to be an advocate nowadays is on Social Media. Tweeting, posting on Facebook or Instagram. They're all great ways for them to sell your company to other potential employees as well as customers.
Also, as the world becomes more and more digital, hiring new employees is going down the same route.
For example, if you want to hire a Social Media Executive (aka a superhero) You could be innovative and only promote the post on Social Media.
We've just given you 21 advantages of social media for your business.
So go and get your business on Social Media.
Until next time.