Social media is a conversation. For a business, it’s a conversation that drives awareness and traffic, builds your brand loyalty, triggers opportunities and helps you connect with client needs, whether they be consumers or indeed, other businesses. Creating a social platform allows your company to be part of the business conversation and to steer the messaging in a direction that suits you.
In terms of platforms, B2B marketers clearly favour the ‘big three’ social networks as marketing tools. Of those who use social media for demand generation; 80% use Facebook, 78% use Twitter and 51% use LinkedIn. LinkedIn, the ‘professional social network,’ trails behind, despite figures suggesting that it is almost 300% more effective than Facebook and Twitter for lead generation. However, you need to use the platform that your target business audience uses, and secondly, the one that will best showcase your brand.
Social media marketing is already “the big thing” for many small and mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and large corporations who keep up with trends in social media marketing. No doubt, in the future, social media marketing will be a game changer for businesses that want to introduce new products and services to their industry.
Here are five key benefits of using social media in a business context.
1. Increase brand awareness
Social media provides an effective way to increase your visibility and brand awareness. If your brand is present on multiple social networks, your potential users and customers can become better acquainted with your product or service – this is one of the main benefits of social media. According to Relevanza, 78% of small businesses attract new clients through social media, so make the most of your social media networks and send the right message to your potential users.
2. Improve brand loyalty and authority
If your brand is ‘what people say about you when you’re not in the room’, then your company’s brand is what clients say about it on social media. People turn to social media when they want to compliment a product or a service; the more they talk about your brand, the more new users will want to learn about you and follow your updates.
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The bigger the interaction, the higher the brand authority, especially if you can get major industry influencers to talk about your brand. Similarly, the more engagement on social media, the higher the loyalty from the clients. Social media provides great tools for your brand to connect with your target industry and make users loyal to your particular offering.
3. Engage with clients and improve customer service
The key concern of many B2B clients today is customer service. Even if you have a dedicated customer service department, it’s crucial to understand the method of communication your clients prefer, and today, that method is often through social media, as it is immediate and user friendly. Social media channels allow business to quickly and easily respond to clients’ comments, questions and concerns and clients to instantaneously receive help. Moreover, by answering to your clients’ needs in a public sphere, you can showcase the quality of your service and show a certain level of transparency.
71% of business clients who receive a quick response on social media are more likely to recommend the brand to others, according to Forbes. Social media allows you to monitor user comments, gain valuable insights into your customers’ behaviour, measure conversions based on your promoted posts, see what content attracts your industry, which content generates the most interest, and more. Every business wants to know how their industry behaves and what it is interested in.
4. Create more opportunities
The power of social media lies in communication. Every blog post, image, video, and comment can lead to a site visit and eventually a conversion. Building your followers on social media improves conversion rates, and the more followers a business has, the higher the trust and credibility of the brand. Several studies have shown that social media has a 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Furthermore, promoting your business on social media is not a significant investment. As little as six hours per week invested in social media marketing increased traffic for more than 84% of participants (Social Media Examiner sixth annual report).
5. Distribute content and increase traffic
People in your industry are searching online for content that interests them, and they are willing to share this content. Promoting quality content on social media is another path leading users back to your site and creating an opportunity for a new visitor. The more quality content you share, the more inbound traffic you will generate – more traffic means more leads and conversions.
Although some companies see the value in social media use, not all of these companies have a clear strategy in place that will drive key benefits. Posts to a social media platform need to be tailored to that platform and target industry audience, as well as have a clear business intention behind the post.
Social media also keeps a record – you can quickly see an established presence and a growing list of followers. So even if you feel this may not be the best way to reach your clients right now, start investing for the future. The longer you wait, the more opportunities for your competitors. It’s your call.