Over the last decade, social media has gone from strength to strength. Recent statistics show that more than three billion people on the planet actively use social media, accounting for 75% of all internet users. Most of them do so to stay in touch with friends and find out what their favourite celebrities are up to.
The impact of social media is huge, not just for celebrities but businesses as well. In fact, a major Canadian survey found that more social media users follow businesses and brands than popular entertainers. Add to that the fact that almost 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and it’s hard to overstate the importance of social media for both up-and-coming and established brands.
8 Key Benefits of Social Media for Businesses
If your business is not on social media, you are missing out on many opportunities that you might not otherwise get. Here are some of the key advantages of social media for businesses you should consider.
1. Introduce Your Products to New Audiences
With more than three billion active users, social media gives you an opportunity to introduce your products and services to potential customers that you might not be able to reach via other channels. According to official data, more than 60% of Instagram’s one million users have discovered new products on the platform. Social media also gives you access to tools and settings to help ensure that your adverts and messages reach the exact audience that you want to target.
2. Improve Your Sales
By helping your products and services reach many potential customers, social media can also help you increase your sales. For many businesses, social media is an integral part of their sales funnel. In fact, some platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to set up a virtual storefront so that your followers can purchase your products without leaving the app/website.
3. Build a Loyal Customer Base
To build lasting relationships with your customers, you need to work on establishing brand loyalty. Social media can help you achieve that by letting you cultivate your audience, thus ensuring that you’re only talking to people who have a genuine interest in your products and services. This obviously works, as a 2016 survey revealed that 66% of young Americans are more loyal to brands they follow on social media.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Website
Social media also provides a great platform to drive traffic to your website. If you’re an established brand with a large following, you can share links to your blog posts or brand new pages as soon as they’re live. And if you want to further expand your audience, you can do so by joining social media groups and social chats that are relevant to your industry.
5. Learn More About Your Customers
Before social media, you would have to invest a lot of time, money, and other resources into analysing your customers’ needs, wants, and habits in order to improve your products and services. On social media, that information is available to you in just a few clicks. At any given moment, you can check the demographic characteristics of your followers, find out at what times of day they interact with your content the most, and see what other brands and celebrities they follow and interact with.
6. Team Up with Industry Influencers
If many people who follow you on social media also follow someone who is influential in your industry, you can team up with that person to spread the word about your products to audiences who may not have heard of you before. This is called influencer marketing, and the celebrities who recommend your products to their followers are known as influencers. With up to 50% of purchasing decisions driven by positive word of mouth, influencer marketing is certainly one of the key benefits of social media.
7. Solve Your Customers’ Problems Promptly
Social media allows you to talk directly to your customers, which also helps you provide a faster, more personalized customer service. Instead of filling out complex, often error-ridden contact forms, they can send their complaints in seconds via comments or direct messages and receive a prompt reply from you. This is also good for your company’s bottom line as a 2018 survey found that responding to customers’ complaints quickly makes them more willing to pay more for your products and services in the future.
8. Monitor Your Competition
One of the main advantages of social media is that it gives you insight into what your competitors are doing and how they’re interacting with their customers. What’s more, you can also see how others are commenting on your competitors. If they point out particular pain points related to your competitors’ products, you can use this information to your advantage by reaching out to them and addressing their problems, thus potentially winning new customers.
The Final Word
In this age of social media, there is ample opportunity to promote your business and reach millions of potential customers that you couldn’t reach through traditional channels. The impact of social media is too large to ignore, as are the many benefits it can bring to your business. To ensure that your company remains competitive in today’s market, you must make social media part of your marketing strategy.