8 Benefits of Social Media and Best Practices for Businesses
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Social media is an important approach to reach potential online customers. An estimated 3.6 billion people are using social media worldwide and this number is expected to increase to 4.4 billion in 2025. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok or any of the growing list of social media provide great opportunities for businesses to increase their connection with customers.
It doesn't matter if you run a small local shop or a big company, social media is an essential piece of your marketing strategy. If you are not applying this profitable source, you are missing out of a result-proven marketing opportunity. Here are some benefits that you can get from social media.
8 Benefits of Using Social Media for Business
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Social media is one of the best marketing platforms for businesses to expand online visibility among potential customers. There are many social media platforms to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, ect. These are potential environments for finding and reaching new customers as the number of people using social media is massive.
It is free to create a business profile on almost majority social networks. This allows you to post content, interact and build relationships with customers. If you want to expand quickly, you can pay for the ads at a relatively low cost, compared to other marketing strategies. Paid ads can help you spread out your presence across targeted audiences in a quick time. Otherwise, the “free” option on social media is enough for building brand awareness and consideration.
3. Boost Website Traffic and Sales
Content from your blog page on your website can be shared across social media. This means you can drive more audiences to your website through social media. Because the posts on your social media are seen by your followers and people interested in your product, these traffic are very targeted and important in the sales funnel. Content from social media can influence customer purchase behaviours and increase your online sales significantly.
4. Play an Important Role in SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about achieving higher page rankings on search engines to increase organic traffic. Although social media doesn’t directly contribute to a web page’s ranking, Google has clearly declared that they do take social media insights into consideration when ranking a page. By optimising your social media profile and posting the right content, you can create a stronger presence on the web and increase the probability that the customers find you.
Moreover, people are no longer dependent on search engines when they need information. Today, it has moved beyond the search to social media platforms. People can easily find the information being created and shared on social media by keyword or hashtags. When users find your content and that is valuable for them, they might be your new followers.
5. Enhance Brand Loyalty
When you have social media channels, it is easier for your customers to connect with you. Social media can help you improve customer relationships and enhance customer loyalty. When you share valuable content on your page, you tell your audience you care about them. When you respond to the customer comment and message, you are listening to their concerns. This makes customers happy and satisfied, then they stay longer with you.
6. Manage Reputation and Crisis
Using social media means that you can oversee what people are talking about you online. In addition to understanding what customers want and need, the positive and negative comments on your business page can be addressed. If there is any negative information about your brand, you can solve it quickly in a polite and professional way. For example, you can post an announcement on social media to explain the situation. This way, social media helps your business manage reputation and crises, as well as being a part of your PR strategy.
7. Improve Customer Services and Satisfaction
Customer support teams can communicate with the customers on a more personal level - on social media. Users expect to seek help and get their questions answered quickly by direct message on social media. There are many ways to improve customer experience and satisfaction: answer the questions, reply to the messages, actively respond to the comments and complaints.
8. Allow targeting and retargeting
Social media has clear demographic users, while paid ads are inexpensive and effective. Social media offers a highly targeted advertising solution which allows businesses to target the right potential customers at the right time and place. This also lets them retarget their customers who previously interacted with their business. For example, Facebook allows to show ads for potential customers the exact products they have browsed on your website or placed in the shopping cart.
Best Practices of Using Social Media
1. Have clear objectives and goals, and understand your targeted audience.
Clear objectives and goals means that you know why you do things on social media. It should be clear in your mind that the reasons why you want to be on social media. To set the objectives and goals, you can follow the “SMART” approach (Specific + Measurable + Achievable + Relevant + Time bound). When you have your objectives and goals, you can build a strategic action plan to make your social media campaign succeed.
Moreover, knowing who is your audience is quite important in implementing your social media strategy. This allows you to generate relevant and valuable content for your audience. You can use personas to create your ideal customers. They are representative of your potential customers who have similar characteristics. When you create content on social media, imagine that you are creating content for personas. This practice ensures that you generate the right content and the right tone for your audience.
2. Plan your content strategy
You should determine what content you want to deliver to your audience. In other words, you should plan ahead your content strategy. Having a content plan helps you keep track and manage the content on your social media pages. A plan assists you work in a team effectively and oversee the performance of your team. This allows you to plan what content will be delivered, in which day, in which time and in which format.
There are numerous content plan templates available online for you to use. In addition, do consider third-party tools to help you schedule the posts and analyse the results.
3. Select the suitable channels
Not every social media channel is suitable for your business. Each social media platform has a different user group and different user behaviours. It is recommended that you choose such platforms which have the most potential customers being active.
4. Consider paid ads
Paid ads are an effective and cost-saving way to expand your reach to potential customers quickly. Social media ad providers are providing such a great advertising solution for businesses by better targeting and controlling.
It is a good idea to increase your online presence by social media paid ads. Keep in mind that If you decide to use paid ads on social media, always start a small amount to see the results, find the optimised way, then increase the amount later to get more return on investment.
5. Keep your eyes on numbers
Social media allows you to track the performance of your page and content you published, and your audience. Regularly looking at these statistics will help you get more insights and optimize your social media strategy in the future, then get a better result. For example, analyse data helps you find the best time to post on social media or which content type is most compelling to users.
Social media has a built-in dashboard and reporting which is just enough to get the most important insights. If you want to get a better understanding, consider to use third-party analytics tools. They are designed to help you get comprehensive insights about your social media marketing efforts.
6. Focus on visual content
Video performs better than all other types of content. On average, video posts on Facebook get at least 59 percent more engagement than other post types. However, there are only 3 seconds to get attention from the audience on a video, so a short video with a crisp message might be a good idea to capture their notice.
Photo is still an important content format which is used mostly on social media, including infographic. A photo can speak a thousand words as people consume visual content quicker, as long as you choose the proper one. Do remember that when you post photos on social media, make sure you understand technical specifications and image sizes.
7. Use hashtags and keywords
Hashtags help content is grouped, so customers can search for information easily. Using the relevant and right number of hashtags and keywords will allow customers to find you.
You can create your own hashtags and encourage the audience to mention you on their posts. In that way, you can expand your online presence and keep your eyes on social mentions.
8. Create mobile friendly content
The total number of active social media users accessing via the mobile phone accounts for 47%, and this number is increasing dramatically in the future. That means the social media activities will be conducted mostly on the mobile phone and you need to adapt to this trend.
The content you deliver to the audience should be mobile-friendly. In other words, you should “think mobile first”. It is quite simple. When you post a piece of content, make sure you preview how this will look on mobile and make adjustments if necessary.
Overall, social media is a profitable and potential marketing strategy for your business. There are so many benefits you can get from having social media channels. Using social media to boost your online presence is not a difficult task, as long as you have a strategic plan.
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