Wondering if your company should embrace social media? Skeptical about its ROI? Unsure how it will fit with your overall marketing strategy? Great questions, so we’re providing some equally great answers with our list of 11 reasons why social media is important for business.
Why eleven? It could easily be one hundred, but we thought we’d probably lose you somewhere in the forties. Besides, we actually think this “11” could prove to be your lucky number if you decide to pursue social media for your business.
1. Increases traffic (and leads) to your site
When you share a link to your site on social media, you increase links for Google to index, and this boosts SEO.
Just how much of an impact is a carefully guarded secret by the powers-that-be at Google; but know that if a post with a link to your website gets a lot of shares on social media, it’s an indication that you’ve got something popular on your website. And Google loves popular websites.
Here’s something else to chew on – according to a report by Social Media Examiner, by spending six hours per week on social media, over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits.
That’s because social media sites are a great place to reach specific targets – the type of audience that will respond to your message and your offer.
2. Makes you produce fresh, relevant content
Once you gain social media followers, you must then keep the content fresh, practical and engaging, otherwise loyalty erodes. If your messaging grows stale or turns to marketing banter, your followers will move on. This forces you to produce relevant content on an ongoing basis.
3. Engages you and your customers in the conversation
Whether or not you’re on social media, your customers are. And they’re likely talking about you. You, too, need to be a part of these conversations if you really want to engage and drive loyalty.
Adding comments, answers and even questions shows your prospects that there are real people behind the curtain. In fact, this level of transparency removes the curtain altogether. Social media makes you talk with your customers, not at them.
The good news: When you engage customers honestly and authentically, they’ll love you for it!
4. Helps you build your brand
Hopefully you already have a good understanding of your audience. But here’s the thing – audiences are dynamic. They are constantly evolving, and your brand needs to keep up. When you create branded social media experiences, your brand awareness goes up and so does loyalty.
As stated before, how you communicate with your customers on social media is often how you will make your first impression. Make a good first impression, and you are positively building your brand. Make a bad impression, and you will knock down that which you intended to build.
5. Serves as qualitative market research
Want to know what people really think about your brand? Then get on social media. Qualitative research is exploratory by nature – it’s concerned with the how and why. It’s about seeing your brand through the eyes of your customer.
And it yields rich results – results not concerned with numbers but with attitudes and feelings, and there may be no better place for this then social media.
Being a part of the conversations that are taking place on social media can help you spot trends and better understand the language that engages your audience.
6. Keeps you in the now
Many companies feel like it’s too late to create a presence on social media. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Begin. The rest is easy. This is true in all of life, social media included. So if you aren’t in social media, it’s time you get in. Like any worthwhile endeavor, the first step is always the hardest – it requires a leap of faith.
Once you get there, things are likely to become exhilarating. You’ll quickly become part of this evolving world of digital marketing, one in which there are all levels of knowledge, and plenty of things to learn.
7. Boosts morale across your entire company
When you get on social media, your company sees that you’ve finally entered the 21st century. You’re current and engaged in the here and now. That’s a definite boost to morale, as they know you’re now keeping up with the Joneses (and the competition.)
8. Keeps you in step (or ahead) of the competition
If you aren’t sold yet on the importance of being on social media, perhaps this will convince you: right now your competitors are either on it, or soon will be.
We’ve already established that your audience is using social media to find out if your company’s business practices and culture are aligned with their belief systems. So if they can’t find you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the other relevant networks, they surely will find your competition.
The old adage rings true: you snooze, you lose!
9. Reduces anxiety over change and the future
Does the idea of getting your business on social media scare the bejabbers out of you?
Nothing fuels anxiety better than the unknown. Sure, jumping into new waters can be scary, but never as scary as that which comes when you sit on the sidelines. Again, the key to allaying these fears is to take a deep breath, a long running jump and a leap of faith.
You’ll be glad you did. And you’ll probably wonder why you were so scared in the first place.
10. Provides an increased scrutiny of metrics
Social media metrics allow you to measure things like engagement, reach and traffic to your website. It will heighten your awareness of what metrics matter to your business, and how you can react to get them headed in the right direction.
11. Integrates into the bigger marketing strategy
The experiences you have on social media will help your business determine if it should replace more traditional forms of marketing or work in tandem with them. The smart companies find a way to work online and offline together.
The important thing in regards to integrating social media into your overall marketing efforts is that it indisputably impacts your business positively. More website traffic, more brand interaction, yes, even those negative comments to can lead to some long-term good (if you learn from them.)
So there you have it. Eleven great reasons to get into the social media game. It’s a lot to think about and certainly something that will require time to strategize, research, develop, execute, monitor and regularly tweak.
Yet if you deliver on an authentic social media experience with your customers, they can become ultimately loyal, vocal and vested. If you don’t think that’s important for a business, I’m not sure what is.
Think you’ve got a few reasons to add to list? Add yours in the comments below!
Find out how your content and conversion ranks with our interactive version of the Content Scorecard you can fill in yourself – no email required for download.