The Value of Social Media for Businesses
October 19, 2016
Many companies – even those that have embraced several components of digital marketing – are still wary of social media. And they’re missing out on everything from attracting top talent to acquiring new business. Social media is unlike any other form of marketing. It gives companies the ability to engage directly with customers and reach new audiences.
Companies are able to closely tailor and quickly adjust their messaging to audience segments on the turn of a dime. This level of consistently and precisely crafting messaging, which allows for a more authentic-feeling approach, helps drive awareness, ultimately leading to greater brand recognition and consumption.
In fact, 90 percent or more of B2C, B2B, and nonprofit brands use social media as both a way to promote their business and as a means for engaging with their customers. In fact, companies that use social media marketing grow faster and see a larger increase in revenue. If you decide not to invest the time building relationships with customers and prospects on social media, your competitors will.
Why is social media so important for your business? Below, we’ve highlighted the top six reasons:
1. The online version of networking
If you’re trying to understand what exactly social media is (or what role it might play for your business) you can think of it as networking from the comfort of your couch. It’s a time-effective way to connect with other professionals and influencers in your industry. Plus, followup is now easier (and in some cases, more personal) than ever before.
2. Potential clients are turning to social media before purchasing
Across nearly all industries, there has been a shift in the way buyers learn about companies. Prospects turn toward the internet for more in-depth sources of information, including social media and your website. In order to remain competitive, it’s important to be active on social media.
3. Positions your company as a thought leader
Social media boosts the reputation and reach of the experts at your company. Your company isn’t a machine—it’s made of smart people with unique points of view. When your subject matter experts are leveraged correctly, social media can result in growth and leads.
4. Raises brand awareness
Though social “listening” tools, you can track conversation about your company to see what’s being said about you, and how those sentiments change over time. Chances are, people are talking about your company online. Social media allows you to be part of the conversation and influence how your brand is perceived. As a bonus, you can evaluate the effectiveness of the content you’re sharing by analyzing the frequency with which people share or respond to it.
5. Drives website traffic and exposes your content to a wider audience
Social media gets your company’s content in front of eyes it hasn’t previously reached. If you create something valuable to people in your target audience, they’ll share it with their network—and help attract new visitors to your content and website.
6. Showcases your company’s culture and serves as a recruiting tool
Social media gives clients and potential job candidates look into your company's culture–through the tone you use, the issues you discuss, the images your share, and the ways you engage with others on the platforms. It isn't a stretch to imagine how sharing your culture might help attract job candidates. With LinkedIn, you can see who in your network works where (and what connections you have in common), and with Facebook you can peak into what it might be like to work at that company. As a bonus, with the public nature of social media, it can also help employers vet candidates.
Remember, you don’t need to be on every platform. Don’t assume you’ll need to spend an equal amount of time publishing content on, say, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You won’t. Find out where your audience spends the most time and plan your efforts accordingly. Like any marketing effort, social media campaigns take time to “work” — to drive interest, awareness, or sales — and require a consistent level of effort over time. Don’t give up!
Now that you understand the value of social media for businesses, time to get started on planning your strategy!
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How Proof Strategies Can Help
Proof Strategies (formerly Environics Communications) is a full-service communications agency committed to insight-based problem-solving. We believe anyone can ask questions, but few ask the right ones. Better questions change how we approach your business challenges. As a brand steward to some of North America's most respected and well-known companies, our strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and digital solutions to engage audiences in new ways with measurable results.