There is a lot of fuss in business owners when the topic of social media comes up. Some say it is a waste of time while others hail it as the best marketing channel. I happen to agree with the latter group and strongly believe that if social media is done correctly, it can turn tables for any business.
I repeat ‘If done correctly’, people today know about social media because they are using it, but using social media for business is a totally different thing. I would as well say that Social Media Marketing is an ART. I meet a lot of people who are aware of what social media can do for them but they don’t know how to do it or they have started it but ended up in a mess. To be honest, social media is really confusing if not done every day and without following proper guidelines.
Social Media was a newbie half a decade ago, but today their importance can be no longer debated. In 2015, businesses have realised the power of social media and included it as a primary marketing activity. Modern marketers have placed social media on a high priority list.
Here are some quick facts by Social Media Examiner which prove the tremendous effect of social media:
- A significant 86% of marketers said that social media was important to their businesses
- By spending as little as 6 hours per week, 64%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media
- 75% of marketers reporting positive results in terms of traffic increase as one of the major benefits of social medis
- A significant 89% of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure
- More than half of marketers who have used social media marketing for over 3 years reported an increase in sales over that period
Why is Social Media really important for your business?
- It is where your customer’s (or prospects) hang out!
An American spends 2 hours daily on social media according to MarketingCharts. For your customers and prospects, social media is a place to meet family and friends, read content they are interested in or to follow people. Social media enables its users to be more knowledgeable and to be updated on what’s happening around them.
This is huge!
You don’t get successful in the business if you don’t go where your people are. Successful social marketing takes prospects into play and craft a message in such a way that it blends with the normal content people read every day. Getting to know what your prospects are interested in serving what they need is priceless.
- You get a chance to know your customer and get feedback from the
It is invaluable for any business to assess the demand of their customers or to know what they think about their brand or to know what they like at a personal level. Social media bridges the gap between a business and a customer and connects them directly. Customers get a personal touch when they are directly connected with a brand and it also helps in building up the brand loyalty.
Social media not only helps in knowing your customers but also getting a product feedback from them. You can respond to them almost immediately and solve their problems in no time. Study after study has shown that customers appreciate companies who solve their problems immediately and they love to share their experiences within their community.
- It allows you to reach masses in short time
Gone are the days when a company had to resort to TV advertisement to reach masses. With social media, it is possible only with one click. Yes, with just a click you can reach the same amount of people who are really interested in your brand. It allows you to promote your product to thousands of people like a wild fire.
If you are a small business, social media is one of the most important channels for you to establish your brand and save on your marketing costs. Relevanza reported that 78 percent of small businesses attract new customers through social media. I have worked with a lot of small businesses and I can say that the reach they get with the help of social media cannot be achieved by any traditional advertising channels.
- Increases your website traffic and search ranking
Social Media is a great platform to distribute content about your company or your products to increase traffic on your website. So, more content brings more traffic, more traffic means more engagement and these all in turn lead to better SEO results. Yes, you read right. Social media also affects organic search results.
For example, every person who follows 'x' company on social media and shares a post, it is more likely to rank higher in organic search results for the targeted keywords.
- It helps in increasing sales and revenue
In the end, the ultimate goal of a business is to increase its sales and revenue, and social media needs to increase sales and revenue of the business. This is the reason it is called Social Media Marketing and not Social Media Relations. To be fair, social media is for building up public relations and establishing a brand, but a good brand image and public relations is bound to give you more sales and lead. For example, a business owner can give more information about a specific product, be it its use or the manufacturing process to its fans who are always in search of good content. There are also some ways by which you can sell on social media directly.
In short, if done correctly, social media is surely going to give your business more sales and revenue.
If you are one of those people who are keeping their hands on their eyes and letting social media pass by - it’s time to wake up. Social media is here to stay and it is the future (as well as the present).
By Shetul Majithiya, eCommerce analyst at Emipro Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
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