Social Media, How Do You Serve Me? Let Me Count the Ways
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Engaged users are what make social media more than just media.
People don’t join social networks to send and receive messages. It’s as much their platform as yours. When you understand that your content should also belong to your target audiences, you start posting better on social media.
Use social media to tap into your audience, yes, but while we call it advertising, your target audience should detect and gain real value from your social media content.
What began as a way for people to socialize online has evolved into a platform where businesses can have meaningful conversations with their target audience, ultimately resulting in new followers and buyers.
And participation in social media platforms has a significant effect on local companies, influencing aspects as diverse as brand recognition and customer retention.
Here are 5 reasons you must invest in it (and those who know how to work it).
1. It’s proof of your relevance
Gone are the days when you simply had to advertise what your product is, what it does, and how it does better than its competitors. Now you have to advertise that your brand is worthy through your awareness of what’s going on around you. It’s as easy as sharing a joke, or as sensitive as sharing a joke on a political matter.
Brands must provide a steady stream of articles, photos, videos, and other resources to demonstrate their relevancy and bring in new customers.
– Social Media Today, Pam Dyer
Now that we can stream our media whenever we want, we can skip the commercials. To avoid commercials, switch channels, or peruse an endless supply of previously recorded shows.
Social media ads and brand content live in or next to a social stream and look like content from friends, family, and other connections.
After all, there’s a lot you can do with your digital marketing, and that’s a lot to take in. Knowing how promotional material recipients feel gives insight into what people want – and don’t.
2. It’s key to brand awareness
It’s as classic as flyers and posters. It lets people know that your brand, product or service is there. But 75% of searchers don’t browse past the first page of Google results. So you need a strong social media presence to be at the top or thereabouts.
55% of consumers comprised of Millennials and Gen Z learn about new brands on social media.
Over 243 million people in the United States will be using social networks by 2025, thanks to the increased purchasing power of these digital natives venturing into small businesses and entrepreneurship.
If your company isn’t prepared to take advantage of the expanding networks, those consumers will likely find your competitors instead.
3. It inspires, and therefore invites, interaction: a site visit to read the article, download the infographic for printing, Like/Comment/Share/Retweet, etc.
Quality = Likes and shares.
Likes and shares come from relevant images, infographics, jokes, videos, articles, etc. If you post regularly (amount and age of relevant original content), if your audience reads them (time on site per user), and if they’re talked about (likes, shares, mentions), that boosts your Google ranking.
To get the most out of your content marketing strategy, you need to publish the right kind of content on social media on a consistent basis. Things improve once you realize that search engine spiders can read and index your social media posts.
4. Potential customers see your social media as your reputation and trustworthiness
Do you reply in the comments? When customers post on your page with queries or reviews, do you reply? Are you ‘friends’ or have you ‘liked’ other businesses, services and communities related to yours? Do you post regularly enough? The last one especially shows the business is healthy and active, and customers prefer to transact with healthy and active businesses.
Brands can gain a lot of goodwill from customers by showcasing genuine interactions between their products and consumers.
In fact, research shows that responding to a complaint on social media can boost brand advocacy by as much as 25%.
Yet, the average brand response rate is less than 25% across all industries, even though 79% of consumers expect brands to respond within a day.
In comparison to manually crafted and sent marketing messages, automated email campaigns enjoy open rates 70.5% higher and click-through rates 152% higher on average.
From 6pm to 11pm, open rates peak at 21.5%.
Responding publicly can be nerve-wracking, but if you consistently deliver excellent service, your customers will thank you.
The more people who interact with you in public, the more people will see your content and thus increase your reach.
5. Social media amplifies traditional word of mouth and grows organically with time
After converting leads into sales, now comes the reviews. Invite your customers to give you feedback on social media. Respond to them when they post reviews or testimonials. Share the content. Make much ado about user-generated content. . On Instagram, I’ve seen small business owners do this tactic religiously.
A customer posts a photo of the product when it arrives or after use, captioned with praise for the product and the transaction.
The small business owner reposts this. These feedback photos prove the business’s legitimacy, shows customers you care about what they think, and motivates other customers to post a ‘happy customer’ photo as well! They do your advertising for you in their own feeds!
Customers who have had a positive experience with your brand are more likely to make future purchases, favor your brand over competitors, and become more loyal to your company.
Still in doubt? Go to these The 20 Quantifiable Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Business over at Hubspot.
If you’re not taking advantage of the online market on social, you’re leaving money on the table in terms of e-commerce, customer service, and building a global brand.
Once you’ve drilled into your psyche how much social media can do for your business, you can strategize on WHAT you need to share and WHERE you’d do best sharing it.
Your social media expert can help you get started with target audiences, communities and peers to connect and engage with. As little as 6 hours a week of effort can make a significant impact on lead gen. That’s the power of social media.