9 Benefits of Social Media for Business
Is Facebook the New Google AdWords?
With many of my clients asking me if they should be on social media or not, and others claiming their audience is not on social, I thought it would be beneficial for every business owner or manager to understand the benefits of social media.
Your potential customer is just another human being who happens to have one or more social media account, he might not be looking for your service or product on social media, but he will definitely see your business if it pops out on his feed and might interact with it and consider using your service or buying your product in the future. If you’re not taking advantage of social media, you are well behind the market, and your competition is definitely stealing your market share. Let’s look at the benefits of social media and how it can help you grow your business and reach your potential customers.
1: Brand awareness
Almost 8 in 10 people in Australia (79%) had at least one social media account in 2017*, which is 10% more than what the figure was in 2016. This is the right channel to reach new and highly targeted potential customers, as out of these users, 35% access social media more than 5 times per day*, which is 26% higher than what it was a year ago.
Think people only connect with brands they already know on social media? Consider that 60 percent of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform.
Customers need to trust your brand, and that it actually exists and keeps its promises. They would look your business up and see if you have got any true existence on social media. The more sensitive details you require to complete a conversion, the more credibility you need to provide to your potential customer. This means, if you’re running an e-commerce business, you are asking for payment details, so what credibility and promise are you providing to your potential customer if you’re not building a community on social media? Snapchat users are the most frequent users of any platform (41.7 times/week versus 25 times/week for Facebook); next ranked are Twitter (39.6 times/week) and Instagram (37.7 times/week). *
3: Generate leads
It’s easier than ever to generate leads through Facebook & Instagram through the lead generation advert that Facebook Ads Manager offer. It’s easy, convenient and low-commitment way for potential customers to express their interest in your service or product. This form is prepopulated with certain answers that you would need to qualify a lead, you can always add extra questions where customers can have an input, if Facebook doesn’t already know about it (those very little things that Facebook won’t know about you!). There is an additional benefit as well for those who use CRMs like Salesforce, where the integration is seamless. Due to the convenience of this form, we have seen a huge reduction in cost per lead though the lead form when compared to traffic linking to a form on clients’ websites.
4: Go viral
You can tell a story in many ways, but if your content is new and well presented, you can expect your content to get exposed to new audiences, their friends and followers, spreading your content across the internet, getting relevant people to share and tag their friends. This is what happened with one of our clients, selling mattresses in a box. We wanted to deliver the message ‘ZERO partner disturbance’ in a new and engaging way. The video we produced was the ideal fit for this goal, and we found many partners tagging each other and sharing it on their social accounts to watch the video, exposing our client’s product to thousands of views. Going viral is no easy task, it required a lot of work and creativity, but without social media it would be next to impossible.
5: Reputation & Customer Support
Your customers are on social media, whether they are talking about you, recommending you, or negatively reviewing your business; the truth is, if you are not there, you cannot defend your brand, or thank them for it. If you don’t exist on social media, you might be missing on recommendations, or you might not know what customers think of your business. This is especially true for larger businesses, where you can send someone to complete a job, and never know if they have done something wrong for the client, while your client is just mentioning it everywhere on social. You don’t want to wait till you have got a crisis to build a community and then start managing the problem, you need to create this ‘hub’ for your clients, so if you have got a statement or announcement, they are already there for you. You might also be surprised that your existing happy clients might be defending your business.
16% of users use social media to research a product prior to purchase – the most popular products researched were electrical goods, furniture and clothing/fashion. *
6: Know Your Customers
You will be amazed with the huge amount of data and insights about your customers that social media can generate for you, to learn more about your customers, their demographics, their background in order to align your service and optimise your offering. How good is it to know if more females engage with your business, or perhaps people in a certain age bracket? You can then optimise your content for them, and maybe offer a custom service and tailor your business strategy more efficiently.
The age splits are fascinating, with social almost universal amongst 18-29-year old (99% penetration) compared to 40-49 year old (86%) and 65+ (47%)*.
7: Know Your Competitors
How would you go if customers are not happy with your competitor’s service or offering? Wouldn’t you take advantage and try to steal the market share, potentially through a campaign on Google AdWords for people searching for your competitor? Or maybe your competitors are offering something that you don’t, which means you will be left behind, you might lose a market share, without even knowing why.
8: Targeted advertising
Social media advertising is relatively an inexpensive way to promote your business, sell products and generate leads through microtargeted campaigns. With Facebook & Instagram advertising, you can target customers who have recently clicked ‘Buy Now’ on other advertisers’ campaign, which means this customer is in the ‘buying state’ and could potentially become your next customer. You can refine this targeting by location, demographics, salary range, job and many more details that social media knows about you.
On Instagram alone, 80 percent of people follow at least one business. *
If you are an e-business, you might see that on average, 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Even if you are online looking to generate leads or remind someone who has engaged with your brand earlier, showing them a customised message, or a new product or offer. Using tracking tools like the Facebook Pixel, you can show these potential customers social media ads for the exact products they have browsed on your website or collect leads if they have visited your website but has not contacted your business (and yes, it works perfectly!).
*Sensis social media report 2017
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