(Originally posted for Cornerstone Advertising.)
Social Media is no longer just about selfies and life updates, but now it is a place where your business needs to be. As of July 2015, there was a total of 3.17 billion users on the Internet, with 2.3 billion active social media users…and that number is only growing larger. Ninety-one percent of bands are using more than one social media platform.
If you want to get your business in front of new customers, social media is the easiest way to aim your advertising to specific groups of people.
Social media is important for web traffic. You know that fancy website you just paid thousands for? Now you need to drive traffic to that website—share your knowledge, deals and products with the world. Well-placed social media posts can help drive traffic to your website.
Using social media helps boost your presence with search engines. You’ve heard about search engine optimization—it’s about how certain web pages are ranked on Google, Bing, etc. The programs used in ranking web pages knows what pages are consistently getting traffic and which don’t. And while you need to have a solid strategy for content and SEO, you need to drive traffic using social media to help garner more attention to those pages as well.
Social media is important for building relationships, and we’re not talking about the “it’s complicated” type. You can learn a lot about your customers by being active on social media. Twitter and Instagram allows for more insight into daily lives (their home, activities, lifestyle, etc.) and Facebook is a little more direct—after all, you can communicate in more than 140 characters on Facebook.
Users still see social media as a social network, not something streaming commercials/ads constantly, yet it does. A customer posts a review, and you respond, starting a conversation. Potential customers send a message on Facebook with a question, and you respond as you would over the phone. Using your social media posts and messages more as conversations with customers rather than ads builds trust and interest, thus driving traffic to the website.
Social media is important for brand loyalty. Users of social media want immediate satisfaction, that’s why you’ve seen an uptick in reviews posted on sites like Google and Facebook. This requires you to be more reactive—quick and sincere responses, and fast results.
Social media is important for level playing fields. So what if your biggest competition has a marketing budget 100 times your budget. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s a more level playing field—it’s all about how you approach your content sharing and your engagement. You need flexibility to be able to capitalize on the weather, local events, etc., and social media allows you to do that.
Social media is important for visibility. It brings your product and service to the forefront of customers who might not have ever known you were available. And vice versa—you’ll find customers that you didn’t know existed when you become active on social media.
And, finally, social media is important for the price. Sure, signing up for Facebook, Twitter, Houzz and Pinterest are all free, and posts are free (except for the boosted posts and paid advertising), and free is always good. But it does take time—time to monitor, time to gather content and time to interact. It will take someone dedicated to providing you the best social media presence, whether that’s in-house or by hiring an agency that’s used to handling everything, such as Cornerstone Advertising.
Without social media, your brand has only a slight existence online, no matter how awesome your website is. It’s time to start putting a little more emphasis on social media—it’s not just for selfies any more.