According to the 2013 Social Media Marketing Report, it’s time for businesses to fully embrace their social media skills. Social media sites have never been as big as they are now and their growth is still on an upward curve (except for maybe Facebook, but it’s still huge and gazillions more people join each day).
Social has rather become the ‘new’ communication tool. As a business owner, that’s great news. Why? Because there are so many business benefits of social media!
Over the past few years, I’ve seen many, many businesses grow and flourish as a result of their social media presence. People used to think that having a social accounts for their business was a waste of time – but it’s now become a business essential. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or a blog, it’s vital for all businesses to have an online presence of some sort.
Not only is it a MUST, once you’ve got it going – you have to keep it going (it’s rather a hungry beast). But if you commit to playing in the space regularly, you will see results.
“Like what”, you ask? Michael Steizner, from the Social Media Examiner, has conducted some solid research on social media and has come up with some great key findings I’d love to share with you.
The five business benefits of social media
1. Exposure – This has come in as the number one benefit of social media marketing. From of the 3,000 people that took part, a whopping 95% of those indicated that their social media effort has generated more exposure for their business.
2. Increased traffic – Increases in traffic is the second largest benefit you’ll see when using social media. So if you have a fabulous website that’s been missing out on a large number of page views, here’s your chance to get people looking. In fact, when we look at client Google Analytics for their websites (after they’ve stopped pursuing social), we see a significant decrease in traffic to their site, that are almost never recovered even from other activity.
3. Improved sales – Every business owners dream! With more exposure and traffic comes more sales (as long as you’re clear on who you’re selling to and engaging with those right people). Social media is also great for relationship building – communication is the main reason why social media exists right? Although this can take quite some time, social media is an affordable way to improve your business’s overall sales.
4. Reduced marketing expenses – Free marketing is the most common reason why businesses join up to social media – why pay thousands on a billboard or in a magazine when you can post it on social media? If your business has a new promotion or competition, social media is a great way to get your message out there, for free! Although there are some limitations to what you can and can’t do, it’s a cheap and affordable alternative to expensive marketing costs. (However, you still have to factor in the cost of your own or your staff’s time for engagement).
5. Improved search rankings – Take a quick second to Google your business to see how far down the line you pop up. Social media has now been proven to improve your business’s search engine rankings, especially prevalent when it comes to B2B business. If you want your business to be found in online searches, you need a social media presence.
As you can see, there are some truly great business benefits to social media as a great addition to your marketing toolkit (but let’s be clear, social media isn’t your whole marketing plan). You can also think about using social media platforms to build other areas of your business such as human resources and internal communications.
To finish, I thought we’d include some simple, but effective, tips for you to use to boost your social media spark to make sure you’re seeing as many of the business benefits of social media as possible:
Engage – The most important thing to remember when using social media is to engage with your audience! If you’re not responding and interacting with your fans, followers or friends, then you are back where you started (before you entered the world of social media). So make sure you listen, respond and build relationships with your potential customers.
Stand out – Make you and your team visible. People do business with people they know, like and trust. And social media is a personal space – no one has any interest in talking to ‘admin’. Let your viewers know who you are and you will see relationships beginning to form.
Measure – Without measuring your progress, how are you going to know if your social media presence is successful or not? Some sites even measure your activity for you. You could start with signing up to Klout.
And a bit of a heads up, get friendly with YouTube and the term podcasting.. whilst both have been around for a while, they’re set to explode in the coming year!
Of course if we can help you get more of the business benefits of social media – either through helping you get started or by helping your with social media upkeep and engagement, we’d love to talk to you. You can reach us on (02) 9994 8005 or your can drop us a note.