If your business is not yet active on social media, or if it has a weak presence, it’s time to up your game. Social media should be a critical part of your overall digital marketing strategy. If you’re not using it, you’re leaving money on the table and missing out on important brand-building opportunities. Here are five compelling reasons to build a strong social media presence.
1. Your Competitors Are Surely in Social Media Platforms
Whether you realized it or not, your competitors are almost guaranteed to be on social media, regardless of which industry you are in. Around 92% of marketers in companies with more than 100 employees are on social media. Small businesses and solopreneurs are busy building their social media profiles as well.
With each year, the number of social media users increases. The number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion worldwide by 2025, up from 3.6 billion in 2020. As the internet becomes more accessible, more people are joining platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The longer you hang around without a significant social media presence, the harder it will be to catch up to your competitors. Not only are they on social media, but they’re likely working hard on getting more followers, establishing trust and authority, and putting out helpful content.
As a newcomer with few followers, it can be hard to break into the scene and make yourself heard over those with thousands of followers and fans. Start now – don’t let your competitors get a head start!
2. It Can Boost Brand Awareness and Relevance
Social media is one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and relevance. Almost three out of four Americans use social media to connect with family and keep up with friends, according to Pew Research. As such, regardless of which industry or niche you’re in, you can reach people on social media.
One of the unique things about social media is that you can reach people organically or via paid posts that show up in users’ news feeds alongside regular posts from friends, acquaintances, and other people they follow.
Furthermore, platforms like Facebook have gotten user targeting down to a science. You can drill down and use data such as marital status, income, interests, liked pages, and even which pages on your website they visited to target people.
Not only that, but social media allows you to become relevant. Someone who is a nobody can quickly become a significant authority in their industry by virtue of the number of followers and the level of engagement they have on social media.
While I don’t recommend buying social media followers, as they tend to be empty accounts that never engage with you, there’s a reason people do it. It’s because when you have a lot of followers, you suddenly become relevant. Social media is the land of opportunity for brand builders.
Not only can social media make consumers notice you, but it can also cause you to be noticed by other businesses, bloggers, and influencers. They may reach out with collaboration opportunities that can help you get more exposure, or they may link to one of your posts, providing you with local backlinks, much needed for SEO.
3. It Can Increase Traffic in Your Other Channels
Social media is also an excellent way to drive additional traffic to your other channels. You can republish your blog posts on social media – you can even share a blog post multiple times to get more exposure.
Start thinking in terms of an omnichannel approach. Use social media to send traffic to your blog, landing pages, email signup pages, and YouTube videos. Similarly, use different social media platforms to send traffic from one to the other.
For example, if you have a strong presence on Twitter but are just starting on Instagram, encourage your Twitter users to check out your Instagram uploads. Add a link to your Instagram profile in your Twitter bio. Send Instagram users to Twitter, too.
I recommend using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts in advance, including links to your blog content, YouTube videos, etc. You can schedule all your posts for the week every Monday, for example. Doing that will help you save time and be more productive.
Nevertheless, scheduling posts in advance doesn’t absolve you from the responsibility of checking your accounts every day. You still need to engage with followers, respond to private messages and support requests, and answer questions on your posts.
4. It Helps You Connect With Your Customers Effectively
Social media is an effective way to connect with customers. It allows you to strengthen your relationships with consumers, increase brand loyalty, and turn long-time followers into customers.
One way social media allows you to do that is by providing customers with a quick and accessible customer support channel. You can reply to private messages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger quickly, reaching customers on their phones.
Using a CRM or customer support platform, you can get all of your social media messages in a single dashboard and assign different conversations to different agents. Alternatively, if you have a small business or sole entrepreneurship, you can respond to customers directly from your phone.
Many customers, particularly millennials, don’t spend a lot of time talking on the phone anymore. Everything is done online, and it often seems a lot simpler to send a business a message on Instagram instead of picking up the phone and waiting on hold until a rep picks up.
Not only can you reply to customers who send direct messages, but you can respond when people ask questions or add comments on your Facebook posts or respond to your tweets.
Let me elaborate with an example. Perhaps you’re running a promotion or announcing a new feature update. You publish a post about it on Facebook and Instagram. While browsing their feeds, your followers notice your post among their friends’ posts, and your promotion piques their interest.
They may not have the time or motivation to pick up the phone and call you – or even email you – about the finer details of your promotion. Instead, they might ask a question on your post, and you can reply.
Not only did you just land one potential customer, but other followers who had the same question may see the response already posted, making them more likely to convert.
Social media allows you to build stronger relationships through engagement that is more personal than otherwise possible on other channels. By streaming live Q&A sessions, for example, you can interact with customers in real-time while responding to their questions and addressing their concerns.
Alternatively, you can use the story feature on Instagram to show your customers content that you otherwise would not publish. It could be a personal selfie video from you, the CEO, sharing your thoughts on an update you’re working on. Or, you can give followers sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes insights into your team’s operations.
Finally, another way social media allows you to build a stronger relationship with fans is by providing you with more in-depth analytics. You can gain insights you otherwise wouldn’t have access to, such as the most common questions and concerns your followers have and customer sentiment.
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram provide business users with analytics about their followers, including engagement and more, which can help you get a more accurate picture of your target audience.
5. It Is Essentially Free Advertising
Social media is pretty much free advertising! I talked about paid advertising on social media, but that’s more of a bonus than a necessity for many companies.
The reality is that if you publish interesting and engaging content, you can build a follower base from scratch, without any paid advertising. You’ll then be able to reach that audience every day for free – it could be thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people!
Successful brands on social media know that building a presence takes time. You’re not going to get thousands of followers overnight, so be patient. Don’t try to take shortcuts by purchasing followers. It won’t bring you any real results other than an ego boost. Besides, many people can tell that you bought followers, especially if you have a lot of followers but little engagement.
Instead, create a publishing calendar and invest in good-quality graphics. Use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to get more engagement.
Engage with other influencers in your niche by liking their content, commenting on their posts, and following them. It will allow you to be seen by more people.
It’s important to have a plan when getting into social media marketing instead of going at it blindly. Start by creating a publishing calendar, as I mentioned. Also, use tools like RiteTag to find appropriate hashtags to use. Keep an eye out for trending content and topics in your niche and post about them to drive more engagement and exposure.