While companies continue to spend extensively on traditional media advertising and PR, there is a new player within the marketing mix – social media.
The statistics back this up. 92% of marketers claim that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites. 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media – but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.
Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world with a projected 25% annual growth over the next 5 years but there is still confusion on how to get the best return from social media.
This demonstrates a huge potential for social media marketing to increase awareness, increase customer engagement and empathy and ultimately, an increased opportunity to increase sales. But, there’s still a lack of understanding on how to achieve these results.
What we are suggesting on this blog is a 10-point guide to understanding the business benefits of social media and how to get the most from it.
1. Increased brand awareness
Every opportunity you have generate and release your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are highly visible channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognisable for existing customers. But, like everything else, words matter. The messaging and content has to be relevant, insightful and impactful to stand out from the social media crowd.
2. Improved brand empathy and loyalty
Brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. They can even build up a huge tribal and loyal audience. Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.
In fact, 53% of consumers who follow brands in social media are more loyal to those brands.
3. More opportunities to gain customers
Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert.
When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. And what’s great about it is that it comes at almost no cost both in terms of messaging and content creation. You own it but without the high costs of say, a multi channel traditional advertising campaign.
4. Higher conversion rates
Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanisation element; the fact that brands become more humanised by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies. So don’t just message about your own company. Message about information in a wider context within your industry. Make your brand human, interesting and retweet-worthy at all times.
Additionally, studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof. As such, simply building your audience in social media can improve conversion rates on your existing traffic.
5. Word of mouth affinity
Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for other customers. When people go to compliment a product or service, they turn to social media. If you get the messaging right, your Twitter account could become a club, family, community or hub where followers go to and expect messaging and content that reflects their own interests, personality and opinions. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow you for updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users. It becomes a snowball effect. Not to mention, if you can interact with major influencers on Twitter or other social networks, your visible authority and reach will snowball. This in turn, massively increases the potential for new clients, new sales or new purchases.
6. Increased familiarity and traffic
Without social media, awareness is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media post you add is another path leading back to your website, and every piece of content you syndicate on those profiles is another opportunity for a new visitor.
The more quality content you syndicate on social media, the more opportunity is given for this content to be shared and wider generation of followers. This eventually means more recognition, leads and more conversions.
7. It’s cost effective
84% of marketers find as little as six hours of effort per week was enough to generate increased recognition on social media. It’s also a lot cheaper to advertise, promote and communicate to consumers then traditional forms of advertising. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap.
8. Better search engine rankings.
Search engine optimisation is one way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog and distribute links pointing back to your site.
Google and other search engines are now calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media.
9. Deeper customer experiences
Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers. For example – if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal one to one experience that lets customers know you care about them. In turn, they start caring about you.
It’s a badge of endorsement with the consumer. If they like your content, they will reward it with a retweet, like, follow or eventually a product purchase.
10. Improved customer insights
Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.
Analytic programmes designed by social media channels offer businesses real insight on how the social media profile is performing and who it is performing to.
Social media is all about relationship building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on.
Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels.
Cutting to the chase, one perfectly crafted tweet can lead to more followers, more traffic, and more conversions, and it’s a media outlet that is in many ways, replacing traditional media – and its here to stay
And here’s our pitch: If you’re interested in getting started or are looking at ways to improve the social media performance of your business, come and speak to us. We can help you.
He has also featured in articles on sponsorship, politics and social media in The Telegraph and Daily Mail. He was recently ranked in the top 10 social media influencers during the 2017 General Election.
So, on social media, we know what we are doing. We are now working with businesses to cultivate and improve their content, messaging and outcomes on social media. We have recently worked with a major tech industry consultancy on improving their Twitter profile. The results were astonishing: 2,500 new followers in just 3 months – many of these followers were key influencers in the tech industry, which, in turn led to new business leads and client generation – all because of an increased awareness in their Twitter profile.
Social media is now the front of house channel for business. It needs to be utilised and harnessed.
The increasing importance of social media in business is evident: as 72% of consumers aged between 25 and 45 look to social media for recommendations when purchasing goods and services. Therefore, brands can’t ignore how social media can impact the buying experience and increase sales. As such, social media should be reflective of how a brand talk in a human way to potential customers.
From strategy to messaging to content creation and evaluation, Ninety-five can help you achieve your social media objectives. So, please feel free to speak to us.