Social media has become a vital part of daily living. People share their vacation photos, connect with family and friends, and follow their favorite businesses on various platforms. You already know you need a presence on social media but understanding the long-term benefits of social media marketing isn’t always as clear.
There are currently about 3.5 billion global users on social media equaling around 45 percent of the overall population. The number grows every year, so looking forward to the benefits over the long haul helps business owners better understand the reasons for putting in effort even when you don’t see immediate results.
Continue reading to learn the long-term benefits of social media!
1. Create Brand Recognition
There is an old rule of thumb in marketing that says people must be exposed to your brand around seven times before they remember you. While that number may be higher or lower in reality, the rule remains that most people need to see your business name and message multiple times before they connect with you.
Having a presence on social media provides an opportunity to send your content out into the world. The more chances for a consumer to interact with you, the more likely they’ll check you out.
2. Get Customers Involved
One of the most significant advantages to social media marketing is engaging customers who already love your brand. Your biggest fans can also be your biggest promoters. Social media provides opportunities for contests featuring your customers using your product. Ask people to upload photos with a specific theme or host Instameetups where your fans get together, and you introduce them to new products and take pictures.
Blenders Eyewear attended Instameets where photographers and Instagram content creators networked. It would bring a box of sunglasses and ask the photographers to take photos with them, and the brand would share the images online to create buzz. The proposition worked both for Blenders Eyewear and the photographer, as the pictures offered exposure for both.
3. Secure Word-of-Mouth Advertising
People on social media enjoy sharing posts from some of their favorite brands. If just one of your content pieces goes viral, you can reach thousands upon thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t hear about your brand. However, you must be smart about the type of content you post and where you post it. Make sure you know who your target audience is and which social media sites your audience frequents. You can’t force a post to go viral, but you can create ones that are targeted to your typical customer and then ask fans to share.
4. Gain Authority
When you post regularly to social media and interact with your followers, you create a sense of goodwill. Stay true to your brand and provide more than just spammy messages and you’ll also become an expert in your industry. Think about some of the big players in the tech market and the types of social media posts you see from them, such as Google. People look to Google as an authority for online information, because it regularly releases detailed reports and videos on a variety of internet topics.
The Humane Society of the U.S. utilizes its Instagram page to educate people about various animal-related issues both within its organization and throughout the country. You’ll find animals that have been rescued and adopted, stories about wildlife and information on the Humane Society’s volunteers. It’s seen as an authority in the field of animal rescue and care, and people like each of its posts thousands of times.
5. Save Money
When you consider the different ways of spending an advertising dollar, social media is much less expensive than print ads or mailing campaigns. Even if you factor in the cost of creating content or producing videos, you must divide those expenses across the different platforms where you use these assets and the overall impact your information has. Advertising on social media is still one of the cheapest forms of marketing, but you don’t even have to use paid ads to get traction with your users.
6. Gain Insight
Social media allows businesses to study their target audience and what they’re saying online. Listen for pain points, as these are the problems your brand should solve. For example, if you run a local restaurant, what are people saying in their conversation groups? Are they complaining there isn’t a good ice cream place in town? Perhaps your restaurant should add that to the menu.
Wendy’s social media genius is one worth revisiting because of its fast, witty comebacks. It often responds to people posting about its food with positive notes and offers to make things right, but it also trolls’ social media for competitors making negative comments and slams them into the ground with its sharp intellect. One example was when Burger King offered five for $4 — a blatant attempt to outdo Wendy’s four for $4. Wendy’s fired back that it was offering edible food.
7. Provide User-Generated Content
Another advantage of social media is utilizing your biggest fans to generate content for you. Host a contest where users upload a photo and you choose the winner. Share content from your biggest fans. At least a portion of your posts can be from sources other than your graphic design team. Sharing others’ posts provides you with free content through a simple click and share icon. Over time, you’ll save a fortune on content generation.
8. Get More Website Traffic
Over time, your content on social media shows authority and backlinks to your site. As others discover your content, they share it and perhaps even link to it from their website pages. Although backlinks aren’t the only measure internet browsers use in ranking sites, they do still consider them. In addition, the more places your brand gets mentioned, the more people will visit your website.
Turner Construction Company adds a video highlighting one of their planned construction projects. Using a video platform such as YouTube and then uploading the video to their LinkedIn page gives them two different social media sites where they gain additional exposure for their work.
9. Improve Customer Service
Around 46 percent of consumers have used social media to call out brands on poor customer service, and most expect a response in hours rather than days. Social media allows you to reach out to unhappy customers who might not complain to you directly. Put someone in charge of monitoring social mentions so you can fix any problems. Not only does this improve your relationship with the unhappy consumer, but others also see how you handle the situation and judge your company based on your response.
Both Short- and Long-Term Benefits
Marketing on social media brings both short- and long-term benefits to your brand. Although patience is necessary, you’ll see additional traffic and an opportunity to hone your social media marketing sword. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, a social media presence keeps you on the same level as your competitors and can even give you an edge.