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Does Your Business Actually Need to Use Social Media?

by Kylie Ora Lobell
money & life

Does-Your-Business-Actually-Need-Social-Media

Social media marketing is one of the most popularized new ways that businesses use to promote themselves.

Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest can offer a large number of new audience growth advantages, whether you’re a large corporation or a growing small business.

You’ve heard all the hype about social media, and you may be a bit skeptical. If you’re not yet convinced that you need to sign up and start creating content for social media, these significant benefits may just change your mind.

1. Incredible Reach.

You can reach all types of different users on social networks, including a very specifically defined demographic.

Social media networks are great places to interact with your audience and turn prospects into customers. More and more people are joining these websites, and relying on them for inspiration, advice, and recommendations when they’re determining what they’ll spend their money on.

Worldwide, over two billion people are on social media. From January of 2014 to January of 2015, these sites saw a 12% increase in members, an additional 222 million users. A majority of these users are 18 to 29-years-old, and the most popular site among all adult internet users is Facebook.

If you want to reach millennials, social media is the place to do it. According to Business2Community, 63% of this generation follows brand updates on social media, and 46% rely on social media when making online purchasing decisions.

In addition, a whopping 70% of marketers use Facebook to acquire new customers, and 34% have successfully driven new customer leads on Twitter. Gaining leads is the first step to getting customers started in your marketing funnel, and it always comes with the possibility of generating sales.

2. Personalized Customer Engagement.

You’re able to respond to customers’ needs, right where they spend a significant amount of their time each day.

Does Your Business Actually Need to Use Social Media

Use these social media platforms as opportunities to do much more than just track down new leads. They’re also highly effective when it comes to engaging with customers, learning about their needs, and discovering new ways to improve your business from their feedback.

According to Conversocial, 67% of customers have utilized a company’s social media account for customer service, and 33% of users would rather contact a brand on social media than jump on a telephone call. When businesses respond to customers’ needs on social media, said customers will spend 20 to 40 percent more with these businesses.

Being attentive to customers’ issues will strengthen your relationship with them and improve your bottom line in the long run. Social media is a channel where you can respond quickly, and publicly show other customers that you care about their needs.

3. Affordable Advertising.

Advertising your business can be very costly.

Expensive ad campaigns are something you likely won’t be able to afford in the beginning stages of starting your business.

Instead, try leveraging paid social media advertising, which can be very low cost for the high potential return, allowing you to display the content of your choosing to the exact demographics you want to target. Create an advertising account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for free, then select different promotional options and targeting choices that’ll fit your budget.

Facebook’s advertising platform gives you the flexible option to define your advertising campaigns by spend amount, and allows you to pick (very specifically) whom you want to surface your marketing messages to. Consider the alternative of dropping thousands of dollars on a television commercial, newspaper ad campaign, or billboard. You really have no idea who is seeing your advertisement. The control is in your hands on social media, in more ways than one.

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4 Quick Tips for Maximizing Your Social Media Posts

Though the benefits are huge, you must know how to use each platform in the most effective way possible. Here are some quick tips for getting the most out of your investment on social media.

 • Use free and low cost tools to enhance your social media accounts. For instance, try Buffer to schedule, manage your posts, and see the analytics behind them, to measure your success. By looking into how your posts are performing, you can see what’s working, what’s not, and how you can do better the next time around. You’ll quickly learn when certain posts perform the best, as well as what types of content media receive the most shares, likes, and retweets.

 • Make online shopping easy for your customers on your social media pages. If you post something about a product, you want to make it as simple as possible for your potential customers to learn more about your offerings and make a purchase from you. If you want a tool to set up an easy-to-implement online shopping cart, try using Selz, which also offers a quick tool for selling directly from your Facebook page.

 • Create and curate content based on your target demographic. History shows that you’re going to have a very difficult time marketing your business if you attempt to cater to a large audience. You need to determine exactly who your customers are, what they’re interested in, and what content will get them excited about your business. One platform that lets you monitor customers and build active user personas about them is Sprout Social, which costs $59 per month and up.

 • Don’t give up. It will be difficult to build a following from the ground up, get prospects interested in your product, and persuade them to become one of your customers. But with persistence and  a consistent investment in your social media marketing efforts, you can, overtime, build your brand and take your business to new heights.

Want to learn more about how social media can help your business? Check out Get Social: Connecting Your Social Media Channels and Facebook Marketing for Small Businesses and sharpen your social media skills today.

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Kylie Ora Lobell

Kylie Ora Lobell writes for brands, blogs, and print publications. She covers content marketing, digital marketing, and runs Kylie's Tips for Writers, a blog about writing.