22 Advantages that Social Media Offers for Companies - The Comprehensive Minds

22 Advantages that Social Media Offers for Companies

22 Advantages That Social Media Offers For Companies and Online Business

Advantages That Social Media Offers For Companies and Online Business

If you don't take advantage of social media, you're missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and extremely effective way to reach nearly half of the world's population.

More than five billion people are active on social networks around the world. For nine out of 10 American internet users, social networks have long been part of everyday life. According to the Bitkom association (Germany), the average internet user is connected to three social networks. "48% use social media to find product and service offerings, 32% to keep up to date with companies and brands, 12% to complain to companies and brands," the industry association said on its social site Media Trends Report 2018.

If you don't take advantage of social media, you're missing out on a fast, inexpensive, and extremely effective way to reach nearly half of the world's population.

So let's take a look at the many ways that social media can allow you to connect and interact with people, and grow your business in the process.

Benefits of social media for brand management

1. Increase brand awareness

Since social media platforms are used by almost half of the total world population, they are great for reaching new targeted potential customers.

Anyone who thinks people on social media is only interested in brands they already know is wrong. 60% of all Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform.

When Absolut Vodka launched an Instagram campaign to promote its limited-edition Spark bottle, the brand was able to increase brand awareness by 5%.

2. Humanize your brand.

According to a UK study by Trinity Mirror Solutions, more than half of all adults don't trust a brand until they see “real evidence” that the brand is delivering on its promises.

If you want to connect with customers - and prospects - you need to show the human side of your brand. How do you demonstrate your brand's values? (Do you even have brand values?) How do you perceive the interests of your customers and employees? Does your product really work?

The ability to create a real human connection is one of the main benefits of social media for businesses. We call these significant relationship moments. Introduce the people in your business to your followers and show examples of how your existing customers are using and benefiting from your products.

A social media brand ambassador program can be a great way to humanize your brand.

3. Create thought leadership for your brand.

No matter what industry your business is in, social media gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader. Here you can become the most important source of information for all topics relating to your niche market.

The role of a thought leader is - like the concept of brand ambassador - a great opportunity to build customer confidence. A study conducted by LinkedIn in conjunction with Edelman found that marketers - especially B2B marketers - vastly underestimate the importance of thought leadership in building trust. Only about half of all B2B marketers surveyed believed that being a thought leader would increase confidence in their business. However, 80% of buyers believe thought leadership increases confidence.

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer also shows that 63% of all respondents trust technical experts and only 42% trust companies.

Ryan Holmes, CEO of Thought leader and Hootsuite, has more than 1.5 million followers on LinkedIn, where he shares his social media and business information with network users.

4. Stay present.

As the Pew Research Center has found, most social media users log into their accounts at least once a day. Many even log on several times a day.

Social networks allow you to reach fans and followers every time you connect. Make sure your posts are both entertaining and informative. Subscribers are always happy with the new content in their feeds. This way you stay present and ensure that social media users think of you first when making a buying decision.

Benefits of Social Media for Business Growth

5. Increase the number of visits to the website.

Social media posts and ads are also great ways to drive traffic to your website. If you share useful content from your blog or website on your social media channels, you can get lots of readers immediately after posting.

Participating in social media discussions like the weekly #HootChat on Twitter can also increase your visibility, attract new leads, demonstrate your competence, and drive more traffic to your website.

Don't just advertise your products and services in the chat, deliver real value. Make sure your website address is included on all of your social media profiles so everyone can find out more about you with just one click. Better yet: use a pinned post to link to a landing page on your website that's relevant to the chat.

6. Generate leads.

On social media, potential customers can easily (and without being overly engaged) show interest in your business and products. Generating leads is one of the great benefits of social media for businesses. This is why many social networks offer special ad formats to collect leads.

For example, Renault Europe worked with Facebook Lead Ads, where users wanting to learn more about a new model could book a test drive directly through Facebook - all they had to do was tap multiple times

These ads had a cost per lead that was 7.9 times lower than the form-linked ads on the manufacturer's website.

7. Drive sales.

No matter what you're selling, social media can help. Your social media accounts are a crucial part of your sales funnel, the process that creates new customer contact.

The more people use social media and the more they are sold on social media, the more important social networks become for product research and e-commerce. This is exactly why you now need to align your social media marketing with your sales goals. For some sales professionals, social selling is already an important sales tool.

8. Cooperate with influencers

20 to 50 percent of all buying decisions are decisively influenced by word of mouth. If you can get people to talk about your product or business on social media, you'll increase brand awareness and credibility - and you'll be on your way to increasing your sales.

One crucial method of promoting word of mouth on social media is working with influencers. This group of people has a lot of followers on social media and can get their attention to your brand as well.

Studies by Nielsen, Carat, and YouTube show that working with an influencer can create four times more brand awareness than working with a celebrity.

Benefits of social media for content creation and distribution

9. Promote content.

By promoting your content on social media, you can present your smart and well-researched content to new people, so that you can prove your competence and expand your target group.

For example, Adobe worked with LinkedIn Sponsored Content to showcase their market research, including infographics and videos.

Marketing decision-makers who saw this promoted content from Adobe were 50% more likely to see Adobe as the creator of the future of digital marketing. The likelihood that they would approve the claim that Adobe could help them optimize their media spend was 79% higher.

To maximize the benefits of social media for your business, having a content marketing plan on hand is essential.

10. Go viral.

When social network users like, comment on, and share your posts, your content reaches a new audience - those users' friends and followers. Going viral is a continuation of this concept. If more and more people share your content on their networks and these networks do the same, the content will spread across the internet and be shared thousands, if not millions of times.

This dissemination is particularly beneficial because all shares, comments, and reviews indicate an existing link with your brand. If I see my friend like your article, I will be more than willing to read this article even though I have never heard of your business before. In a world where there is a lot more content than a single person can ever consume, content shared by a friend serves as a sort of screening.

Of course, going viral isn't easy - but it would be nearly impossible without social media.

11. Find content.

Businesses can discover content on social media in two basic ways:

Gather ideas: Ask your followers what they want to see or socialize for ideas for content that you can create yourself. Simply put, give people what they want. This ensures that your content is read and shared as often as possible.

Gather material for posts: Host a contest or use a hashtag to find user-generated content to share. Engaging your followers can build enthusiasm for your brand and additionally provide you with a library of social media posts to share over time.

If you want to know the amount of user-generated content, just check out National Geographic's #wanderlustcontest hashtag, which has garnered the magazine more than 60,000 posts.

Benefits of social media for communication

12. Reputation management

Your customers are already talking about you on social media, whether or not you respond to them. If you and your team stay in the game here, you can quickly check out relevant social media posts about your brand to highlight positive comments and address negative comments before it becomes a bigger issue.

Is anyone wrong about your business? Then politely and professionally clarify your version of what happened. Does anyone congratulate you on the green clover? Thank you very much for this and draw the attention of others to the kind words.

13. Crisis communication

When two men were arrested for the color of their skin at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia, the #BoycottStarbuck hashtag went viral very quickly - it was used more than 100,000 times in just three days. Officially, this can be called a crisis.

We must thank Starbucks for reacting quickly.

After the initial apology, the company made further statements on the subject on social media and announced that it would close all branches for a day so employees can attend training on racist prejudice. The long-term implications of this event for the Starbucks brand are not yet clear. What is certain, however, is that the incident would have had worse consequences if the company had not reacted quickly and appropriately on social media.

Does your business have a plan for dealing with crises? Small brands are unlikely to experience a crisis of this magnitude, but in a tight-knit community or niche, less content shared can have disastrous effects.

As soon as a crisis appears on social networks, silence is no longer useful. So make sure you have well-run, well-managed social media accounts and a contingency plan so you can react properly if the worst comes to the worst.

14. Interactions with customers and target audience

Social networks allow you to interact directly with customers and fans, while your target audience has the opportunity to directly interact with your brand. Unlike the one-way communication offered by traditional media, social media works both ways.

If you want your customers and followers to interact with you, you need to be ready to engage at all times. So stay active and respond to comments and questions on your own social media posts in a way that's relevant to your brand.

You can also use social media monitoring to keep up to date with what's being said on social media.

15. Customer service and support

Users expect brands to be reachable on social media and therefore also turn to these brands' social media accounts for customer service issues. A study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that brands that don't meet these expectations are detrimental to sales.

The HBR study looked at the tweets and found that customers who received a response to their tweets were willing to spend more on a subsequent purchase - especially if they responded within five minutes. This also applies if the original tweet was purely a complaint.

Benefits of social media for getting information

16. Monitor conversations relevant to your brand.

We mentioned earlier that social media monitoring is an important part of engaging with the target audience. But it's just as much a central source of information about your brand, your competitors, and your market niche.

17. Learn more about your customers.

Social networks generate a huge amount of information about your customers in real-time. You can use this data to make smarter business decisions.

All the major social networks offer analytics tools that give you demographic information about the users who interact with your account. This is how you can develop a strategy tailored to your real audience.

18. Determine the mood towards your brand.

As many mentions as possible is a good thing, isn't it? Yes ... in most cases. On the other hand, if you receive a lot of mentions expressing negative feelings about your brand, it's a good idea to quickly find out what went wrong - and find something to fix it.

Nick Martin, Social Media Engagement Coordinator at Hootsuite, defines sentiment on social media as "the perceived positive or negative mood expressed in a social media post or interaction."

It is therefore important to know how often we talk about your brand online. Equally relevant, however, is knowing what people think about your brand.

If you use social media for business purposes, you should always follow sentiment analysis to protect your brand's reputation.

19. Keep an eye on the competition

Also important: knowing what and how people are talking about your competition on social media.

It is helpful to look at mentions of your competitors as they help you identify customer issues with competing products. You could then simply fix these issues directly and gain new customers.

When Uber Canada launched a promotion that gave you free ice cream for a day in Vancouver, things obviously went wrong. The ice cream delivery did not go as planned, people got angry and let out their anger on social media.

Skip The Dishes' social media team saw this as an opportunity and reached out to people who had complained about Uber. The complainants were offered another free delivery of ice cream in the form of a Skip The Dishes voucher. And then all the Uber haters were new Skip The Dishes fans and new customers (because you had to create a Skip The Dishes account to get your free ice cream).

Businesses that monitor competition in social media get another benefit: You are always informed when your competitors bring new products to market, run promotions, and publish new reports or data.

20. Stay up to date on industry news.

Everything happens very quickly in the online world - you just can't get left behind. Anyone with an eye on the market through social listening will stay abreast of upcoming changes in the industry and know what events might influence their own company policy as well.

Benefits of social media for advertising

21. Target group advertising

Social media ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute your content. They also offer powerful targeting options to reach the right audience and get the most out of your budget.

Seasoned marketers have long used this decisive advantage of social media for businesses: in 2020, they spent twice as much on Facebook advertising as on print advertising.

With the available ad targeting options, which range from demographic, location, and language information to online behavior, you can create special messages that work for different groups of potential customers. Best of all, you only pay for the users you really want to reach.

22. Reports and analyzes

Proving ROI remains a constant challenge for marketers. With the right social media tracking and analytics tools, you can capture the full impact of your social media activities - from the users following you to the engagement and actual purchase.

Tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite Impact measure website traffic from social media, just like conversions, email subscriptions, and ROI from organic and paid social media campaigns.

photo credit: Google Images & Unsplash

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