Social media is hard to ignore – it’s everywhere. People use it to communicate, to share, to speak with their friends, to build their networks, to seek recommendations, to follow and make decisions around brands. It doesn’t look set to go anywhere soon – the number of reported social media users was up 10% last year.
Businesses that are failing to harness the power of social media marketing could face missing out on significant growth opportunities. Considering that we spend the majority of lives online (Facebook has 31 million users in the UK alone), it’s crucial that businesses of all kinds have an active presence on the relevant social media platforms for their target audience.
From a business perspective, using social media strategically goes beyond just gaining ‘likes’. Whilst it can seem overwhelming, once you have mastered the basic principles solid social media can deliver sustainable growth.
Here are 4 key benefits to using social media for your business:
1. Gain customers
Harnessing social media means that you’ll be able to find customers that you didn’t even know existed had you not embraced social media. Research from Ballihoo found that 63% of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites.
2. Drive web traffic to your site
Social media accounts for 31% of referral traffic, more so than Google. Businesses could be missing out on a huge slice of new business if they fail to use it as a powerful tool to increase their visibility.
3. Boost your thought leadership credentials
Regularly putting out considered content via your social channels will help position you as authoritative in your industry as well as grow the business’ reach and influence.
4. Supercharge your customer service
Social media is being increasingly used as a way of directly communicating with customers far quicker than traditional means. As consumers increasingly expect immediate real-time assistance to be the norm, using social media in this way can really build loyalty amongst existing customers and serve as an incentive for those who are new.
To support a successful social media strategy for your business, it’s vital to ensure that the relevant employees are fully trained and can take ownership to drive the strategy.
There’s no doubt about it – social media marketing is hugely beneficial for business owners and training up your team to manage it effectively will have demonstrable results on your business.
Posted by Alison Battisby, senior consultant with LDL who runs our Social Media for Business programme. Alison is also the founder of Avocado Social, where you can find her online training course: ‘The Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide to Social Media’.