When you hear the word Social Media, as a business owner, what springs to mind? Is it Facebook, pictures, gossip or funny dog videos? Do you know what it should be? Massive audiences, in-depth targeting, brand awareness, influencers, selling platforms, communities, storytelling, customer trust and engagement!
Social media is sometimes dismissed by businesses because they don’t think they can make enough profit from using it and don’t understand the benefits that social media platforms can provide for their company!
Having a well-functioning and well-presented website is essential but how are these sites being presented to the public to gain their trust? How are they showing people that you are a reliable company? This is where Social Media comes into play, many companies can overlook the benefits of Social Media due to perception or relevance to industry, but if they are looking to expand their business and grow their profit, having a social media strategy is a crucial factor.
Brand Awareness & Reputation
This is where trust begins. Social media is critical for building brand awareness as it puts the brand in front of potential customers on a daily basis. It shows people that it is a real and reliable company who has followers and trusted buyers. To gain trust, brands can share creative, compact and well-thought-out content that is useful and relevant to the customer. The brand also needs to ensure it is personable and not all about making money, having a sense of community and content that will add value. Ultimately what these brands put on social media will drive their reputation.
Social platforms are perfect for not only connecting with an audience but also starting conversations with them. It is a platform where brands can ask their audience what they like and don’t like! Customers are able to leave good or bad reviews and comments, via Social Media, companies are able to respond publicly with well-thought responses and will show future visitors commitment to customers, by answering their questions, solving their issues and providing good customer service.
It also gives an option to host giveaways and competitions, which not only generates more awareness but also gets target audiences more involved and excited about the brand.
Social media has created a whole new generation of influencers, influencers who are not celebrities but semi-ordinary people that were lucky enough to gain social media fame through their creative content. Businesses from almost every conceivable category are taking the opportunity to utilise the benefits that influencer marketing can do for their business. A survey conducted by Twitter and Annalect, says 40% of people reported that they’ve purchased a product or service online after seeing a social media influencer use it.
Influencers, when chosen correctly, add instant credibility to businesses and products as these influencers are seen as trusted people by their followers. Picking the right influencer is key of course, but when the right one is chosen, the benefits are worth it as the brand will get sent out to a targeted audience who are interested in the service or product on offer.
Although there was a… slight hiccup within the social media community, that being Facebook’s breach of users information last year, Facebook still has 2.38 billion monthly active users. Which means there is still a massive audience that businesses could be targeting, but the theme of any social media strategy this year should be all about trust & creativity.
Since Facebook received massive backlash from their “hiccup”, they have reformed the way content is distributed on to their platforms. This means that organic reach has now dropped dramatically, and the need for Facebook Ads has increased. However, it is still imperative that brands keep up with their organic content. Companies need to ensure they are producing content that is interesting, ethical and creative for their audiences, this is what Facebook is looking for, they want to get back to the sharing more meaningful content.
It is apparent that Facebook is getting away from text-based content and prioritising visual content. Whether it is an organic post or an ad, having creativity and structure is what is going to help brands stand out!
Social media ads have significant benefits, sometimes they are overlooked due to the desire to put budgets into PPC ads. It should not be a ‘1 or the other’ approach however, social media can drive significant and qualifies traffic to your website, it can be used for eCommerce, lead to conversions and enhance brand awareness! Facebook, which also owns and runs Instagram ads, gives brands in-depth audience targeting, from interests to behaviours & specific demographics to target individual locations. Facebook pixels track past visitors and can retarget to people who didn’t interact on a brands page. Over time it will learn who the target audience is and help convert visitors at a later date!
Social media allows a brand to connect with consumers, tell their story, be creative, drive traffic to their website and ensure customers have an enjoyable experience. With so many benefits, it would be crazy to not utilise everything social media has to offer.
According to Global Web Index:
- Social media allows easy access to Millennial and Gen Z audiences, with 85% of Gen Z using social media to learn about new products.
- Facebook & YouTube is the most popular media platforms across all age groups, including the Baby Boomer generation with 73% using Youtube and 69% using Facebook.
- Instagram has seen the highest increase of Baby Boomers with a 17% increase since 2016.
- The reasons people use social media has shifted since 2015, with an increase from 23% to 30%, stating they use social media to research & buy products.
- Through the purchase journey, social media was used for product research and brand interaction.
If you are looking to improve your social media strategy, contact one of our social media experts today and see how we can help your business grow!