20 Benefits Of Social Media For Business
On the face of it, social media and entrepreneurship seem to go hand-in-hand and new online social platforms have been discovered to be the perfect marketing tool.
Strangely, a lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders are reluctant to enter the fray despite the fact that it offers unprecedented insights into people’s lives in the target audience.
Social media is a virtual platform of interaction where information can be shared between a community of individuals through computer-mediated technologies. Before its invention, it was quite tedious to get the much-needed publicity for your business.
People often travelled distances to market their goods which could be time-wasting and unrewarding. Conventionally, it was done on market days and trade fairs where marketers had to cut down prizes just to sell off their goods.
However, social media has become a pool of endless possibilities and opportunities that users and business owners can benefit from. These are some of the benefits of social media for your business.
1. Content creation and promotion
Using social media for business offers a platform for researching and development of your content. Once you’ve gotten your content written, you can promote them to reach the audience it is intended for with the right marketing plan.
For example, Adobe used the LinkedIn sponsored content to showcase its research, infographics and videos (blog.hootsuite.com)
2. Sales opportunities
It provides sales opportunities to new audiences that would be difficult to access otherwise.
Sales are the most important aspect of any business. In order to remain operational, every company must make profits through sales.
Selling on social media gives you the opportunity to establish relationships with your customers, and build a rapport with existing connections. Therefore, you grow and make sales with a lot of followers.
With a very active social media presence, your brand remains in the mind of people when they need to make a purchase. An example is Jumia Nigeria on Facebook.
3. Keep tabs on your competitors
One great thing about social media is that nothing is hidden, and everyone watches. Brands tend to let people know what they are up to, using their online platforms.
This exposes their strength and sometimes a little bit of their weakness. It also creates an avenue for you to keep tabs on your competitor, its services and what it is currently doing.
With the data gathered, you can better understand their operation and use it to improve your own services.
4. It makes your business the industry leader
This can be best explained using Jumia and Konga as an example. They are both online retail companies in Nigeria. My first online purchase experience was with Konga. Though it was good, I found myself using Jumia more because;
- They had a vibrant online presence with contents which portrayed affordable products. People are easily influenced by it.
- They responded to direct queries faster, their customer care would call you whenever you leave a query.
- They are more engaging with a lot of comments and reactions in each post from other users. That way, I can make choices about a purchase.
Additionally, Jumia with its social media versatility has about 18million subscribers, with Konga having just about 1.4million on Facebook. I am sure with this information alone you would agree with me that Jumia is the industry leader of online retail in Nigeria. This backs the information written in No. 1 above.
5. It keeps your audience up to date
Furthermore, it helps keep clients and customers interested in the activities of the company by providing them with regular updates on what the firm is doing.
It is expected that every brand is available on social media. As such customers can easily reach out to them using any of its platforms. These days, customers usually visit social media profiles first before calling the customer care lines.
Just like enabling customer engagement, it makes your audience know the next big step you will be taking as a company.
6. Increase your website traffic
Using social media for business is supplemental to having a website. Social media platforms like twitter are limited to just a few characters as such there aren’t much you can post there.
You can, therefore, take advantage of it by posting links to your website where people can get the full information of what they are looking for when they click on it.
It is also a wonderful tool to use when conducting a giveaway, as it will drive people to your website. The more people get to browse your website, the more traffic it generates.
7. It helps you to keep track of your audience
For a start, it enables you to keep track of the sentiment of your audience and respond to issues with your brand fast. What’s more? You will be able to interact with your customers directly and easily.
You can get feedback and review about your products quickly. An active social media handle means you can resolve complaints and issues commented on your post. For example, there are cases whereby a brand introduces a limited edition product and ask its fans to make a guess, for a chance to win it.
This sends a frenzy to the fans especially if it’s a mobile phone.
8. It enables partnership with influencers
There are individuals with a large number of people following them online. These people are known as influencers.
With their large fan base, you can partner with them and they can help you reach a lot of potential customers when you get them to talk about you, thereby building your brand and generating awareness.
9. It enables brand recognition
Getting your brand recognized is the first path towards brand building, as customers would want to patronize a brand they recognize. This puts social media ahead of the traditional way of marketing because it brings you closer to people much more quickly and easily.
Furthermore, it gets people to see your brand even when they aren’t even thinking about you.
Lastly, it is also important to pay attention to the visual elements of your brand such that it is placed strategically and well-represented in your profile and cover photos.
10. It enables targeted advertising
Running ads on social media for business is not an expensive way to promote and distribute your content. With it, you can make the most of your budget while you target a specific kind of audience with the right demographic information at your disposal.
Furthermore, you can choose the best medium for advertising. And lastly, people would rather spend much using online platforms than using newspapers.
11. Improved search engine rankings
Google is the first go-to site for online searches. People usually don’t go past the first page when looking for information with a particular keyword.
When you constantly post on your social media for business or quality and well-researched contents and your followers get to like and share them, there is the tendency for your content that has that keyword to appear in most searches.
This will improve your business and get you in front of industry influencers who can write about you and get more people to know about you.
12. Makes you stay relevant
Part of running a business is to stay relevant. Social media enables you to keep tabs on the latest trends and what people are talking about.
With the insights you gather from these conversations, you can use it to evolve your business and learn to deliver that top-notch services to your customers.
13. Reputation Management
You will agree that social media is a platform that allows you to promote easy interaction with your customers. This comes with a downside – they can sometimes be dissatisfied with service and vent their anger with negative comments and reviews about you.
This can affect your reputation and you might lose customers in the process. Peradventure someone is saying something false about your business, you can discredit the information when you reply directly with accurate data.
With the right management team, your reputation can be maintained.
14. Crisis and scandal management
This is almost similar to managing your reputation. Crises and scandals which happen in a workplace appear on social media and escalates very fast. If this goes viral, it will become detrimental to your brand if not addressed very quickly.
With social media, you can do a follow-up response with an apology. For example, two black men were arrested in Starbucks in Philadelphia. The incident appeared on social media and went viral with the hashtag #boycottstarbuck.
The company immediately replied with an apology and crises management measure to ensure it doesn’t reoccur.
15. Generate leads
Every day people are interested in learning about skills and abilities online. Social media offers you the opportunity to identify these people which you can transform to potential customers when they show interest in your business.
Social media is designed in such a way that it is easy to collect leads from users. For example, Renault Europe used Facebook leads ads to get people interested in learning about a new model of cars to take a test drive in one of its cars.
16. You can source content
By using your social media for business, you can launch an online survey to rate the quality of your services and get user opinions.
You can also use it to ask for what they want so that you can come up with ideas for content that they can read and share.
Furthermore, they can help you source the needed materials that you can use to generate your content when you launch a contest. Over time, your followers will be excited about your brand.
17. It improves brand loyalty
One of the reasons for owning social media for business is to build a strong customer base through loyalty.
When you constantly promote engagement between you and your customers through personal interaction, they tend to rely on you. They easily come to you when they have issues bothering them concerning your services.
However, studies have proven that brand loyalty increases for businesses that reply directly to their customer’s post or tweets. It gives them a sense of importance.
18. Enables you to learn more about your customers
This is another way social media is beneficial. It provides you with lots of data on customer’s behaviour when they make a purchase online.
The data available will improve your marketing strategies and help you make better decisions for your business. It also lets you know about your customer’s demographics so that you can easily interact with them.
19. It is free to use
The possibilities of social media for business as stated earlier is endless. All these come at a free cost. Of course, you can get the audience through newspapers, but this comes with a cost of paying for spaces in them and let’s face it, not everyone buys newspapers.
Secondly, these newspaper companies run social media accounts where they post their content. There is no guide or manual to teach you how to post content or links on these platforms because it is so easy to use and it is free, with only the cost of time, dedication and effort.
You will agree with me that social media has benefits, but you won’t see those results if you don’t take a step. Firstly, get social media accounts on all platforms. Secondly, advertise it so that people can follow you. Thirdly, get the accounts verified to prove your authenticity. This is very important to ensure your followers know which accounts to follow so that they don’t get scammed.
Furthermore, start posting and placing ads and backlinks to your website, make your platform engaging and rewarding for them and get an innovative social media management and support team to help you keep it alive and respond to issues. Social media has some tremendous benefits to offer but also has disadvantages if poorly managed such as posting misleading information and not keeping to your word.
20. High conversion rates
When you increase your social media activity and begin to churn out quality content for your followers, you get a lot of publicity as users are directed to your website and blog post. This will enhance your website traffic.
You will give a good impression about what you offer when you humanize your social media marketing and make it very interactive to your audience. Since people spend time connecting with their friends and families, you can take advantage of this when you get yourself involved.
When people talk about something that relates to what you provide, they can then recommend you. You will also generate more leads and get more conversion rates.
If you’re considering using social media for business, but haven’t been completely won over by it yet, check out the following infographic. It makes it abundantly clear that there are loads of reasons entrepreneurs hop onto social media.
The infographic also charts some of the benefits of using these platforms, as well as the common reasons brands, give for not using them (such as not having enough time to post).
It also provides you with insights into how to make your social media marketing more effective. This ensures that you’re not disappointed if you do decide to make more use of it.
In conclusion, social media is a vital branding tool for entrepreneurs and something that you should use every day. By leveraging it effectively, you can generate substantial returns for your firm.
Infographic by University of Alabama Birmingham