Facebook was launched in 2004. Since then, it has grown to 1.7 billion users in 2016, making it larger than the population of any country on earth. Clearly, social media has taken the world by storm. At first, “friends” used social media to connect with each other and share free, personal content. However, it didn’t take long for companies to realize the potential the medium has for bringing their message to millions of potential customers. Here are the reasons you should consider using social media as part of your marketing strategy.
1. Drives Traffic
Content that goes “viral” can be seen by thousands of people almost instantly. This level of publicity can attract a lot of attention that you can use to promote your company. It is now easier than ever for people all over the world to see your content and spread your messages to each other.
2. Allows Relationship Building
Unlike many traditional forms of advertising, social media marketing is not one-sided, but interactive. Tweets and status updates from your customer base allow you to become “friends” with your supporters, knowing about their lives, and being able to tailor your message to something that will appeal to them. People will begin to view your company less as a faceless corporation, and more like a group of people with a vision with which they can connect.
3. Customizable and Targeted
With social media, you can create content targeted towards a particular audience, showing a chosen niche group content designed to appeal to them. Facebook in particular offers opportunities to customize your advertising like never before, so you can specifically choose to broadcast your message to people likely to respond positively.
4. People are More Respective
For many people, “advertising” has a negative reputation as something unwanted or manipulative. Therefore, the most effective marketing shouldn’t feel like you are actively trying to sell something. Most users view Facebook, Twiter, and Instagram as ways to connect with people, and are thus less likely to reject your message as marketing, and therefore more likely to connect with it.
5. Instant Response to Problems
Not only are you able to send messages, but you are able to receive them as well. If there is a problem with your company or product, social media can be a convenient way for the message to get back to you. If you are able to deal with the problem in a timely and satisfying manner, your professionalism will be on display, in a way bound to increase your brand’s reputation.
6. Fast And Responsive Content
The ideal social media content is short and punchy, and can be created and shared in a manner of minutes. An effectively created and placed post may be looked at by hundreds or thousands of people minutes after it is posting, allowing for instantaneous feedback. You don’t have to wait for a publisher or television studio to put your advertisement out there, because social media content can be seen right away, at your control.
7. A Large (Mostly) Level Playing Field
If you are a small business with a low amount of capital to invest in advertising, you are not at a significant disadvantage competing against larger internationally-known corporations. If you are able to create clever, creative, attention-grabbing, and useful information, and post it in strategic you can generate a very high level of web traffic and online sales.
8. Expand Your Customer Base
There are lots people out there who may be interested in what your business has to offer, but may not know you exist. There are many different ways social media enlarge your business by creating awareness. Twitter can connect you with people using keywords that might indicate interest in your products, Facebook allows you to join groups related to your customer base or industry, and Quora can help you answer industry-relevant questions and show off your expertise. All of these can be important avenues for disclosing your business.
9. Costs Very Little
Setting up a social media account is free with an email address, meaning that you can start creating content and sharing it with the world for free, generating interest and awareness in your products without spending any capital. Even if you do hire an online firm to manage your social media output, you are likely to see a huge return on your investment. For example, using Google Adwords will cost you $1-2 per click, whereas a targeted Facebook or Pinterest post can cost as little as $0.12 for each person who checks you out.
10. Fun and Creative
Social media is designed to be fun. You are able to interact with people directly. Displaying a creative and playful side can both make your message more likely to be shared, and be a joy to be a part of. You can host a twitter chat to celebrate a new product launch, create a meme to communicate an idea, or share a poll with your fans.
11. Know Your Competitors
Other people and companies have social media pages as well. Often, these can be very important sources of information about what trends they may be up to, or actions you can respond to or follow.
12. Know Your Customers
People use social media to share about themselves. If somebody publically declares they are a fan of your company, they are telling you important information about themselves. This can help you think about what they like, dislike, believe, and value, in a way that can strengthen how you communicate with them.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.