Social media marketing is nothing new. Social platforms have been around for quite some time – Founded in 2004, Facebook recently celebrated it’s 12th birthday in February, 2016. Twitter was launched in July 2006, so it’s celebrating 10 years this year. And, after it’s official launch in May, 2003, LinkedIn turned 13 years old this year. 

The point is, social media has been around for quite some time, and by the looks of it, it’s not going anywhere any time soon. The platforms may change, the audience will definitely change and shift, but with an estimated 2.55 billion social network users around the globe by 2018, this is more than just a new phenomenon.

Social media has become a must-have for businesses, and even small businesses are seeing the benefits of “being social”.

Here are 10 social media benefits for businesses that may be straddling the fence and unsure if they should jump in to the social ring:

  1. Brand Awareness: Being active on social media allows you to become familiar and recognizable to those online. The more your audience sees your brand, the more they recognize and may be able to relate to it at some point in their lives. For the most part, people want to Know, Like and Trust you in order to do business with you or to purchase your product. That’s why online testimonials and reviews are so powerful and necessary for businesses.
  2. Create A Buzz: Social media offers the opportunity to get the word out about your products and services in a way that no other advertising medium can compare to. Your posts don’t necessarily have to go “viral” to make an impact. As long as you are providing value to your audience and are reaching your target audience, you can build your brand and create a buzz with this targeted group.
  3. Brand Loyalty: People tend to buy from brands that they follow online. This goes back to the Know, Like and Trust theory. The more people know about you, the more opportunity they have to like and trust you.
  4. Improved Search Engine Optimization: Businesses that have an active social media presence tend to see improved SEO, organically. Many times, I’ve searched for a particular service and the business’ social pages will come up first, even before their website.
  5. Increased Website Traffic: Social does a nice job of driving traffic to your website. This can be done through posts, blogs, tips & info, contests, and calls to action. There are so many ways to ensure you’re drumming up some love for your website, and social media marketing is most certainly at the top of the list!
  6. Cost Effective: Many businesses are foregoing traditional methods of marketing and spending their ad dollars on social media. There’s no other way small businesses, with limited (and sometimes no) budget, can make an impact online, other than social ads. Specifically, Facebook does a nice job of allowing businesses to reach their target market at an affordable rate.
  7. Targeted Messaging: Speaking of target market on Facebook, this platform offers great ways to identify and reach your audience through targeted posts and ads. It’s no secret now that Facebook for business is now a “pay to play” arena, but the nice thing is that businesses can play at a rate that won’t break the bank.
  8. Improved Customer Service: How many times have you been on Twitter, for example, and seen someone complain about the bad service they received somewhere? Smart marketers quickly react to those complaints by addressing the issue immediately and offering a solution that often times will see the customer reposting a thank you to the company for their great service. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to offer this valuable service to your customers on social media.
  9. Competitive Edge: Your competitors are on social media and you need to be too! Simply put! If you’re not on there, then your potential customers are giving all the love, attention, and business to your competitors who are active on social media. Don’t you want a piece of the pie?
  10. Communication With Customers in Real Time and On Time: If you have a new product, service, promotion, etc., your customers can wait weeks for the postcards to be ready & mailed to hear about it, or they can hear about it instantly when they’re online.

The long and short of it is that businesses can’t afford to miss out anymore by being absent online. If you’re not present, then you won’t know what people are saying about you and you won’t have the opportunity to guide their opinions about you and your brand. 

With no signs of going away, showing up on social should top businesses to-do lists!