Are you a business owner who doesn’t use social media as a part of your marketing plan?
Social media has become an extremely powerful marketing tool for businesses, large or small. While many users who hang out on Facebook are there to stay connected to their friends and family, savvy business owners learned early how effective marketing there can be.
Those who have been successful marketing on social media understand the importance of including it into their strategic marketing plans.
Two important factors are stimulating the growth of social media users.
- Easy Access: There are more people accessing the internet via mobile. Improved connectivity of mobile devices has provided a way for people to access social media accounts frequently.
- Mature Adopters: There are more active users on social media in the 45-64+ age bracket.
For those who think their customers and clients can’t be reached on social media, here are some numbers that may surprise you.
- Facebook, the behemoth of social media platforms, currently has over 2 billion active users each month, worldwide. 
- You Tube currently has just under 2 billion active users monthly. 
- Instagram active users monthly is just over 100 million. 
So, what can marketing on social media do for your business?
First of all, you need to understand that creating social media Profiles and Pages with a few random posts will NOT help you achieve your business goals. There are a several preliminary steps that should be done such as researching to learn which social media platform(s) your ideal audience hangs out on. You need to have established goals that you want to reach using social media for marketing and those goals should be aligned with your business goals.
Once you’ve completed your research establish goals, you should create strategies and a plan to reach them. And you should know your ideal audience well enough to know what interests them the most because these are the people you will want to engage with, so you will need to post content they find valuable.
If you are not convince that marketing on social media can help you reach your business goals, some of the benefits are outlined below.
1) Build Brand Awareness: A brand is more than a logo, a color palette or a specific font. When building your brand, you are actually building your reputation. The point is for people with no prior knowledge of you, your business or your offerings to begin to recognize you and learn how you serve your customers. It’s not a one and done task. It takes time to cultivate recognition and consistency is key to stay top of mind with your fans and followers. Here is one area where the preliminary research, creation of strategies and plans will help you. helps you
Make sure your messaging will appeal to your ideal audience and your content is valuable to them. And, remember to put “social” into your social media marketing. Take the opportunity to answer questions, respond to comments left on your posts and engaged with your fans/followers timely. Brand awareness is the best way to warm your audience and get increased exposure to help you start generating leads using social media.
2) Increased Website Traffic: Social media can help you drive more traffic to your website. Share an excerpt of you best blog content with a link back to the blog post or share content from a page on your website with the URL in your social media posts and ads. Create content about your products or services with a link back to your sales page on your website. You can also offer giveaways and freebies with a link back to the webpage where they can be accessed on your website. Here’s another good reason to have great content on your website that is visually appealing, easy to read, and easy to navigate. It helps to capture your viewer’s interest.
3) Generate Leads: Social media offers several ways to generate leads. One of the most popular tactics is an “opt-in” where you offer content or a session in exchange for the readers’ contact information/email address. Your social media post can include info and a link to your opt-in form that will give the subscriber access to the “gated” content after they complete and submit their contact info. If your content is valuable and relevant to the those who opt into your email list, they will likely stay on your list. This gives you the opportunity to continue nurturing and educating them on your business, how your products and services solve their problem, events, etc. Some people your list will be interested in your offerings quickly and some people will need to be nutured for years before buying. But having them on your list helps you stay top of mind with them. You can also display your opt in form directly on your Facebook Page, on one of the menu tabs.
4) Boost Sales: Most experienced marketers understand there is no overnight success with social media marketing that will result in making a lot of money. Making new connections, building relationships, establishing credibility and cultivating trust takes time and these are key factors to convert your fans/followers/prospects into buyers. But once you have built a tribe of raving fans, you can boost sales volume by promoting your offerings on social media, via posts with organic reach and/or with social media ads. And when your tribe shares your promotional posts, your reach expands exponentially.
The majority of business owners who report success with increasing sales volume using social media marketing create campaigns to use with targeted ads, retargeting tools to remind the viewer of their previous interest in their offerings and sales tracking tools to help them manage the sales process.
5) Cost Effectiveness: Many small businesses are strapped for cash and haven’t included advertising dollars in their budget. Traditional advertising like print, radio and TV ads can be priced out of their reach. Social media platforms have made it possible for business owners to create business profiles and pages to start building interest for their business, get exposure, share information about their business offerings and to start engaging with their prospects and customers – all for FREE.
6) Positioning as Expert: Be the go-to person for answers and ideas on social media to establish your credibility in your niche or industry. This will also help you build a loyal fan base and is an excellent way to build consumer trust.
7) Competitive Research: If you are in business, you need to be aware of what your competition is doing, what’s working for them and what’s not working. Social media provides a way to learn what people are saying about your competition and it can provide a way to discover gaps in their services or products that you improve upon to attract customers. Tools are also available to help you analyze the performance of your competitor(s).
8) Stay Informed of Industry News: Everything moves faster online. Social listening can help you learn about changes to your industry or hot topics quickly. You can also learn about industry news of those you serve. This will allow you to react faster to changes that will affect your business. Some changes could be relevant to share with your fans and followers if they will affect their business and if they are factual.
9) Targeted Ads: – Social media ads offer targeting options to help you reach the right audience with ads that are within the budget you determine. It’s important to know who you are targeting and what your goals are before you start using social media ads. Most business owners have found social media ads to be more effective than depending on organic reach and that they are less costly than print ads. Social media ad campaigns are also a great way to increase reach to your prospects, get more exposure for yourself and what you offer, and to entice your audience to access your sales pages and links. Facebook makes it possible to create highly targeted ads to help reach your audience.
10) Customer Servicing: Businesses large and small have begun to realize the importance of customer care on social media. Customers want to be heard if they have a bad experience with a brand. It’s becoming the norm for customers to talk about their experience with a business, positive or negative, on social media.
Large companies that routinely provide customer care on social media use separate accounts for servicing, hashtags, and strategies such as processes to provide excellent service and building customer advocate teams. When someone posts about a bad experience, their customers acts as advocates; they recall and post about positive experiences they’ve had with the brand to mitigate the negative comments.
Small business owners are integrating live chat on their websites to let prospects and customers send questions or information about help needed at any hour and they respond via email during their normal business hours. If customers send you messages through your social media accounts or post on your social media accounts about their experience with your company, you should respond positively and as quickly as possible. If their comments are negative, don’t agree with a disgruntled customer online. Invite them to talk about the problem in an offline conversation.
This list above is not all inclusive but it covers many benefits that business owners should consider if they aren’t using this form of marketing. Social media is definitely here to stay and its number of users continues to grow. It’s no longer reasonable to assume that your customers are not using social media in some way.
If this form of marketing will fit iin with your overall marketing plan, identify one platform where your ideal audience hangs out and give it a try.
The most important thing to remember is using social media for marketing purposes is not a get rich quick scheme. Success with this form of marketing requires time, planning and effort to implement the tactics you’ve defined to reach your business goals.
 Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/