Soon after the advent of the internet, businesses had to figure out how best to incorporate its existence into their promotional strategies. When Yahoo and Google were fairly new, all any company had to worry about in order to effectively promote online was having a slick, professional website that ranked well on the search engines. While this is still critical to success today, a revolution started to take place online throughout the first decade of the new century. This revolution consisted of a series of websites that grew by leaps and bounds by making it easier for people to connect with each other.
Collectively, these websites are known as social media. They have familiar names such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+. Businesses that do not incorporate websites like these into their overall promotional strategies do so at their peril.
Explode Your Brand and Name Recognition
Social media platforms are an extremely cost-effective way to boost name recognition for your company and products or services. This is magnified when you use your company website to further expand your reach on these platforms. You do this by taking every opportunity to ask website visitors and customers to like and share your posts on Facebook and follow you on Twitter and other sites. The more followers and likes you have the more attention these posts get, and your online visibility will begin to snowball.
Many people do not like being the first to try a product or service from a company that they are not familiar with. Asking existing customers to connect with you through these social websites will help their friends and family have more confidence in giving you a try.
Build Brand Loyalty
It is often said that people do not buy products. They buy brands. When you find a company that sells something that you consider well made and that solves a problem particularly well, you are prone to try them again when another need crops up.
Staying connected with your customers through social platforms reminds them that you are still out there and that they have already had a positive experience with you. They also provide a place where they can connect with you if they have any questions about a purchase they already made or a potential purchase.
Be Perceived as an Authority in Your Field
Let’s say a potential customer is searching for a particular product that you happen to sell. In order for them to boost your bottom line, they have to decide to buy it from you instead of a competitor. When they see your company on a social site, hopefully they see a bunch of posts and links to articles about the products that you sell that cover many aspects of what you have to offer. This has the effect of making you look like an authority in your field.
People prefer to purchase from places where they feel they will be able to get help, support or additional products later if they need to. Your presence across multiple social platforms indicates a commitment that makes you appear to be serious about your business and an authority in your field.
Improve Your Knowledge About Your Customers
So far, everything that has been mentioned as being important about this marketing venue has been about how it helps the customer to make a decision to do business with you. When you are active on the social landscape, however, in addition to them seeing what you have posted about your company, products and services, you get to see what they say about things related to what you offer.
The feedback provided by people in this manner gives you critical insights into how to change your promotional efforts to make them more effective. If you see particular posts on Facebook or tweets on Twitter getting more likes or retweets than others, then you know to focus more on those topics in the future.
Improve Conversions From Your Website
Let’s look at two different scenarios for how a prospective customer happens to arrive at your company’s website. The first one is searching on Google for what you have to offer. We’ll assume your search engine optimization team is good, and they find you fairly high up in the search results, and they click through to your website. Now, there is another potential customer who first learns of your company through a post on Facebook or Twitter that a friend brought to their attention. They then check out your Facebook page and perhaps your YouTube and Twitter accounts. After all of this, they go to your website.
Most people would agree that the second customer is far more likely to order something once they get to your website because they will already feel familiar with you despite not having personally bought from you yet. It is easy to see from this example how a strong presence on social platforms would increase the conversion rate of those visiting your website.
Increase Your Sales
This particular item on this list of why this form of marketing is important is actually more of a summary of the previous reasons. Improving name recognition and brand loyalty, being perceived as an authority in your field and increasing conversions will, of course, have the cumulative effect of increasing your sales. Given how cost-effective social outreach is compared to more traditional forms of advertising, you should also see an increase in the percentage of each sale that you get to keep as profit.
Social media marketing is an inescapable part of the internet landscape today. Increasing numbers of people are fixated on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other such sites. They are largely the reason so many people can be seen walking around looking at a small screen rather than watching where they are going.
By ignoring these platforms that have captivated large swaths of the public, your business would be severely curtailing its chances for success. Conversely, smartly utilizing these platforms can grow your company faster than you may have thought possible.