Social media is no longer ‘the next big thing’ – it’s a fact of life, and it’s here to stay. Unfortunately, while many brands have been quick to embrace the new opportunities this represents, others are still dragging their heels, reluctant to invest in something they view as a passing fad.
If your employer is wary about jumping onto the social media band wagon, never fear: we’re here to help. Here are 10 reasons we’re sure will convince your boss that social media, when used correctly, can greatly benefit your business.
1. Consumers expect companies to be active on social media
Above: Educated businesses build a presence on multiple social media platforms.
According to HubSpot, on average, people expect brands to have a presence on at least three social media platforms.
What does this mean for brands that don’t meet these expectations? It means customers will waste time looking for social media accounts that don’t exist. It means they’ll begrudge having to call or email a business when they would have preferred to use social media. And it most likely means they’ll think the company is behind the times.
2. Social media is a powerful customer service tool
Above: Social media channels have evolved to become fantastic customer service platforms. Image by Zach
Excellent customer service is the cornerstone of good business, and social media can be a powerful weapon in a company’s customer service arsenal. A growing number of customers expect to be able to interact with a brand using social media when they have a problem or query.
Indeed, according to the Institute of Customer Service, amongst UK social media users:
- 31% use social media to make pre-sales enquiries
- 25% use social media to make complaints
- 12% use social media to escalate a complaint after traditional channels have failed
- If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on many of your customers’ communication channel of choice.
If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on many of your customers’ communication channel of choice.
3. Social media can lend your brand credibility
Above: Positive ‘word of mouth’ on social media can provide your business with credibility. Image from Pixabay
Gone are the days when people consulted the Yellow Pages when they wanted to find a particular service. Now, people turn to online search engines – and, when choosing between companies they’ve never engaged with before, they are increasingly likely to rely on the presence of active social media accounts and positive online reviews. In fact, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. Do you really want to be missing out on that market?
4. Social media creates brand awareness
Above: All the world’s biggest brands use social media to create awareness. Image by Brett Jordan
Social media is a valuable tool for building brand awareness. An individual might have never engaged with your company, but, if it starts popping up here and there in their social newsfeeds, they will build up a sense of who you are and what you do.
This infographic neatly illustrates the relationship between social media and brand awareness. Amongst other interesting statistics, it reveals that 71% of people say they are more likely to buy from a brand they already follow on social media – a fact that illustrates the value to a business of being active on social media.
5. Social media can humanise your business
Above: A great example of Sainsbury’s using Twitter to connect with a customer.
People like to feel like they’re doing business with a person, rather than a soulless corporation. By engaging with customers socially, businesses have the power to inject a bit of personality into their messaging.
Take this example: a pun-tastic Twitter exchange between Sainsbury’s supermarket and a member of the public, which got retweeted thousands of times and also made newspaper headlines nationally.
6. Social media makes it easier for customers to advocate for you
Above: Target earned well-deserved praise across social media for featuring a child with disabilities in their catalogue.
As a brand, the goal is to create loyal customers who advocate your business for you. While in the days of old, an individual’s social influence would have been relatively small – most likely just their immediate friends and relatives – nowadays, thanks to the power of social media, one person’s recommendation can reach hundreds and even thousands of people.
Not convinced? Just look at all the praise Target received online after featuring a child with a disability in their catalogue – the image quickly went viral. While this might be an extreme example, remember that 41% of social media users have already shared a link, video or story about a brand, showing that there are many people out there willing to advocate for brands, provided the messaging is right.
7. Social media helps you get to know your customers better
Above: L’Oréal created their ombre hair dying kit because of insights they learned via ‘social listening’. Screenshot taken from YouTube
Social media can be used to gather important insights about your customers – for example, who and where they are, what they like and dislike, what sort of messaging they respond best to. By making good use of social media analytics, a brand can make better informed business decisions.
Another powerful tool that more and more companies are focusing on is ‘social listening’ – the practice of monitoring what people are saying online about your company. Brands can glean all sorts of important insights from social listening, from feedback on particular products to the identity of potential influencers and advocates. One brand that’s already successfully demonstrated the value of social listening is L’Oréal, who used innovative social listening to identify the ombre hair trend and to shape the creation of a highly successful ombre hair dye kit.
8. Social media requires relatively little investment
There’s no need to invest huge amounts of money to find success on social media.
You don’t need to invest significant amounts of money, time or energy into social media to begin seeing results. Indeed, according to HubSpot, 84% of marketers find that devoting just six hours a week to social media is enough to increase traffic – that’s just a little over an hour every day of the working week.
If your employer is cautious about committing to social media, perhaps you can try convincing them to trial a particular platform for a set amount of time, and then analyse the results. When your boss has the numbers in front of them, they’re unlikely to say no.
9. Your competitors are already using social media
Everyone’s using social media, so you will be left behind if you don’t.
It’s almost certain that the majority, if not all, of your company’s competitors are already using social media – a massive 88% of US companies were already using social media for marketing back in 2014. This means that your competitors are most likely benefiting from all the positives listed above, and as such have an advantage over you. The longer you hold off from embracing social media, the further behind you will fall.
10. Social media is good for your bottom line
Above: Social media for businesses earns a bucket load of thumbs up from us. Image by Pixabay
We’ve left one of social media’s biggest business benefits until last – it’s a financially sound investment In addition to all the benefits listed above, a strong social media presence can help improve brand loyalty, conversion rates and search engine rankings.
In other words, social media, done well, is good for business.
Hopefully, when you’re employer sees these reasons, they’ll agree that social media has the potential to be an invaluable tool for your business. From there, it’s simply a matter of devising a social media strategy.
Can We Help?
Fat Media is a national, award-winning, full service digital marketing agency. Our team has the knowledge and skills needed to turn your website and social media accounts into powerful sales tools. To speak to one of our expert staff, contact us today.