Social media – perhaps the two most important words to emerge in the last decade of web business. These days, operating a standard business website just isn’t enough to get by. Or at least, not in the instances of those striving to reach their full potential, anyway.
The power and reach of social media is absolutely unique and will only continue growing indefinitely. Nevertheless, there are still extraordinary numbers of businesses across the world that continue to view social media marketing as something of a ‘back burner’ consideration – something that takes a back seat to most other marketing priorities.
Of course it is fair to say that social media represents only one element of the comprehensive marketing mix, but it is nonetheless one of the most powerful of all. So for those who are still viewing social media as something of a side-issue, here’s a quick overview of eight indisputable reasons to think about increasing social media marketing spending, immediately:
First and foremost, the way in which social media allows a brand to get up close and personal with its target audience is both unique and limitlessly valuable. Regardless of which social media platforms you choose, you are effectively getting a first-hand account of the daily lives, activities, thoughts, opinions and preferences of those you are targeting. No other form of marketing offers anything even remotely similar.
To operate a strong social media presence is to not only encourage feedback and commentary, but to also gain the ability to issue immediate responses. Problems can be solved in an instant, complements can be acknowledged right away and conversations can be both sparked and joined – all of which represent pure gold when it comes to engagement and building authority.
Your Rivals Already Are
The simple fact of the matter is that sooner or later, every business is going to have to take social media extremely seriously in order to get by. Right now, it’s pretty much inevitable that many of your closest rivals are already investing heavily in social media and making full use of its marketing prowess. Long story short therefore, you may already be somewhat behind the curve and in need of playing catch-up.
Selling Without Selling
More often than not, web users are more inclined to believe and respond to messages and content they come across via social media than the kinds of content they may find on your actual primary website. Social media represents an absolutely fantastic tool for honing and exploiting the art of selling without selling. Or in other words, encouraging a target audience to instinctively gravitate toward you as a brand and what it is you do, without the hard-sell.
Actually getting a message or anything of value to go well and truly viral is difficult to say the least and almost impossible to engineer. Nevertheless, when it comes to getting the word spread among large and potentially lucrative target audiences, social media ticks all the right boxes. You strike a chord with one person, they share your message in front of their own 500 contacts, a solid percentage of these individuals do the same and so on and so forth. It’s unlikely that every single one of them will become valuable customers, but even if it sends only limited business your way, it’s technically free advertising!
Speaking of free advertising, it’s also worth considering the fact that despite its absolutely extraordinary power, reach and value, the vast majority of social media marketing efforts are technically free of charge. You of course have to invest your own time and effort in the endeavour, but everything from setting up accounts to posting to sharing and so on and so forth will more often than not cost you absolutely nothing.
Behind the Brand
Another fantastic benefit of social media is the way in which it allows you to put something of a voice and a personality to your brand or business. This can be rather difficult to do by way of your primary website for the simple reason that everyone visiting it will of course know you’re primarily interested in selling them something. With social media on the other hand, it’s a case of actively avoiding straying into to sales territory and instead focusing on driving engagement and basically letting your target audience know who you are, what your values are and why you’re the brand to go with.
They’ll Come to You
Last but not least, to spread your presence across Facebook and other social media sites is to exponentially increase the likelihood of customers finding you, without you having specifically targeted that. By joining groups of relevance to what it is you do, you’ll make your brand and business in general infinitely easier to find and stand to reap potentially enormous benefits long-term for absolutely minimal effort.