Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest... you name it, your customers are using it. Facebook alone had 2.27 billion registered users in 2018. It doesn't matter if you are a small business working B2B or B2C, enhancing your social media presence should be a cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy.
People are now educating themselves online about products and companies before making a purchase more than ever before. Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the online research process. According to eMarketer:
45% of digital buyers worldwide said that reading reviews, comments, and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behavior.
This statistic is expected to continue to grow higher and higher each year.
As a free sharing platform, social media offers your business the opportunity to enhance your brand presence from a local business to a regional or national one.
Social media marketing can feel like a black hole of content that never gets full. It also can be difficult to document the true ROI of a social media investment. It can be very hard to show why a click to purchase happened. The reality is that many facets of your marketing strategy work together and not in silos.
So what is social media good at doing for small business? What are the benefits for small businesses who invest in social media?
1. Tell Your Brand Story
No matter your category of business, your company has a brand and a story to tell. Intentional or not, your logo design, employees, and company culture all come together to create the backbone of your business brand.
Social media is the perfect outlet to express who your company is (the brand), and what separates you from your competition. Most likely you have invested heavily in your brand (that logo designer wasn't free), and social media can act as a megaphone to help promote these efforts to the masses.
VP Dental shares patient testimonials on social media
Creating consistent, branded, and personalized content will keep your company name, logo, and feel in front of your audience, and consequently the front of their minds.
When your business is active on social media, this presents the opportunity to provide a “personality” for your business. It shows the human side of your company, and provides a window into your culture. Your business has more to offer social media than just offers and advertisements. Consumers want to see the personal side of your company. and we encourage posts like the following:
- Fun employee and office culture posts
- Images or videos of workplace events (HubSpot has a great video hosting tool)
- Employees engaged in community involvement
These “personality posts” give potential customers insights into who they are buying from, and they help you gain more audience reach by getting shares and likes which provide additional visibility beyond your existing followers.
2. Share Your Content + Boost Your SEO
Although Google gives little credit for social signals as part of their SEO algorithms social media can still boost your SEO.
We're firm believers in the inbound marketing methodology, and a key pillar of inbound marketing is creating content. You should know that creating strategic blog content is an easy and effective way to tread into the SEO waters, especially if you use keywords strategically. If your content is optimized and interesting, you'll soon be on your way to hundreds of blog views a month. But, did you know that social media can increase your blog views even more?
Social media offers a great sharing platform for the content that you create. When you share your content on a social media platform like Facebook, you're giving your audience a direct link to your website, and the option to share the content with their own audience. By posting content and other links to your website on social platforms, you are driving inbound traffic to your site from referral sources. Referral traffic is important because most search engines consider these to be positive ranking factors because they come from trusted sources.
3. Find Out More About Your Customers
The analytics that social media platforms provide can give you business insights that you can’t get from any other source. Aside from basic metrics like post reach and likes, you also have the ability to understand the preferences and behaviors of your target audience.
Here's what Facebook Audience Insights can reveal:
- Audience Demographics
- Audience Location
- Audience Purchase behavior
- Page Likes
Sounds scary, but not to worry, Facebook keeps this information anonymous.
4. Get Personal With Your Customers
In the digital world where convenience options like live chat are slowly beginning to dominate, customer convenience is clearly a deciding factor in how your patient or customer will contact your business. To consumers, nothing screams convenience like social media. Social platforms give your customers an approachable outlet to interact with your business. Sometimes, a quick Facebook message or Instagram direct message is more convenient for your customers than a telephone call.
5. Establish Customer Authority
Companies with an active social media presence are more profitable than businesses that lack one. This is because consumers have more trust in businesses with multiple social media accounts. Research from Balihoo found that:
63 percent of consumers who search for local businesses online are more likely to use businesses with information on social media sites.
Why is this true? Because many small businesses and companies have static websites that change little, if at all, after their launch. This is especially true if your website is difficult to personalize for the user. This could be due to budget restraints, lack of time to create new web pages, and so on. Social media however, offers a platform that can easily be updated with new photos, posts, and general information for your audience. A consistently updated social media presence also ups your authority with your customers. While your website establishes that your brand exists online, your social media accounts establish that your brand is active.
6. ...and Industry Authority
You work hard to be the best there is at what you do, and you should share your efforts with the world online. When you post content links to social media that provide solutions to problems for customers, you are positioning your company as the authority in its industry and shows prospects that you are a go-to resource that they will remember when its time to purchase. There are two types of content you can share on social platforms to boost your industry authority:
- Your original content - You should be blogging regularly about topics that are important to your business and customers (and if you are not you should start immediately). Share a link to this content on social media. This is a no-brainer way to invite people to your website so that they can find out more about you, and add traffic to your site from an external source, hello SEO.
- Curated content - Sharing content from other respected sources on your social platforms is another great way to show your audience that you are an industry resource. Find great articles that support your created content and point of view and post them with links to the source.
If you want your digital marketing efforts to be successful, social media should be a no brainer. When your business uses social platforms, you have the opportunity to gain website traffic, establish authority, and tell your business story in a new way. Social media can only strengthen your marketing strategy, and The Diamond Group can help you make the best of the social media platforms best suited for your individual business. Contact us today to learn how to get your social media strategy started.