In case you haven’t noticed, social media is not just a fad… It’s also not just for teeny boppers. That means that it provides a valuable opportunity for your small business to reach a broader audience and market your products or services.
Even if you already know this, you still might be struggling to answer this question…
Is Your Target Market Really Using Social Media?
According to Statista, here’s a breakdown of the most popular social media networks, in millions of monthly active users in the US:
And here’s another chart from Statista showing what percentages of adults have accounts on 4 of these profiles:
Of all the social networks, Facebook continues to rank as the most popular so now let’s take a closer look at Facebook demographics from SproutSocial.
Based on this data, your target market is likely using social media. But how often? Well, again according to SproutSocial data, 1.5 billion of Facebook’s 2.27 billion users are logging in to Facebook every single day!
Let’s summarize what we just learned…
Summary of Social Media Demographics
- Every age group is using social media
- Every income level is using social media
- Every education level is using social media
- Every location (rural, suburban, urban) is using social media
- And finally, they are likely logging in every single day
In case that didn’t convince you to develop a social media marketing strategy, I’ll walk through six key benefits that should get you more excited about this huge and growing marketing opportunity…
Reason #1: Increase Brand Recognition & Trust
The reality today is that prospects do research online before making buying decisions. Where do they look? Of course, Google is one of the top sites to search, but many are also turning to Facebook and other social media networks to see if a company is established there.
There are 3 likely outcomes when prospects look for you online:
- They don’t find anything and immediately lose trust.
- They find your social media profiles, but they aren’t active. Again, you’ve lost a few trust points.
- They find your social media profiles, see that you’re active, and learn more about the culture and values of your business. This leads to increased trust and more brand recognition because social media gives you the opportunity to connect with prospects on a deeper level.
Reason #2: Increase Visibility in Google
As mentioned above, your prospects are already searching in Google to find information about your business. One of the benefits of setting up profiles as part of your social media marketing strategy is that it allows you to blanket the first page of Google with webpages you control.
For example, search your company name and review the first page of Google. If you have a Facebook page set up then chances are good that page is ranking on the first page. If you also have a LinkedIn and Twitter page then those are also ranking. The more pages you control in the search results the better because it increases the chances a prospect will click on one of your pages.
Plus, social media marketing can help improve your website’s search engine rankings for other non-brand keywords. Social media gives your website more exposure, which leads to more links from other websites, which in turn can boost your rankings.
But social media marketing is not just about driving traffic to your website…
Reason #3: Increase Website Sales Conversion Rates
I already mentioned above how social media marketing allows your brand to connect with prospects on a deeper level than other channels like advertising. In other words, social media gives your business a personality, which can naturally lead to more brand loyalty and higher sales conversion rates.
Plus, isn’t social media by default social proof? When users follow, like, and share your updates, then that is social proof that other people know, like, and trust your business.
Finally, social media is a great tool for following up with prospects and customers to keep your business top of mind. We all know the importance of follow-up in the sales process and social media is another channel to stay in touch with prospects.
Reason #4: Increase Customer Retention & Referrals
Of course, let’s not forget about the importance of following up with our customers!
By using your social media marketing strategy to stay top of mind with customers, you’ll naturally increase retention, repeat purchases, referrals, and online reviews. Need I say more? :)
Reason #5: Establish More Partnerships
First, I already mentioned the fact that your prospects are researching your business online. Well, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that potential partners are doing the same thing…
Therefore, social media can either help or hurt your chances of forming referral partnerships.
Second, potential partners are more receptive to the idea of sharing content (articles, webinars, videos) than forming a referral partnership. It’s just a lot easier and less risky to share content. Then once you’re working together it’s a more natural transition to discuss referrals.
Of course, this strategy relies on content, but that’s no problem if you’re already active on social media.
Reason #6: Diversify Your Marketing
Last but not least, businesses need to use social media marketing as a way to diversify. If your business is currently relying on just one or two marketing tactics, then you’re extremely vulnerable!
We all have heard stories of Google updates wiping out a business that used to be ranking high in the search results. Advertising will continue to get more and more expensive as new competitors with deep pockets enter the market. Email marketing isn’t getting any easier with all the spam filters and Gmail automatically sorting emails.
My point is that no one tactic is safe. The only path to long-term success is by diversifying your marketing strategy to include tactics like social media.