When you think of social media marketing, you may associate it with a big investment of time and money. Hundreds of small business owners ask themselves, “Is social media worth it?” Social media marketing can be enormously effective in reaching potential customers, but you need to know how to use it.
Social media marketing that produces ROI isn’t cheap or easy. In fact, keeping your social media ROI in check all year round takes effort. When done correctly, though, it drives more traffic to your website and increases sales. Thousands of small businesses have had success with social media marketing because millions of people use social media sites to learn about new products and services.
In this article, we examine six reasons social media as a business strategy is worth your time, money, and efforts. We’ll share social media tips every small business can use throughout this post, too. To start, we’ll look at why social media marketing is worth the investment in the first place.
Why Invest in Social Media Marketing?
Businesses use social media to build customer relationships in an authentic, scalable, and low-cost way. It’s an often-untapped source of new people to talk with who can come to love your brand–if you reach them with the right message.
When done correctly, social media marketing can drive more traffic to your website and increase sales. The leading social media platforms–Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest–also attract every imaginable customer niche. With an informed strategy and a decent budget, social media can be a scalable method to engage with your ideal customer.
So, what are some specific reasons social media should be part of your game plan? Let’s dive in…
6 Reasons to Invest in Social Media Marketing
1. Social Media Allows You to Target Niche Audiences
The first reason is social media marketing allows you to target niche audiences across your entire customer base. Such a strategy is particularly important for businesses that sell to multiple niches, including B2B and B2C businesses.
By designing content that appeals to each niche, you can reach the right segment of your audience more easily. For example, if you have an eCommerce store that sells both men’s and women’s clothing, you would use different images for each group. Writing different copy–the term for words written to evoke action from readers–for each group also helps you appeal to specific buyers.
When you’re using legacy media like TV and print, it’s difficult or impossible to segment marketing efforts to your niches. With social media marketing, you can display your ads and posts only to the relevant audiences whenever you want.
2. Social Media Marketing Strengthens Social Proof
The second reason every business needs a social media marketing strategy is that it builds your social proof. Social proof is when prospects feel enticed to learn more about a brand or buy a product or service based on the number of people who already publicly support that brand.
Social proof is one of the most important factors in convincing people to buy. For example, if you get an influencer to promote one of your products and use it in a real-life situation, you are building social proof. Influencer marketing is particularly effective if the influencer has a large following, i.e. 10,000 or more.
Building social proof through social media marketing is easier than ever before. You can use testimonials, case studies, and user-generated content (UGC) to create social proof.
The more people see how authentically you interact with customers and prospects, the more they’ll want to be part of the fun. Given you have clear calls-to-action (CTAs) in your social content, you can expect to see an uptick in traffic and sales as a result.
3. Social Media Helps You Reach Your Audience Where They Are
The third reason is social media marketing allows you to reach your audience where they are. Reaching people cost-effectively is crucial for small businesses that don’t have the budget for traditional advertising.
If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, social media marketing helps you reach customers who can’t visit your store. If you sell products online, social media marketing helps you reach potential buyers who may otherwise overlook your product.
Social media marketing also allows you to reach customers near the end of the sales funnel. Studies demonstrate that 54% of people on social media use the platforms to find products to buy. If you want to reach your ideal customers today, you need to be on social media.
4. Social Media Marketing Is Inexpensive Compared to Legacy Media
Compared to traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio, and print, social media marketing is inexpensive. Starting with a $10 per day ad budget and the right audience targeting, you can reach thousands of people who want exactly what you sell.
Focus on one or two social media channels where your target market spends most of its time. Prepare multiple ad sets so you have more than enough data to review after the ads run. Then launch your ads and give them at least one or two weeks to run.
Social media advertising takes time to perfect, but you can scale it far easier and faster than other media channels. Most of the time, you’re lucky to get a worthwhile TV spot for $25,000. You can reach targeted buyers for your business with 1% of that budget on social media.
5. Social Media Marketing Is Scalable
Social media marketing is scalable. What this means is that you can start with a modest budget and add more funds as your business grows. When you start out, you should focus on creating great content and building relationships with existing customers and potential customers.
As your business grows, you can add more money to your social media budget. A larger budget allows you to multiply your social media marketing efforts–perhaps even hire additional staff–and reach more prospects.
Scaling up comes in the form of more resources spent on social media content creation as well as ads. The approach you take depends on your business’s needs, but social media allows for unlimited growth in both areas.
6. Your Competitors Are Using Social Media
The sixth reason that social media marketing is worth it is that your competitors are already using it. No matter what industry you’re in, there are other small businesses already engaging with your target audience on their platform(s) of choice.
Setting aside time specifically to conduct a social media audit on your competition can deliver valuable insights. You can see what types of content your competitors are posting, how often they post, and what types of posts are most successful–all for free.
For example, if you post every day and your competitors post twice per week, you might be over-allocating resources. Or, if your competitors post static images and it isn’t working, you can focus on different types of content, like videos or GIFs. Observe what your competitors are doing, and identify what you can do to surpass them, so you gain greater brand authority and grow your audience.
The Bottom Line
With the right strategies, you can increase your website traffic, boost your sales, and strengthen your brand through social media marketing. To get the most out of social media marketing, choose one or two platforms and focus on posting high-quality, engagement-driven content.
Here’s a summary of why social media marketing should have a role in your marketing strategy:
- Target your ideal niche. Through modern targeting techniques, there’s no one you can’t reach on social media. Make a list of relevant phrases and hashtags, then get posting.
- Increase your social proof. Social media is the case-in-point way to drive social proof. The more prospects see how many people already support your business, the more you can attract new sales.
- Tap into a proven pool of buyers. Data shows the majority of people who use social media are in a buyer’s mindset (especially on Instagram). Getting relevant offers in front of your social media audience can help boost sales.
- Spend less money for better results. Social media doesn’t require significant capital to see results. Focus on creating a few good ads and targeting the right people.
- Scale quickly. Once a few of your posts or ads are taking off, you can allocate additional budget for more results. Start with quality over quantity and scale up from there.
- Take advantage of your competitor’s weaknesses. Social media is perhaps the most transparent view you have of competitors’ marketing techniques. Spot where they’re lacking and pivot your discoveries into your own content calendar.
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