Social media have created something entirely new that has quickly advanced to dominate modern marketing practices. The impact of social media on business is pervasive. About 90 percent of marketing professionals report that social marketing increases business. [1] Social media helps to brand a company and brand awareness, adopt new marketing trends, engage customers off the sales site, increase sales leads and provide an additional forum for customer service.

Getting the Most out of Social Media Marketing

Like all marketing, social media promotions require a strategy that maximizes the return on investment, or ROI. The first step in planning is to define a given company's needs. Does the company want to attract new customers, track existing customers or provide more internet touchpoints to engage customers? Does the company want to brand its products to produce a steady stream of business?

The importance of social media marketing is that it can do all these things and more, but marketers should define their most pressing goals. Content marketing can address company-specific needs such as branding products, creating buzz about a company event and attracting millennial audiences. Content marketing includes articles, photos, graphics and videos. Companies can create engaging video content by showcasing products, developing how-to videos and providing real-world profiles about staff members and behind-the-scenes glimpses of company operations.

Companies can get a lot of value and a high ROI when investing in social media marketing. Social sites--particularly Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn--are ideal choices for many B2B companies’ marketing efforts. It's important to know whom the company wants to reach and target its advertising and promotions accordingly.

Decision-makers can use their time on social platforms to read their customers' posts and status updates to determine the following lead criteria:

  • Hobbies that engage customers
  • The kind of products people are buying
  • News that concerns customers
  • The websites that targeted prospects visit
  • The kind of events their audience engages in

Knowing this information provides important marketing benefits. Companies can develop more focused content and post compelling material on the sites where it will get the best responses.

Social Media Customer Service

Customers expect immediate service even when they're not directly on a company's website. Any given company's social pages are viewed as website extensions. One study found that customers wanted responses within 4 hours, but the average time for companies to respond to service issues on social platforms is 10 hours. [1] Integrating social pages with the company’s sale platforms can speed response times.

Content Marketing

Content marketing engages customers, builds brand awareness and generates highly qualified leads. B2B companies--even smaller ones--can compete on the internet with larger organizations. It’s important to develop a point-of-view and an honest voice to attract real-world customers. Examples might include posting trendy and edgy materials, conservative business values, inspiring stories or stories about underground brands. The more appeal the content has for a targeted audience, the better the results will be. The top benefits of social media content marketing include:

Improved Customer and Brand Loyalty

  • One Texas Tech study found that companies engaging their customers on social media enjoyed higher customer loyalty percentages. Another study found that 53 percent of American consumers who follow brands on social media sites stay more loyal to those brands. [2]

More Conversion Opportunities

  • Each post generates another chance for customers to convert. Posting also attracts new customers and leads and builds a core of company and brand followers.

Higher Conversion Rates

  • Content marketing on social media increases conversion rates by humanizing and personalizing promotions and improving credibility. Social media marketing enjoys a 100 percent better lead-to-close conversion rate than other outbound marketing strategies. [2]

More Inbound Traffic

  • Social content marketing attracts new visitors to the company's sales platform where a user-friendly sales platform and custom-centric features can generate even higher conversion rates than any outbound marketing.

Higher SEO Rankings

  • Search engines put a lot of strength on a company's social marketing efforts when compiling SERPs. Google and other search engines calculate rankings to give companies with a strong social presence precedence over those without a social strategy.

Lower Marketing Costs

  • Spending a few hours on social media each week can return a tremendous increase in marketing results for minimal costs. Hubspot found that investing just 6 hours per week was enough to generate increased sales. [2]

Stats on the Impact of Social Media on Business

There were 4.02 billion internet users in January of 2018, which is an astonishing 53 percent of the world's population. Social media attracts 3.2 billion users, which comprise 42 percent of the population. [3] Business can’t afford to ignore this marketing opportunity given its affordability, high ROIs, branding opportunities and lead-generation capabilities. The report by We Are Social found that Facebook posts by companies reached 10.7 percent more people than their number of followers. [4] Another study found that 83 percent of B2B companies market on social media, and 70 percent use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. [4] The importance of social media can’t be overestimated.

Developing Your Social strategy

It's important to integrate the company's content management system, or CMS, social sharing options and social customer service pages. The right developer can help you build a strong CMS regardless of your server, operating software and whether you use a CMS to post and update content. Social media marketing delivers a big impact, but so does your sales platform. Integration, design and development ensure that your system can meet the challenges of seamless cross-channel marketing.

 

References:

[1] Contentfac.com: 18 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Is Important For Any Business

https://www.contentfac.com/9-reasons-social-media-marketing-should-top-your-to-do-list/

[2] Forbes.com: The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/#4a49a0241f80

[3] Forbes.com: How Social Media Can Move Your Business Forward

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/05/11/how-social-media-can-move-your-business-forward/#5beb81544cf2

[4] Weidert.com: 30 Statistics About B2B Social Media Usage

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2018/05/11/how-social-media-can-move-your-business-forward/#5beb81544cf2

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