Leveraging Social Media to Expand Your Business

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Introduction

Social media has changed our way of living. From being a social networking platform to being a source of inspiration, social media has found its path to influencing a buyer’s decision-making abilities. The growth experienced by the platforms has been phenomenal with 51% of the population now being social media users.

With the onset of lockdown and pandemic, social media emerged as the go-to-medium for consumers to spend their time upon. Businesses that adopted their communication basis the changing patterns of their buyers were able to strike a chord with them. For instance, Apple’s ‘Creativity goes on’, Nike’s ‘Play for the world’, and Ford’s‘ Built to Lend a Hand’, rode the uncertainty wave and garnered engagement from their audiences’ over the globe. The pandemic has opened new opportunities for brands on social media to engage with their users via user-generated content, hashtag challenges, customer service, and influencer recommendations.

Thus, incorporating social media as part of the marketing mix has become vital for businesses. Still unconvinced to include social media or not, have a look at the below statistics that will prove the importance of the medium:

  1. Social media has 3.96 billion users
  2. Average time spent on social media is 2 hours and 22 minutes
  3. A typical user is present on 9 social media platforms
  4. 54% of internet users use social media to research products
  5. 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations for purchase decisions
  6. 71% of buyers recommend products basis their positive experience
  7. 68% of Instagram users engage with brands regularly
  8. 90% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions

Now, having the confidence that social media is the right marketing channel for your business, let’s explore the value it adds.

Builds Brand Credibility

Man is a social animal. Humans prefer to connect with faces to trust. With the growing age of Digital and Automations, marketing messages have become robotic. Social media is a platform that gives businesses an opportunity to humanize their brand. Humanization helps in establishing meaningful relationships with your audience and builds credibility for your brand.

Creating a humanized personality, tonality and imagery can easily be achieved by adding employee-led communication on your social networks. Showcasing the team behind your product, behind-the-scenes of your shoot or manufacturing process helps in elevating a consumer’s spirit. Employee experiences display transparency from brands and are one of the factors consumers seek after. During the pandemic, brands showcased their efforts towards community, safety standards that helped consumers trust them to do business with.

Successful social media engagement is driven by opportunities created by brands to initiate a dialogue with their consumers. Conversational marketing fuels human interactions amidst your consumers which can facilitate generating leads for the businesses. All social media platforms are centered on cultivating conversations that can accelerate the growth of the brands. Selecting the right mix of channels with the appropriate messaging that enables humanization is extremely crucial for businesses to receiving fruits from their social media efforts.

Uplift Brand Awareness

With 21% of consumers claiming to buy from brands that they can reach on social media, it is evident that brands would be missing out if they are absent on these platforms. Social media is one of the powerful mediums to garner brand recall. The wide base of each social platform gives one an opportunity to interact directly with their target audience compared to any other channel.

Establishing social media presence is light on the pocket as one can freely create business profiles on these platforms. The platforms give you an opportunity to promote these profiles with actionable like raising and inquiry, visit the website, and direct sales within your target audience. Even if the consumers miss the actionable, being present in front of their eyeballs helps in building familiarity for brands. Consistent promotions can yield substantial success from the target buyers.

In order to drive actions from social media, creating relevant content with keywords, hashtags and strong visuals are necessary. Differentiating the brand from its competitors is vital to a successful relationship with your consumers. Unique content will garner more engagement on social media which will help in widening the reach of the brand and connecting with its potential customers. Increasing brand awareness would ultimately shift the share-of-voice for businesses.

Gain Brand Authority

Brand authority refers to the consumer perception of the company’s expertise in a field. It is a set of intangible values a consumer puts into a brand and thinks of them as experts. Brand authority is a reputation and credibility that is conferred upon by the customer. It infers that your business is the ‘best’.

With the ever-increasing flow of information available online, it becomes overwhelming for consumers to differentiate between products and services and identify the best amongst them. Hence, brands need to connect and communicate their offerings that define their unique value proposition and help in building brand authority.

Consistently communicating on social media with varied content that educate your buyers is a significant step towards building affinity for your brand. Consumers interact with the content that not only drive value in their lives but also alleviate their problems with solutions. Content that instills a feeling of empathy, care, and other such emotions elicits favorable engagement from the buyers. Promptly addressing the consumer queries drives a sense of satisfaction and care amongst the customers.

Customers that experience a positive experience with brands are likely to share on social media within their circle which aids in garnering word-of-mouth. The word-of-mouth marketing influences the decision-making abilities of the buyers and increases the brand value.

Deepen Brand Loyalty

Social media gives brands a platform to converse and establish a relationship with your customers. Deepening relationships goes a long in fostering brand loyalty amongst your consumers. Garnering brand loyalty helps brands achieve scales and reduces customer acquisition costs.

Customer satisfaction and brand awareness are levers that drive brand loyalty. Growing follower base on social media and garnering engagement from them aids in building a loyal customer base. Loyal followers add value to the brand by garnering referrals for the brand. Fostering brand loyalty on social media helps brands win over competition, create a pool of brand advocates who build word-of-mouth, and develop an unbreakable bond with the brand.

Brands can build brand loyalty by providing world-class customer service that provides accurate and timely response to every consumer queries and concerns, crafting unique communication that is synchronized with their target audiences’ needs, incentivizing consumers for advocacy, rewarding frequent purchasers, involving consumers a part of a brand with surveys, polls, research and unlocking their creativity with user-generated content.

Brands need to build a community of brand ambassadors to stay ahead of the curve. Brand advocates support in a brand’s growth and journey. Creating an impactful impression for your brand on your consumers’ minds can instill brand loyalty.

Increased Inbound Traffic

Inbound marketing refers to attracting potential customers and visitors to your website or digital assets. Successful inbound marketing communication provides answers to the consumers’ queries and their problems. It nurtures the consumers through their stages of awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, and advocacy.

In the absence of social media, inbound marketing efforts would be limited to a select target audience who are researching your keyword. The brand’s marketing funnel becomes restricted to a select known audience who are familiar with your brand. This narrowing curbs the growth of the business and leads to stagnation in their domain.

Social media is a vast pool of audiences with varied interests and demographics. Social platforms give brands the opportunities to connect with a diverse audience, thus expanding the marketing funnel. Every interaction on social media is a gateway to increase your inbound traffic and grow your customer base. With varied audience interests, social media offers you opportunities to go after microsegments. Syndicating relevant and unique content amidst these microsegments would drive targeted traffic for brands.

Including social media for the inbound marketing efforts is as simple as sharing the blog link on social networks. By sharing the content, one can increase the visibility and engagement by 10X. With relevant hashtags, the content has the potential to reach a larger audience who can become your probable customers. Thus, social media helps in connecting to a largely untapped segment of your target audience.

Social media gives brands the opportunity to diversify their marketing efforts by reaching out to a versatile customer base. For instance, you can drive VC’s from LinkedIn to your website or serious professionals; while Facebook, Instagram, TikTok helps you connect with millennials. The likelihood of conversion from these platforms depends on the quality of content shared. Thus, with social media one can garner relevant and targeted inbound traffic who can become potential customers.

Enhance Search Engine Rankings

With Google recording 3.5 Billion searches per day, one cannot shy away from the importance that ranking on Google has. Users seeking information on Google rarely go beyond page one. Thus, brands need to invest in search engine optimization to be able to capture consumers’ attention. Though social media does not directly influence SEO, the indirect signals between social media and SEO can aid in a brand’s visibility on search engine pages.

Social media profiles do have the power to feature in the top 10 search results for your business. Social media acts as a bridge as they connect your consumers with the human side of the brand. The platforms work as a door to grow your probable customer base. While a searcher gains knowledge about the business, social media gives them an opportunity to become part of the conversation. Social platforms increase the exposure of the content, thus increasing the likelihood of the content to feature in the top 10.

Quality content pegs like Blogs, videos, case studies, infographics, vlogs, articles can have higher engagement when shared on social media boosts the quality score of the content. Some platforms like Pinterest, generate backlinks for the content that directly impacts the SERP for the brands while YouTube is a host to video-based content which drives the search intent of the consumers. As followers engage with the content, the likelihood of the content featuring in the industry’s influencer asset increases which drives authority and page score of the content. Thus, social sharing can aid in influencing a brand’s SEO performance.

Improve Conversion Rates

With 4 in 10 users purchasing the product after marking it as a favorite on social media, brands cannot hide the fact that social media marketing increases conversion rates for businesses. As social media gives brands opportunities with increased exposure and visibility, the likelihood of conversion too increases. Every content shared enables a user to visit the website and engage further with the brand.

There is an old saying that – ‘People do business with People’. Social media adds the human element to the brand. By interacting with content, comments, and chats; brands become personified. Developing positive relationships with consumers goes a long way in impacting the sales of the organization.

Marketers can adopt social media as stepping towards building social proof for the brands. Sharing customer testimonials, reviews can drive favoritism for the brand. Social proof garners engagement from the fellow circles of the consumers. With the right strategy, marketers can leverage social proof to gain virality for the brands.

As brands create the right perception on social platforms with apt content, they become the go-to point for consumers to connect when the need for their product arises. Interacting with consumers builds trust and credibility which in turn impacts the sales of the business. The buyers today have multiple touchpoints that act as an influence in their buying journey and social media is one such medium.

Deliver Customer Satisfaction

With social media being a networking platform, brands need to establish a voice that addresses their consumers. As consumers become more comfortable interacting with the brands, social platforms have become their first choice of communication with the brand. Thus, it is imperative for brands to monitor consumer mentions to provide an adequate resolution to their problems and queries.

Investing in automation and tools to recognize the mentions is vital for businesses to capture the responses and address them in a timely and appropriate way. By acknowledging and responding accurately to the consumers, brands create customer delight which instills a sense of satisfaction amongst the consumers.

Each interaction presents an opportunity for brands to retain the customers and demonstrate their prowess in satisfying consumers publicly. It is a must that these interactions are personalized than automated to strike compassion in the hearts of the consumers. Brands that address customer mentions in a customized way create a positive impact on consumers’ hearts and increase the likelihood of repeat purchase or initial purchase.

Additionally, marketers can increase the positive experience amongst the consumers by broadcasting the updates of products on social media and hosting sessions with experts towards the maintenance and repair of the products. Brands like Apple, Google, Nike, Coca-Cola live through the ages as their satisfied consumers grew into loyal customers.

Decipher Market Landscape

Brands can leverage social media to identify consumer needs directly. Consumers welcome brands that engage with them to find their demands and later close the loop by showcasing how their product resolves these demands.

Monitoring tools like Brandwatch, Radian6, Meltwater, Talkwalker give brands insight into consumers’ mentions on social media. Brands can discover their interests, opinions, pain points and create solutions that are consumer centric. Social media tools also give marketers to gain insight into the competition activities and the consumers’ perception towards competitors. Understanding the market landscape aids in crafting solutions that have an outward approach and create opportunities for sparking interactions with the consumers.

Marketers can also course correct the existing communication by identifying the impact garnered on the content. Social media can aid in recognizing which content formats and tonality works for the brand basis the geographic and demographic split of the audience. By incorporating actionable from the market landscape, brands can deliver strong communication which can generate better conversions and revenues.

Establish Thought Leadership

Becoming a thought leader refers to being a domain expert in one’s field. It is a position that defines your authority and value where people look up to you for leading the industry’s conversations, finding a resolution for their problems, source of their inspiration, and sharing futuristic thoughts driving the industry. Consumers view thought leaders as drivers steering the wheel of the industry and hence perceive greater value in their communications.

Establishing thought leadership is a cumbersome process and takes a long time to reach that position. However, the advent of social media and its increased exposure to a diverse audience, has aided in accelerating the thought leadership process for brands. Building presence and engagement on social platforms can help in determining authority for brands which in turn will grow into thought leadership. As social media gives you opportunities to create and build relationships with your consumers, brands can become notable influencers in the industry.

Conclusion

Brands can harp the bandwagon of social media and ride the social wave to interact with their consumers directly. Inclusion of social media in marketing strategy can aid in building awareness, developing brand loyalty, gaining brand authority, increasing conversions, garnering referrals, boosting inbound traffic, retaining customers by delivering customer satisfaction, enhancing search engine rankings, and becoming an industry thought leader.

With the right social media strategy, brands can accelerate their business growth across the globe. Identifying the accurate platform, posting relevant content, communicating in an appropriate tone, and delivering enticing visuals can create engaging interactions and build everlasting social media communities for brands.

The cost-effective nature of the platform makes it an ideal fit for start-ups, individuals, entrepreneurs to invest and drive returns from the medium. Attracting your consumers becomes much easier on social media compared to traditional marketing methods. Social media can compliment your traditional marketing to create superfluous growth for your business.

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DGsaga is a strategic digital consulting agency that expertise in amplifying your story on digital channels. We build your brand by narrating stories that deepen relationships with your consumer across digital channels.

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3 Comments
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