Consumers already spend an enormous amount of time using social media. The average person clocks in more than six hours online daily. So, doesn’t it make sense to reach your target audience where they’re spending most of their time?
Social media advertising—an $8.4 billion market—is ripe with benefits for businesses. It helps companies find new customers by using the information they’ve shared online. You can target relevant individuals before they even begin their search. The faster you reach them with targeted content, the more likely they’ll convert.
But with so many platforms offering a variety of social media advertising tools, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. We’ll help you cover some of the basics by guiding you through the right platform.
Did you know that social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing? Or that 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form? No matter what you sell and who you sell it to, using social media as a marketing tool can help you grow your brand and pad your wallet.
At this point in the game, not having an active social media presence is kind of like pulling out a flip phone at a business meeting and then not understanding why your boss keeps giving Brad all the new accounts.
The Importance of Social Media for Web Traffic
1. Social media posts can be used to drive targeted traffic.
Creating a new page on your site is like taking a really great selfie. You want the world to see it and bask in its brilliance, but you don’t want to beg for attention (or worse, pay for it).
That’s why for selfies and landing pages, well-placed social media posts can make all the difference. We’ve seen a single link on Reddit drive over 20,000 visitors in one weekend and links submitted to StumbleUpon can take a page that was consistently earning a handful of visitors a day and increase that number to hundreds. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on that?
2. Using social media for business boosts your site’s SEO.
Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. A killer content strategy for SEO is the most important part of earning top spots in search engine rankings, but driving traffic to your optimized pages will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
3. If you’re doing it right, social media will lead to real relationship building.
Part of what makes things like Twitter and Instagram marketing so cool is the interaction you get to have with your customer base — you can read their tweets and status updates to get insights into their daily lives (and maybe adjust your marketing strategy as a result).
What products are they buying and why? What are they doing on the weekend? What kind of posts do they love to share, and from what websites?
You can also use social media as a tool for connecting with complementary, non-competing businesses, thought leaders and tastemakers in your space, as well as journalists who cover your industry. Sometimes, becoming besties starts with a simple retweet.
Of course it doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile. When we saw that our client Astroglide was mentioned on The Celebrity Name Game by Rick Fox, we quickly jumped on the opportunity to create a gif and mention both accounts on Twitter. This resulted in interaction not just from Rick Fox, but from the Celebrity Name Game account as well!
4. Users are receptive to your messages.
People view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines. As a result, they’re less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say.
This translates to serious web traffic when you link to your site and posts that market themselves as your friends and followers share what you’ve posted.
5. Social media ads allow targeting and re targeting.
One of the reasons social media is important is because of the highly customizable nature of social media ads. Facebook ads, for example, allow you to target users by things like location, education level, industry and even purchase history and the pages they’ve liked.
You also have to the option to install a Facebook pixel on your site and use it to retarget the users who visit you — these people are far more likely to convert into solid leads and sales!
6. Social media can help you get noticed at events, and even generate earned media coverage.
Whether your business is sponsoring a charity fundraiser or attending a major trade show, there’s no better way to leverage your presence than with the help of social media.
In fact, we once sent a tweet during CES that lead to a client getting a feature article written about them in Wired magazine (check out our guide to marketing your business at trade shows and events to learn how you can achieve similar results).
7. You can respond to problems immediately.
If there’s a problem with your product or service, you want to know about it right away. With the feedback you get in the process of social media marketing, you’ll be the first to know when there are issues – and you can take steps to resolve them right away.
Study after study has shown that consumers appreciate companies that respond to customer complaints (and don’t hesitate to rant online to anyone who will listen when companies don’t take the time to make things right).
8. A strong social media presence builds brand loyalty.
A report published by Texas Tech University found that brands with active social media profiles have more loyal customers. It’s easy to imagine why: when you’re engaging and interacting on social media (not just tossing your posts out onto the web hoping someone will stumble upon them) you become less like a corporation and more like what you truly are — a unified group of people who share a vision.
9. Your competition is getting social, so you should too.
Did you know that 91% of brands are using more than one social media platform? This isn’t something you want to fall behind the competition on, because it’s much harder (and more expensive) to play catch up than it is to get in on the game early.
If your competitors get to your potential customers first, they’ll earn their loyalty and you’ll have a hard time winning them over. If you’re active and engaging on a variety of networks, you can gain those friends and followers first and your competition will be playing catch up instead of the other way around.
10. The social media marketing arena is a (fairly) level playing field.
Some brands may have bigger ad budgets than others, but all companies start off on pretty equal footing when it comes to social media marketing.
The people and brands who thrive and go viral in are those with the most clever, attention grabbing tactics (and the most ridiculous gifs) and the most useful, link worthy content. In short, they’re providing value to their target audience while also showing personality and being entertaining.
If you want to get lots of traffic and really increase your sales online, you’re going to have to outwit, outnetwork and outwrite your competition while offering superior products and customer service. Isn’t that what business is all about, anyway?
11. When it comes to newsjacking, social media is king.
Sometimes your brand is mentioned on a cable TV show. Sometimes it’s not, but you know just how to slide your product into the story to aim the spotlight in your direction. Facebook, Twitter and even Reddit marketing give you a front row seat to the news that’s becoming viral right as it’s happening.
Jump in at just the right time and you’ll earn some major media attention — and that’s something you just can’t do with a traditional ad campaign.
12. Social media marketing will get you more sales.
Did you know that 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook? Or that 84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions?
Not surprisingly, when you stay in front of your customer base, they’re more likely to buy from you when they need the products you sell. Social media marketing doesn’t just keep your company’s name in front of potential buyers, but it also gives you the opportunity to constantly give them incentives to buy.
Try sharing coupon codes, with a unique code for each social channel – you may be surprised at which social network drives the most sales.
13. You’ll find customers you didn’t know existed.
If you set up streams to follow keywords in Twitter (Hootsuite makes this simple), you can find people who are looking for the products you sell and direct them to your site. Using Twitter for marketing is great that way – telling people who want your products how to get them from your company is just an @ away.
14. Customers you didn’t know existed will find (and buy from) you.
In the process of marketing with Facebook, you’ll probably join a ton of groups related to your products, industry and customer base. By posting links in these groups, you’ll help influence customers to check out your site. Answering questions on Quora is another option. Post a link today, and two weeks/months/years later you might see a sale from it.
Are you ready to rocket ahead of your competitors and take the social media world by storm? Want to see your search engine rankings climb and your traffic soar? Pull out that flip phone and give us call. We’ll get you on the path to success.