How many times have you heard that social media marketing is essential for today’s businesses? As a business owner, you need to be where your customers are, and the modern customer is active on social media all the time. Diving into the social landscape does many things for your business:

1) Builds Brand Awareness
Being active on social media puts your brand in the public eye in a way that’s not possible with print or TV. While traditional ads run for a set amount of time, social media marketing can continue indefinitely.

 

This highly interactive method not only makes the public aware of your brand; it keeps their attention by providing real-time updates that they can share and comment on.

2) Reaches New Markets
Traditional advertising can only go so far. Social media marketing, on the other hand, has the potential to spread across the globe. Give your customers something they want to share, and they’ll pass it along. Seeking out markets is still important, but on sites like Facebook and Twitter a good quality post can sometimes take off on its own. This “viral” potential can spread content to thousands of people in a short period of time.

3) Brings Attention to Products
The instantaneous nature of the social landscape allows you to pitch products in fresh ways. Videos are one of the most entertaining and sharable forms of social media marketing, and people love watching something new. Try shooting a short demo for your next product launch and see how customers react.

4) Adds a Human Element
Interactive social media marketing puts a personal spin on advertising. In the past, ads were delivered from businesses to customers via a chosen medium. This direct method rarely gave customers an idea of the people behind their favorite brands. Putting your business on social networks creates an opportunity to add personality to your company. Be friendly and open in the interactions you have with your customers. Giving people a window into the daily workings of your company will allow you to advertise in a more natural, personal way.

5) Gives Customers a Voice
Customer input is of paramount importance to any business, regardless of the types of products and services you offer. Little is more frustrating to consumers than feeling ignored, so use social media to listen to what people are saying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their likes and dislikes, how they’re using your products and what they think your company could do to improve. You also want to keep an eye on the general buzz surrounding your brand on social media networks. Picking up on potential problems the moment they arise and resolving them in a timely manner makes for happy customers.

6) Expands B2C Interactions
Today’s consumers are always connected. Whether on the computer at home or using a Smartphone on the go, they expect to be able to interact with others whenever and wherever they are. The days of traditional nine-to-five business hours are gone; when you use social media marketing, you have to be available when customers need you. Delivering real-time responses to customer questions and concerns establishes your company as helpful and reinforces the reliability of your brand.

7) Creates a Sense of Community
By regarding customers as valuable assets to your company, you create a community of people who are more than willing to talk about your products with others. Whether you post weekly polls, encourage interaction through discussion prompts or run contests, making customers feel like they’re a part of something big helps keep them loyal to your brand.

8) Generates Fresh Leads
If your business hasn’t gotten into social media marketing yet, the Internet holds a vast source of potential leads. Hundreds of thousands of people use Facebook, Twitter, Google + and other social networks every day, and their opinions often influence the purchase decisions of their peers. Creating an engaging ad campaign on any network has the potential to introduce your brand to an immense amount of new markets.

9) Keeps Costs Down
Joining social media sites and maintaining profiles involves little monetary investment on your part. You don’t have to pay per link clicked or bid on keywords; all you have to do is sign up and start posting. The biggest investment is time, and if you’re able to put together a dedicated social marketing team, even this shouldn’t be a problem.

10) Improves SEO
Consistent involvement in social media is key to getting likes, retweets and recommendations. Search engines see this attention as a positive vote from users and will begin to regard your content as being of high quality. Quality is an important part of the SEO equation, so the more “votes” customers give to your content, the better your business should rank in search results.