By John Stone

It’s been well established that social media is an absolute must for any business in today’s world. However, there are some business owners that are still reluctant to join the social media bandwagon, for various reasons. Nowadays it’s probably safe to say that without social media you simply cannot achieve the same results, regardless of what your business is about.

The interconnectedness that exists today is that significant and it will only become stronger and stronger. This overview will outline many of the benefits for businesses that use social media, and should convince those holdouts that they should join in the social media frenzy.

1. Increase Brand Awareness and Loyalty

Promoting your brand through social media is a fantastic way to advertise. It’s a good way to get information out about your product, and it’s a good way to attract new visitors to your website, looking for information. Use social media to humanize your brand, giving reasons why website visitors should be interested in your product or service.

Provide relevant content to your website visitors, to demonstrate a higher brand authority. Social media makes it incredibly easy to share content more quickly and more easily, including the ability to geotarget content, meaning that you can distribute content to people in particular geographical areas.

2. Lower Marketing Costs

Social media is a great way to advertise, without spending a lot of money, making it ideal for new or smaller businesses with limited budgets. It can also provide a faster return on investment, because of the exposure that social media offers a business.

It allows a business to run targeted ads toward its customers, based on their location and demographics, and see real-time results. It can also provide new opportunities for attracting new customers, particularly when existing customers share your business via social media.

3. Gain Customer Insights

Social media helps you learn more about customers than ever before. You have the ability to interact with your customers on social media, and you can learn a lot from those interactions. You can find trends in demographics, products that customers wish for, suggestions for how you can improve your business.

Speaking directly with people through social media can enable you to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for your business. Feedback from customers can also be shared easily through social media, and allows you to respond quickly to any issues. For example, a comment on your Facebook page can notify you immediate of an issue.

4. Conduct Competitive Analysis and Get New Leads

Social media is a great way to analyze your competitors, and work competitive analysis into your marketing strategy. It’s easy to visit the social media sites of competitors and watch what they’re doing, what kind of content they’re sharing, and how they respond to customers. It’s also a good way to create new leads, by encouraging your customers to share their good experiences via social media.

Word of mouth can be great publicity for any business, and social media makes the word spread more quickly than ever. However, this should be a good reminder that customer service matters more now than ever before, because of the ability to spread the word quickly over the internet.

5. Grow Relationships

This is your chance to build trust and relationships with customers. Show that you’re an authority on your brand, give your customers reason to believe you know what you’re talking about. Show your customers that you care about them by responding quickly to any comments they post about your business. Your customers want to know that they’re not just dollar signs to you.

6. Increased Media Formats

Social media makes it very easy to distribute content in a variety of formats, not just text versions. More social media platforms allow the usage of other formats, such as GIFS, images, and videos. This allows you to reach more people, since some people prefer one format over the other. Recent studies have shown that many internet users prefer video content over written text.

7. SEO Benefits

Social media can be extremely beneficial for your business website and how it ranks in results with search engines. The additional exposure and the use of strategic keywords and content can greatly improve your search engine rankings, which in turn, increases your website traffic and potential number of paying customers even more. That’s a good cycle in which to be caught.

8. Influence Customer Decisions

Possibly the best perk with social media is the ability to persuade consumers to take an action (preferably, to purchase your service or product). Social media gives you the ability to influence people, by suggesting they learn about your business, by providing information on your products or services, and by convincing them to share that information with their friends via the internet.

All of the previously listed benefits tie in together to convince people that your product or service is something they really need and can’t go without. If you are still among the ‘old school’ people who prefer the ‘tangible, offline, I don’t believe it unless I can see it’ approach to business, you should definitely reconsider your strategies because the game has changed drastically in the last couple of years, let alone a decade.