You may be thinking, “Oh, great – another article about social media,” and why wouldn’t you? The amount of articles, stories, and mentions of the term “Social Media” has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Not only that, but the number of actual social media platforms has also skyrocketed (Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine, just to name a few).
If you aren’t convinced that the term Social Media has completely exploded, take a look at the increase in searches for the term “Social Media” from 2004 to today (according to Google Trends).
The problem with Social Media Marketing is that many people, namely business owners, don’t see the value in it. In other words, business owners tend to not see the value of spending money or time engaging with users on their social media sites because they cannot track the return on investment. However, this has all slowly been changing over the past couple of years. Companies like Buffer, Bitly, and Moz have created tools that display in-depth details about the analytics of certain social networks. Are these tools as specific as Google Analytics? Not yet, but my prediction is that in the year 2014, we will see a huge push from companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest in allowing users to analyze their data.
1. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness can be defined as “the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers,” and it is important because if people don’t know that your brand exists, how are you going to generate new sales? One of the biggest aspects of social media is brand awareness. How? If people notice that you are consistently active on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, meaning that you are engaged and writing unique content for each of these networks, they will be more likely to remember your brand name and logo, and therefore will remember you when they are faced with a decision of which business to use. Imagine if you kept seeing billboards for the new iPhone 5s. Let’s pretend that you saw variations of this billboard in your neighborhood, downtown, by your office, and on the freeway next to your gym. Then, imagine coming home and seeing a similar advertisement on television. Fast forward a couple of months when you need to buy a new cellphone – which phone would you think of first? Most likely, it will be the iPhone 5s. Why? Because Apple had the biggest brand awareness amongst all cell phone brands.
2. It Is Not Going Anywhere
Face it, social media is here to stay. It will undoubtedly change and evolve, but it is definitely sticking around for a long time. Why? Because people LOVE it. They don’t just like it, people love social media. What drives your sales? People. Where are people spending their time? Social media sites. Why do you need to be on social media sites? Because your potential customers are there.
3. People Talk
People love talking and helping their friends connect with products and brands. This means that if someone follows you on Facebook — but isn’t necessarily looking for a breast augmentation — and they hear that their friend is, they will most likely refer them to your Facebook page or share one of your posts with them. A lead is a lead, no matter if you generated it, or one of your friends did.
4. Going Viral
Being carried and shared across various social networks gives your company’s media a chance to go viral. If your company comes out with a video, blog, meme, or infographic that people love, your website traffic, followers, contact form submissions, and brand awareness will increase.
5. Increase Traffic and Search Engine Rankings
Currently, the only social network that directly benefits your search engine rankings is Google+. However, it is proven that constant activity on your social networks will increase your website traffic. This is natural because the more active you are online, the more you will be engaging people, and the more they will want to visit your website.
6. Your Competitors’ Customers Are On Social Media
That’s right. Whether you realize it or not, your competitors’ customers are on social media. If you can capitalize on this and engage them, you might be able to offer them an alternative.
7. Potential Customers Are On Social Media
You may losing out on potential customers if you do not engage in Social Media. People are on social media websites regardless, so why wouldn’t you be? Meeting your customers (or potential customers) halfway can go a long way when it comes to connecting and increasing your sales.
8. Building Trust
Whether it’s customer reviews, or just being present in the online world – you are building trust with people when you are active online. There’s something about seeing a company that is constantly blogging, answering questions, or offering customer service online that is impressive and makes customers think, “This Company is on top of their game.”
9. It Can Teach You About Your Ideal Customer
Social media can offer a lot when it comes to research. Simply asking your friends or followers a question about how you can improve your business can offer tremendous benefits. If you don’t feel like asking your audience questions, you can always take note of how people react to your posts and find out what’s important to them.
10. Conversions, Conversions, Conversions
At the end of the day, if your business isn’t making any sales, then you aren’t going to be around for long. Social Media Marketing can help you convert ordinary people into potential customers, and then into long-term customers.
Further Social Media Marketing Questions
If you would like more information on Social Media or Internet Marketing in general, please contact our Medical Marketing Practice here. We are waiting for your call!