In this day and age, the universal significance of social media is no longer debatable. Just by looking at the sheer number of social media users – 1.79 billion people worldwide – this idea becomes plain as day. In spite of this, there are cynics who are still hesitant to use this technology for marketing their businesses, with the question, “What if this is just a fad?

 

To answer this, we’ll let the numbers do the talking. Today, almost 65% of American adults are active social media users; comparing that to the mere 7% of the adult population back in 2005, that’s a tremendous tenfold increase! What’s even more interesting is that the number of social media users is still projected to increase at the rate of about 5% yearly due to the younger members of the population creating social media profiles, and the late adopters joining in. In fact, the number of users globally are projected to reach around 2.44 billion in 2018.

 

But aside from the wide and sustainable audience reach, what makes social media a truly powerful tool for marketing? The answer is rather simple: it enables companies to reach out to the consumers in ways that conventional marketing can’t. Plainly speaking, it puts the personal touch back in the cold, transactional nature of businesses. Here are some of its advantages:

  1. It drives brand loyalty. According to a study published by Convince&Convert, 53% of American consumers who follow your business on social media are more likely to be loyal to you. Why? These consumers are able to receive a more impactful customer experience from businesses because they feel like they are talking directly to the company, and not some representative.
  2. It gives entrepreneurs a perspective of what customers really want. Social media provides a platform in which consumers feel safe to discuss their thoughts and opinions. Whenever they comment on Facebook, or reply to tweets, they are giving businesses a piece of their mind – talk about (almost) free market research!
  3. It gives businesses a chance to create a better image and richer customer experience. When businesses are able to properly answer to customers’ comments, they publicly show how much they care simply by listening and being responsive to their consumers.

These are only the tip of the iceberg. After being able to drive engagement and loyalty, sales and word of mouth (or in this case, text) will follow. For every share or retweet, the customers themselves broaden the reach of businesses and make them more optimized for search engines. For every customer recommendation, there is an opportunity to generate a lead or convert another consumer.

 

When used the right way, social media’s potential for businesses can be limitless. However, while it seems simple, social media marketing actually takes a lot of time, effort, and strategy in order to be done correctly. If your business does not have the bandwidth to sustain this, it’s best to ask help from social media consultants and specialists rather than starting and doing it halfheartedly.

 
What are your social media strategies, and how do you utilize the internet in your business?