Over the last decade or so, social media has grown into an important aspect of many peoples every day lives. Facebook has grown so fast that it now has a user base comprising one seventh of the global population and Twitter has become the number one platform for people to vent 140 characters of pent up emotions.
But social media has also become increasingly important for business. For example, a report by Social Media Examiner found that social media marketing is now a priority for many businesses. 86% of marketers place a high level of importance on Social Media and 89% say that the increase in exposure was the top benefit of using social media.
1. Improved Search Rankings
Studies have shown that the top result on search engine results pages gain 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, with traffic decreasing from there.
Employing tactics with the specific intention if getting your website higher up the Google search rankings is a practice known as Search Engine Optimisation. How high up your website is listed on search engines is a huge issue for marketers.
The report by Social Media Examiner stated that 58% reported a rise after using social media for one year or longer and 60% of those using social media for 6 or more hours a week saw a rise in their search ranking.
Social media can help to improve a website’s search engine ranking in many ways. For example, the number of followers that a company has can significantly affect its search engine ranking. A company that has a mere 200 likes on Facebook will not gain anywhere near the ranking of a large company with millions of Facebook likes. However, social media likes and followers must be gained organically as Google and other search engines can tell if they have been bought and thus will not improve your overall search ranking.
2. Cheap to Set up & Maintain
Using social media for business is a great tool in that if you do it yourself, it is free and even if you outsource it, it is generally very cheap.
With this in mind, social media is a great, cost effective tool to use for business. Not only can you interact with your customer base but it is a great advertising medium. For example, this enables you to promote events, services and products free of charge. Some social media platforms also give you the option of employing paid advertising tactics which are relatively cheap and let you control your budget and how much you spend on advertisements.
3. Enables Conversation with your Customers
One of the main benefits of social media or business is that it enables companies to interact with their customer and for their customers to reply. This obviously has many benefits not least that it makes the company appear much more human as they are having active dialogue with their customer base.
This two-way platform also allows the customer to have a voice and express their views in relation to the company. This can be a good thing for the company because, even if the customers are unhappy then you are able to deal with it in a timely and friendly manner and these negative perceptions of the company can turn into positive ones.
4. Increased Brand Recognition
The Social Media Examiner report tells us that 95% of marketers agreed that the use of social media increased exposure for their business. A further 93% said that using social media for over one year report that. So it makes sense that this increased brand exposure will lead to a higher level of brand recognition which is a big reason many marketers employ the use of social media for business.
Because social media allows businesses to engage and interact with their customer base it helps customers recognise your brand more easily. If businesses are active and engaging on social media then they eventually become a household name and become top of mind for the majority of target customers.