Ever since the beginnings of social media as we know it today, it’s been a powerful tool for digital marketing.
I mean, social media is where people “hang out” online.
But even though it has an impressive track record, social media marketing is something that most businesses don’t take full advantage of.
Which makes sense.
It can be challenging to figure out how to stand out on crowded social platforms, and how to grab your audience’s attention with so many distractions just centimeters away on their screens.
It can be tempting to put your social media on the back burner, focusing on other promotional channels instead.
But social media marketing has some unique benefits you won’t find anywhere else, which people often don’t realize.
Here are just a few of them.
1. Build Brand Equity
Getting someone to go from a prospect to a customer isn’t always as simple and straight forward as getting them to discover your brand and then make a purchase.
Instead, you need to earn their trust by initially providing your brand’s value for free. Whether it’s through blogging, free guides or other resources that educate or entertain consumers, you need to build equity with prospects.
Social media eases the process because you can consistently share free and valuable content across all your profiles and earn trust over time.
2. Humanize Your Brand
Social media has been great for breaking the stigma of faceless corporations that are only after customers’ dollars. These days, consumers care just as much about who they’re buying from as they do about what they’re buying. Use social media as a way to humanize your brand and showcase your company’s personality.
Start by developing a brand voice. It should be consistent across all of your profiles and fit the perception you want to give about your brand. For instance, Wendy’s has developed a humorous and witty voice that consumers now associate with their brand.
3. Open Communication
Don’t overlook the “social” part of social media. The beauty of social media is it provides a two-way form of communication. Instead of just shouting your message to your audience, you can communicate back and forth between each other.
We’ve seen several new features from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram over the past couple years to prioritize social customer care. And at Sprout, we’ve added Twitter Feedback, Instagram Contact View and other features designed to make communicating with your audience easier and more efficient.
4. Higher Conversion Rate
If you aren’t using social media in your sales process, it’s time to start. According to data from Hubspot, Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate.
5. Recruiting New Employees
Social media has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the hiring market has been impacted as well—in a positive way. According to Jobvite, 59% of recruiters rated candidates found through social media as “highest quality.”
Don’t hesitate to leverage social recruiting in your hiring process if you want to attract the best candidates.
6. User-Generated Content
Not only are your employees willing to advocate for your brand on social media, but so are your customers. You’ve undoubtedly seen Instagram posts of people showing off products from their favorite brands. Embrace that and get involved by highlighting and even requesting user-generated content.
GoPro is an excellent example of a brand that uses UGC effectively. Their entire Instagram feed is made of photos and videos regrammed from their customers.
7. Co-Marketing Opportunities
Social media is one of the best platforms for partnering up with other brands on co-marketing campaigns and initiatives. Both brands benefit from getting exposure to the other’s audience, and there’s an opportunity to create something unique.
We’ve seen several brands succeed with co-marketing efforts. For instance, the beverage company Bai sometimes teams up with other food and beverage brands on giveaways and other promotions.
8. Crowdsource New Ideas
Consumers love to use social media to share ideas and suggestions on what they’d like to see from their favorite brands. Don’t ignore or just write those ideas off—listen.
While you won’t be able to act on every suggestion, you might come across one that could develop into your next great update or product release. Getting ideas from your social media followers is also an excellent way to build engagement.
Nothing shows how much you value and care about your customers as much as turning one of their suggestions into a part of your company.
For example, online furniture store Made.com doesn’t have showrooms across the globe for people to see how their products look setup. So the company sources pictures from customers and rewards them through the Made Unboxed community.
9. Leverage Other People’s Audiences
Because social media is so public, you can not only see what your competitors are doing, but also who’s following and engaging with them. Then you can start interacting with those accounts.
Since you already know they’re at least somewhat interested in your industry, it’s easier to win them over and introduce them to your brand.
These are just a few of the surprising benefits of social media for your business. If you’re not actively marketing on social, now is the time to start.
You can learn more about the many advantages of social media marketing over at Sprout Social.