Social media has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for businesses as well…
Social Media Marketing for Getting Leads and Conversions, Does It Really Work?
Brands and businesses are decidedly making a stronger push than ever on social media.
And doing so makes sense since a whopping 15 million Australians use Facebook on a regular basis. That’s six in 10 Australians or 60% of the total Australian population!
In recent years, social media has become one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. In fact, as much as 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. According to inbound marketing and sales platform HubSpot, social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Yet not everyone appears to put the same faith in the effectiveness of social media. One study found that, while approximately 64% of business owners consider social media marketing a promising tactic that provides a return on investment, 20% are more bullish on its potential, and 6% are sceptical altogether.
Can social media marketing make your business more profitable? Absolutely; if you have a well-thought-out strategy in place and execute it correctly. Here, we discuss the benefits of social media marketing, from increased brand awareness to higher levels of customer satisfaction, generating leads and conversions, and beyond.
But first, what is social media marketing?
As its name suggests, social media marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter with the purpose of achieving your marketing and branding goals. With social media marketing, the focus is on building communities or networks and encouraging engagement and participation from your target audience.
The key benefits of social media marketing:
1. Reach your customers quickly and effectively.
One of the primary benefits of using social media as part of a complete digital marketing strategy is the ability to reach your target audience quickly and effectively.
As of April 2018, Facebook boasts a whopping 2.2 billion users, followed by YouTube with 1.5 billion users, Instagram with 813 million users, and Twitter with 330 million users. Social media marketing lets you reach more potential customers and increase brand awareness. And it doesn’t take a great deal of time to do so. In fact, in a recent study, 91% of marketers claimed that their efforts greatly increased their brand visibility after spending only a few hours per week implementing their social media strategy.
Australian travel agency group Helloworld launched the world’s first Instagram relay in collaboration with tourism boards worldwide in September 2016. They selected 80 Instagram influencers and tasked them with uploading 12 photos in 12 hours (on World Tourism Day) to showcase their ‘day in the life’ in places all around the world. They also encouraged consumers to contribute to the campaign by submitting their own travel photos with the hashtag #helloworldRELAY.
All in all, they received over 20,000 posts over a 36-hour period, which they then repurposed across both online and outdoor advertising to showcase real travel moments in the lives of real people. This is proof of social media’s reach and its ability to encourage engagement, which we’ll talk about next.
2. A great way to encourage customer engagement.
Social media networks support meaningful interactions between brands and customers. Many offer a wealth of engagement opportunities, for example, you can create and post polls on Facebook, which often attract a direct response from potential customers. From text-only posts to attractive imagery and other types of branded content, you’ve got tons of options for creating content that interests your audience and converts them into actual customers.
Brands like online fashion shop ASOS leverage the power of social media to provide five-star customer service as well; it’s fast, reliable, and incredibly convenient, and enables stress-free communication between your brand and your audience. According to global management consulting firm Bain and Company, businesses that engage with customer service requests via social media earn 20-40% more revenue per customer.
3. Get a leg up on the competition.
The reality is that most of your competitors aren’t likely to be doing a very good job with their social media marketing. This provides you with a great chance to stand out and also capture their audience. In addition to encouraging more engagement between brands and customers, social media provides a great platform for introducing your products and launching promotional campaigns, thereby sparking more interest and positive action towards your brand.
By connecting with your customers via social media, you can improve your customer retention and loyalty policies and ratings. This results in more of them becoming more likely to shop with you rather than at any of your competitors and engage in repeat business.
4. Direct traffic to your website.
Did you know social media is a leading traffic generator for businesses? By sharing blog posts, videos, and other internal content, you give your audience a reason to visit your website. Once there, you have numerous opportunities to inspire them to take action, for example, inviting them to sign up to your monthly newsletter, place an order or schedule a consultation.
For this tactic to be truly effective, you need a clear call-to-action (CTA) and a traffic monitoring service, such as Google Analytics, so you can properly monitor your traffic stats. This allows you to know more about your website’s traffic, and how to further improve it, especially through social media.
5. It’s cost-effective.
The financial point of view should not be overlooked, either. While the algorithms that govern social media networks have been updated so as to minimise the presence of content that might not be relevant to each individual user, the low-cost advertising features they have certainly offer a great deal of opportunities for reaching more of your target audience.
Social media advertising is usually more affordable than traditional marketing, and there’s a vast number of advertising options to choose from, depending on the goal you have in mind. You can spend zero dollars but already have a working strategy in place involving posting content on a regular basis (could be a link to your own website, a video you created, or an image post you composed) and interacting with your audience through polls and even private messaging to answer customer queries. You could also opt for paid advertising on social media sites such as Facebook, which is usually quite flexible and caters to a wide range of budgets.
With all these, it’s safe to say that social media marketing mustn’t be ignored and offers plenty of advantages to businesses. That said, you still have to be smart and strategic in implementing it to avoid wasted time, money, and resources, and it all starts with choosing the right social media platform for marketing your brand.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH LIKE MINDED SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE