When discussing social media strategy, the primary goal is always the same – audience engagement. Although it’s one of the main focal points of a successful social media strategy, direct audience engagement isn’t the only reason your business should be involved in social media. Along with engaging your audience, your social media strategy should help position you as an expert in your industry, and show your involvement in the community. When properly implemented, the benefits of a successful social media campaign will go far beyond audience engagement.
The first benefit you’ll see is that your social media presence greatly impacts your internet search presence. Your company’s website may only have 400 views and may not have much “clout” with Bing or Google, but Facebook does. This means your company’s website may show up on the fourth page of a Google search, but your company’s Facebook page will most likely show up on the first page of the same search because sites like Facebook have a tremendous amount of traffic, and therefore have a higher ranking in search presence. If you’ve made sure your Facebook page has all the pertinent information a consumer would need to get in touch with you, and this consumer purchases your product or service after clicking your Facebook page listed on the first page of a Google search, you’ve effectively harvested a new customer thanks to Facebook. A successful social media campaign can increase revenue that will go far beyond what it costs to maintain.
Another benefit of social media for your business is that you amplify the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts, and can expand your overall reach. When posting information to your website or blog, social sharing buttons and boosted posts are a big part of what makes social media important for your business. Depending on whose statistics you’re reading, the average Facebook user in the United States has around 350 friends, give or take. So, when one person visits your website and decides to click the “share on Facebook” button, an average of 350 people who didn’t visit your website have an opportunity to view the information you’ve presented and react accordingly. When this happens 100 times, up to 35,000 people (who may be perfect targets, but didn’t visit your website) have an opportunity to view and absorb your message or advertisement. That can turn out to be A LOT of beneficial targeted advertising! Not only that, but this audience you had not targeted in the past, the “Social Media” audience, is now interacting with your organization, giving you feedback, and sharing your products with their friends. Pretty impressive!
I’ve seen local businesses and large organizations become disappointed when they first begin their social media campaign, because sometimes it’s a slower start than they anticipated. Don’t get discouraged! If the first tweet your company posts isn’t retweeted 1,000 times, that doesn’t mean you should throw in the Twitter-towel. Your social media following will grow like a seed – it will get bigger over time. And, just like planting a seed, if you pay attention to it, take care of it, and stay informed about how to improve it, your seed will grow much faster and healthier! If you’re a stats person like I am, you like to see the numbers so you can measure your chance of success before you jump into something blind. Because I’m one of those people, I dug up some statistics from the social media Industry Marketing Report that I found to be pretty interesting. These numbers measure the changes observed by organizations in the first year of their social media campaigns:
- 72% said they saw increases in overall web traffic
- 62% reported improved search engine rankings
- 59% developed new business partnerships
- 48% reported better sales numbers
- 58% experienced a reduction in marketing costs
- Overall, these organizations claimed they were twice as likely to increase leads through their sales channels by properly leveraging social media
Social media shouldn’t be scary or discouraging – it should be something your business uses to interact and build brand awareness, and something your business can use to take advantage of thousands of dollars in free advertising. I’d be happy to discuss your organization’s social media strategy with you and see if I can offer any suggestions to help. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
I hope your weekend is as good as mine is going to be!!