Whether you are running a small local operation or heading a global enterprise-level effort, the following statistics make it clear — your customers are online:

  • Facebook has more than 1.9 billion active monthly users
  • If Facebook were its own country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world, with a population 3.5x larger than the U.S.
  • 72% of adults use social networking sites
  • The average daily time spent on social is 116 minutes a day
  • 75% of brand “likes” come from advertisements

What does all of this mean for your business? Your current and potential customers are interacting with friends, colleagues, and other brands via social channels on a daily basis, in search of entertainment, information, and recommendations. And if your company is not around to answer them, you can be certain that a competitor will.

Because so much of the customer experience now lives on the web, social media enables brands to take part in a customer’s online experience outside of the typical channels. This makes social media an incredibly powerful tool!

Some of the (many) benefits of social media include:

1. Building a community around your brand

Perhaps the greatest value of social media marketing is your ability to foster and engage with a community of other people. That engagement is at the heart of social media, and without it, you’re left with a megaphone and no one to hear you. You have the opportunity to interact with your customers on a more personal basis than ever before — take advantage of that!

2. Increase brand awareness

Think people only follow and connect with brands they already know about on social media? Think again!

  • 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform.
  • 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. Use social media as an effective customer service tool to increase brand engagement and win new customers.

3. Humanize your brand

A recent study found that more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof” that the brand is keeping its promises. To connect with potential customers, you’ve got to show the human side of your brand. The ability to create real human connections is one of the key benefits of social media for business.

  • 50% of consumers say that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media.
  • 63% of social media users expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. The takeaway? Don’t neglect social media as a crucial customer care channel!

4. Stay top of mind:

Social media gives you to the opportunity to connect with fans and followers every time they log in. Keep your social posts entertaining and informative, and your followers will be glad to see your new content in their feeds, keeping you top of mind so you’re their first stop when they’re ready to make a purchase. 58% of consumers prefer visual content, with their main preferences being graphics and images and produced video.

5. Drive conversions

Using ads on social media is an excellent way to grow your business. There are now more than 50 million small businesses using Facebook Pages to connect with their customers (Source: Facebook), and 4 million of those businesses pay for social media advertising. (Source: Forbes). Statistics show that small-sized companies should consider paying for Facebook ads in order to gain visibility and surpass competitors relatively easily. Some examples of how you can target prospects on social media:

  • Users who hit your website, but did not convert.
  • Users with specific demographics or interests that align with your target market.
  • Create lookalike audiences based on existing customers.

Although social media is no longer “new” technology, it’s safe to say that the era of social media is still just getting started.

Of course, this means that the need for social media in business will only become stronger and more apparent over time. The whole world has seen the impact of the expansion and adoption of social media tactics, and the rising stats speak for themselves — social media is here to stay, and businesses who embrace that fact will come out ahead of those who do not.

Want to grow your brand, expand your reach, and cultivate your community online? Contact The Markey Group about our social media marketing services!