It’s no secret social media has taken the world by storm. We’ve seen its power through global movements, booming e-commerce success, viral magnetism, and even cultural and societal changes. Its ability to connect people and businesses is unlike any medium in our time.
For many businesses, going all-in on social feels risky, but social media is no longer a “nice to have.” Serious gains can be realized by B2C and B2B brands that integrate a strategic and authentic social media strategy into their marketing mix.
Consider these five benefits for investing in starting or enhancing your social strategy:
Increase Brand Awareness
One of the most important reasons to be on social media is to build brand awareness. Social platforms offer you a cost-effective way to reach prospects and customers, whether you are a B2C or B2B company. When you optimize on key tactics and listen to your community there is almost always an opportunity to enhance awareness for better ROI down the road.
A great example of building awareness using social as your main platform is from National Geographic. In 2019 Nat Geo pivoted its exclusive community “Your Shot” to an Instagram profile that makes use of professional and amateur user-generated content alike. The branded hashtags, #YourShotPhotographer and #NatGeoYourShot, helped keep UGC (User Generated Content) in one place for Nat Geo to repost and currently has over 23 million posts combined. This tactic earned National Geographic more UGC in a single year than the branded website had in 15 years and expertly made use of its own community to expand brand awareness and build loyalty simultaneously.
Direct Access to Your Customer Base
An active social media presence can improve your products and services through direct and immediate customer feedback. You don’t have to build a brand community from the ground up. Use social media to curate it.
Home in on your target audience by experimenting and testing different types of content. Use analytics and listening to better understand customer wants, needs and pain points. What are they looking for? Why are they choosing you over your competitor (or your competitor over you)?
And don’t underestimate the power of direct messaging prospects and customers through your social channels. This feature alone can facilitate better service, deeper relationships, and greater insights – all through an efficient and convenient customer touch point.
Caribou leveled up their customer experience when they took stock of how many people with a no-dairy dietary restriction were complaining about the additional charge for oat and almond milk substitutes after they offered it for free as a one-time promotion. So many people requested that they keep it as a permanent change that Caribou complied – and made a killer campaign out of it with great feedback. Added bonus? They converted many of those who had previously gone to other coffee shops but no longer wanted to pay extra for a dietary restriction they had no control over:
Market and Industry Insights
All social platforms offer analytics and most offer access to their API by third-party tools that allow for deeper, more strategic insights. You can view top-performing posts, follower gains, clicks, and engagements month-over-month or even year-over-year. You can easily carry out community management as well, since many of these tools allow you to see comments, direct messages (DMs) and other activity on channels.
Each metric can give you a better insight into the performance and reach of your content. Reviewing market trends, common comments, and questions can help you adjust your business strategy and improve your products and services along the way.
Become a Trusted and Credible Source
More consumers are using social as their primary source of information when researching a potential purchase decision. When looking at your social profiles, they are paying attention to how your channels are structured, whether your content is relevant, and what others are saying about your posts, products, and services.
Maintaining channel health by creating compelling and relevant content that fits into your overall brand’s tone and visuals will give you those follower and conversion gains.
Driving sales and revenue have always been an opportunity on social platforms, but the outlook post-pandemic is even more promising when it comes to ROI via social media.
56% of consumers said they are more influenced by social images and videos when shopping online than they were prior to the pandemic. Using social to enhance customer relationships and remove barriers from purchasing products with features like one-touch buying, catalog experiences, and direct links to products or pricing are just a few ways you can see immediate returns.
Beyond these five opportunities, social platforms are constantly evolving to better serve consumers and businesses. Personalized ads and content, affinity groups and user forums make it possible for like-minded people to connect with the people and products that will enhance their daily lives. Done right, it’s a win-win for the buyer and the business! If you need help putting social media to work for your brand, start by taking advantage of a DKY social media audit.