Does it make good financial sense — and generate a significant enough ROI — to incorporate social media into your company’s marketing efforts? Absolutely!
Good social media strategy requires creativity and strategy. But when used effectively and well, it can help businesses to increase brand awareness, expand market outreach, and grow networks.
If you’re still on the fence about whether it’s worth the time to invest in social media, keep reading.
Social Media by the Numbers
According to research conducted by Emarketer:
- In 2019, over 3.2 billion people used social media
- 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Gen Xers, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers actively use social media
- The average person spends about 3 hours per day on social media
- 77% of marketing professionals rate social media marketing as “somewhat effective” or “very effective”
- 54% of social media users rely on social media to research products and services
- 71% of consumers who’ve had positive experiences with a brand on social media will recommend that brand to friends and family
- 91% of users rely on mobile devices to access social channels and spend 80% of their time — when exploring social media — on mobile platforms
- 2/3 (or 68%) of U.S. adults use Facebook the most
While nearly 50% of small businesses don’t use social media to promote their products and services, build client pipelines, and network with other industry experts, those companies who do see definite benefits.
Networking and Partnerships
Social media platforms really facilitate communication and the ability to cultivate quality relationships with many people. These platforms increase accessibility and also lead to:
- Potential business opportunities
- The acquisition of high quality backlinks, which can boost SEO and potentially increase referrals
- The opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your industry
Social media also helps with search engine optimization (SEO), especially when visitors to your LinkedIn or Facebook page find value in the content you’ve posted and reshare it. Search engines like Google take note when people comment, share something similar on their own social media pages, and link back to your original post. Those back links can drive your website ranking higher in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Connecting with Your Audience
Interaction is a critical way to connect to your audience. Social listening — or monitoring conversations about specific topics — enables you to identify what’s trending or important to your audience. Marketers use social listening to help companies track, analyze, and react to conversations about their brands. You can also leverage platforms like LinkedIn to see what people in your industry are talking about.
Communicating with Your Audience About Niche Topics
When you’re in a niche market, you’ve already got a target audience that’s tuned into your industry. Find groups similar to yours and connect with them on LinkedIn, for example. Get involved and make comments. Follow individuals and companies that also post about topics within your sector. You can also build your own LinkedIn (or Facebook) group about your specific industry.
Directly Referring Traffic to Your Site
While advertising can certainly drive traffic to your site, you’ll also increase the diversity of people finding you when you post regularly on social media. Marketing experts recommend tweaking the message you’re sharing — and including a strong CTA — to attract more website visitors.
Establishing Yourself — and Your Company — as an Authority
When you post regularly on social media, you can establish yourself and your business as a trusted source of information within your industry. When you post fresh, relevant content frequently and consistently on your website and promote it across your various social media accounts, search engines recognize and reflect your authority by improving your website’s ranking on SERPs.
Gathering and Using Audience Data
Most social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, offer insights on your posts. You can see what keywords your audience uses — and tweak your content to incorporate SEO that increases the likelihood that more people will see your posts. Audience insights and data also inform strategy — especially when you’re targeting specific niche audiences.
Most business leaders would agree that lead generation may be the biggest benefit to using social media as part of a marketing campaign. Collecting leads helps you to find potential customers or clients — and build your network of like-minded professionals, too. While Facebook leads the pack of social media platforms best suited to generate leads, 89% of B2B marketers say that LinkedIn generates more than twice as many leads as other social media channels.
Increasing Website Traffic
Businesses that leverage social media understand that these platforms can drive traffic — and potential clients and other connections — to their websites. Experts recommend incorporating a strong call to action (CTA) and sharing quality content (rather than opting for a more promotional approach). In fact, whenever you publish a new blog post, share it on all your social media — LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — wherever you have a social media presence.
Keeping Your Clients and Partners Updated
Even faster than a press release, social media offers a nearly instantaneous way to alert news about new products or services, updates, or expansions. Since each platform works a bit differently, you should tweak your approach for the most effective update.
Embrace creativity by striving to post original content, which offers an effective strategy for promoting your products or services without feeling like an advertisement. Storytelling invites audiences to connect with and relate to you. This approach also helps you to establish your expertise and grow your followers and network.
Telling Your Brand’s Story
Whether you’re just launching a company, expanding into new markets, or hoping to connect with other like-minded thought leaders in your industry, share your story. Include case studies that show (instead of just telling) how your company helps others. Ask for testimonials and share them, too.
Taking Advantage of Cost Effectiveness
Perhaps the best thing about using social media to advertise your company or expand your network is its cost effectiveness. Creating profiles costs nothing. Paid promotions cost little in comparison to other types of advertising. Plus, you can start small, adjusting your strategy as your budget allows and your needs change.
LinkedIn: Unrivalled for Professional Networking
It’s the perfect marketing asset for all businesses — and the most extensive professional network globally, with over 610 million users in 200+ countries. Utilized by both B2B and B2C users, the LinkedIn platform allows companies and individuals alike to connect organically, educate others about products and services, and share information and insight in a vast range of industries. This platform helps companies, entrepreneurs, and professionals to:
- Grow their reach and networks
- Establish authority and thought leadership
- Source and engage top talent
- Promote their businesses
- Support external websites
- Educate and cultivate potential clients
We took an organic approach to networking when we created CREA United. And we see the value of like-minded individuals who work in complementary areas within the commercial real estate sector. Our members collaborate to share information and resources with each other and our clients. And we’re expanding our network so that more professionals that represent all CRE disciplines can grow from the relationships they’re building.