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30th November -0001 - Gary Smith - 0 comments
5 Reasons You Should

Social media usage statistics continue to confirm that this part of the digital realm attracts a substantial global following. Studies conducted by We Are Social suggest that the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13% year-on-year.

(Image source: smartinsights.com)

Whichever way you look at it, that's an enormous number of people who habitually gather in the same set of widely-recognised places. So, for businesses and marketing professionals, social media platforms offer a huge potential customer base and/or target audience, simply on the basis of numbers. But there are other reasons why using social media is a recommended option, for promoting your business or brand. In this article, we'll consider five of the most compelling ones.

1. Better Understanding Your Target Audience Through Interaction with Your Customer Base

Users of social media can capitalise on the freedom of expression which the various platforms allow. And in the Comments, Shares, Likes, Dislikes, and discourse that are freely traded on social media, it's possible for marketers and business analysts to identify trending topics, establish which brands, products and service offerings are or aren't in favour, and hone in on customer pain points, technical issues, and queries. All of this information can empower business and marketing professionals to identify and better understand their target demographics and market sectors. For example, a ‘Social Media Use in 2018’ study by the Pew Research Center has established that 78% of 18 to 24-year-olds use Snapchat, and 71% in that same age bracket are also on Instagram. 

(Image source: pewinternet.org)

Knowing the social media platforms that are favoured by a certain demographic gives marketing professionals a head start in crafting messages and creating content that's optimised for the method of content delivery that works best on these sites, and speaks in a language that members of your target audience will understand.

2. Improving Your Customer Service

Customer service delivery through social media presents a convenient and reliable alternative to traditional helplines or support ticketing systems for many consumers. But successful implementation of online customer service does present challenges. Digital communications and improved infrastructure for the physical delivery of goods and services combine with 24/7 internet connectivity to increase customer expectations of the level of service that they can expect from social media channels. In fact, research on customer satisfaction conducted by WebsiteBuilder suggests that 42% of consumers who complain via social media expect a response within one hour, while 11% expect that response to be immediate. 

(Image source: websitebuilder.org.uk)

In a business environment where the average response time to customer service requests is five hours, the pressure is on organisations to ensure that their performance on social media channels hits positive notes – both in its delivery, and in the social-media-using public's perception of it. Otherwise, there can be real and damaging consequences. As indicated by the findings of WebsiteBuilder, poor response times and a failure to address customer service complaints are among the factors that induce customers to look elsewhere. 

(Image source: websitebuilder.org.uk)

3. Building Brand Awareness

Challenges aside, the essentially open forum offered by social media platforms does give businesses the opportunity to spread their corporate message and create awareness of their brands, products, and services, through content marketing (blogs, videos, tutorials, "How To" guides, etc.) and direct engagement with the public. Engaging and sustaining the interest of consumers via social media through relevant, informative, and helpful digital content is a sustainable marketing strategy in itself, as statistics from analytical organisations like the Pew Research Center confirm that a majority of users on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram visit these platforms on a daily basis. 

(Image source: pewinternet.org)

Commercial enterprises and marketing professionals can use this fact to their advantage through the strategic delivery of social media posts that not only increase public awareness of brands, products, and services on the platform, but also redirect traffic to their organisation's websites and other points of online presence via well-placed links. Statistics indicate that there's a multiplier effect to this approach, as consumers who use one of the major social media networks tend also to have a presence on one or more of the others. 

(Image source: pewinternet.org)

4. Building Brand Loyalty with Social Media

Repeat business and the retention of a substantial customer base have always been mainstays of commercial survival, and social media promotion has a role to play in this area as well. Brand loyalty may be fostered and sustained on social media through the delivery of content that informs, assists, and entertains – and there's statistical evidence to support this. A summary of global social media research conducted by We Are Social cites a responsive attitude to the customer, promotional offers, the provision of educational content, and the sharing of interesting visual information as among the top activities by brands on social media which prompt consumers to make and continue making purchases from the organisations involved. 

(Image source: smartinsights.com)

5. A Better Return On Investment (ROI)

Finally, using social media to promote your business actually makes financial sense. Increases in revenue and return on investment (ROI) can and do result as a logical consequence of the promotional and operational use of social media channels. For example, the use of social media for best-in-class customer care delivery results in an 81% increase in annual revenues due to customer referrals, according to research from WebsiteBuilder. Moreover, those companies with the highest quality of customer service experience customer retention rates of 92%. And consumers experiencing good customer care with an organisation on social media are inspired to spend 20 to 40% more than they might otherwise. Increases in annual return on investment of 30.7% have been observed as a result of best-in-class customer care on social media. 

(Image source: websitebuilder.org.uk)

Social Media Marketing with markITwrite

There are clear, tangible and compelling reasons for using social media to promote your business. If you'd like to know more about social media promotion, or need guidance and assistance in establishing or maintaining your social media presence through the delivery of digital content, get in touch with the team here at markITwrite.

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