Over the last couple of years more and more companies are investing in Social Media marketing. The question that many have not yet answered is if it is worth it. This report presents some of the reasons why a company should invest in Social Networks and supports its statements by presenting data from a research conducted by the Social Media Examiner.
The 10 main benefits are as following:
- Reduced marketing costs
- Increased exposure
- Brand authority
- Developing loyal customers
- Improved search rankings
- Increased traffic
- Generated leads
- Improved sales
- Providing marketplace insights
- Growing business partnerships
1. Reduced Marketing Costs
It is undoubtable that Social Media are much cheaper than traditional advertising techniques such as television, newspaper, magazines, radio etc. On the other hand, using Social Media does not negate the need of the rest of these channels unless the business’s aims and goals are achieved.
According to the above mentioned research nearly half of those who devote a minimum of 6 hours per week on SMM (Social Media Marketing) noticed that their marketing costs were reduced. In fact when it comes to smaller companies with up to 10 employees this percentage raises to 62%.
2. Increased Exposure
More than 9 out of 10 marketers who spend at least 6 hours per week on managing their accounts said that they achieved an increased exposure. This percentage is even bigger (95%) when it comes to companies which have been active for more than two years.
But why is exposure so important? Well, there is an old marketing adage which says that it takes 6-8 exposures until a customer proceeds to a purchase. One of the biggest advantages of Social Networks is that you can keep reminding your followers about your products or services without being additionally charged. All it takes is a simple post, tweet etc.
3. Brand Authority
Social Media is a great brand-building tool. When used properly, a company’s recognition can be increased significantly. Additionally, companies can decide how they would like to be positioned in the minds of their consumers; displaying their values and what they have to offer.
Furthermore, since Social Media is relatively new it is often not utilised to its full potential. Correct use of Social Media can give you a competitive advantage and allow you to easily stand out. Now is the perfect time to establish authority in your field and to enable your target audience to reach you for help. To achieve that, all you need to do is to create great content, participate in conversations and in general serve your audience! Social Media has more to do with information pull rather than push.
4. Developing loyal fans
Building loyal fans is a good step towards building a base of loyal customers. Retailing an existing customer involves lower costs and higher profits than the acquisition of new ones.
The Social Examiner showed that 71% of the B2C marketers claim that Social Media helped them in developing a loyal fan base. The corresponding figure for B2B marketers was 58%. It would be an omission not to mention that the time invested also plays an important role in developing good results. More specifically, 69% of those who spend 6 or more hours per week find it beneficial, while 49% of those who spend less than 5 hours on it agree with the above statement.
5. Improved search rankings
After Google’s latest updates, Social Media is playing an increasingly important role to businesses’ search rankings. Nowadays, good content and interactions are possibly the most important factors that determine whether or not a company will appear on the first page of Google. Overall, it seems that 62% of those who have been using Social Media for a period of two years report a rise in search rankings.
6. Increased traffic
The fact that 78% of the research’s participants show an increase in their traffic is highly significant. Moreover, 81% from those who have been investing in Social Networks for more than 2 years testified benefits.
7. Generated Leads
The Social Media examiner found that 64% of the marketers who spend as little as 6 hours per week on SMM see the greatest generation benefits.
8. Improved Sales
It takes time to develop relationships that lead to sales. However, more than half of the marketers who have been using Social Networks for at least 3 years report improved sales. As far as the weekly required hours are concerned, more than half of those who spend 11 or more hours noticed a rise in sales. The same ratio grows up to 62% when it comes to companies who spend at least 40 hours per week on building a Social Network.
9. Providing marketplace insight
Social Media can be a great source of feedback. By creating a dynamic community and by promoting conversations a company can easily find out what their customers like and dislike. While somebody might claim that a bad review can harm a business, this is not the case. To be more specific, it is far better if a customer express a negative opinion somewhere you can manage it, rather than somewhere that you cannot. Furthermore, it has been proven that if a company takes under consideration its customers’ concerns and responds to them appropriately, their opinion might change and the relationship between the two can become stronger.
To continue with some statistics, 68% of companies with a minimum one year experience state that Social Networks enable them to gain useful marketplace insights. To be exact, 62% of the B2C and 71% of the B2B companies agree that their online presence helped them in gathering such data. Social Networks are far more valuable than any kind of paid market research.
10. Growing Business Partnerships
To close with the final benefit that we included in our list, it has been proven that marketers who invest a considerable amount of time in SMM have managed to create new business partnerships by doing so. Half of the companies that had a presence for at least one year, and 62% of those who had a presence for at least 3 years, gained new partnerships through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
What if you choose not to Use Social Media?
Whether your realise it or not, your prospective and current clients are checking to see if you have an account with some of the most popular networking platforms. Lack of presence or interactions can really damage your image and simultaneously empower your competitors. For example how you would feel if you saw an account that had not been updated for months?
Social Media is not a trend and it is not going to fade away. Even if it is not your number one priority you should have a presence and engage as much as possible with your audience.