Social sites were originally designed to be social. With the idea of allowing friends and family to talk to each other, see what the other is up to, and even play games online, many businesses ignored them at first. Now, we all know that social is a great place to advertise your business, host a free business page, and collect fans. But many businesses actually create a social page and then ignore it. Whether this is because of a lack of the free time to handle posting to social, a lack of anything to say, or because it is seen as a ‘waste of time’ can vary from page to page. Unfortunately this means that a lot of companies are missing out on some of the best benefits of social. The following include just some of the benefits you (or anyone) can get from networking and connecting via a social account.
Free Traffic – Want traffic to your website or blog but don’t know how to find it? If your SEO or marketing strategies have been turning around less traffic than you would like, you might want to turn your focus to social media. Studies show that a good social media account with active users and planned content can drive as much as 40% or more traffic towards a blog. If you want to see results, you can use Google Analytics to watch and track your social driven content so that you can see the exact metrics for your social efforts
Networking with Other Businesses – Networking is one of the most powerful tools any online business has, and social is the only way to achieve it online. Networking allows you to connect with business owners, find opportunities, and even find employees. For example, you can connect with high level industry people, meet with people who need your services, or meet valuable connections in the same field who turn into business partners, or just friends.
Promotion for Blogs – Social is one of the easiest ways to promote a blog, especially since it is easier for your fan base to follow than to visit your website. Because you cannot rely on each of your fans to consistently visit your website, you can direct them towards each post by telling them about it on social. Promotion for your blog is similar to the ‘free traffic’ benefit, but in this case can uniquely affect the SEO and buzz about your blog.
Free Branding Tools – Your brand is your business and social accounts are very powerful free branding tools. Anything from Twitter to Pinterest can be used to tell people who you are, and you shouldn’t be ignoring it. Increasing brand awareness means increased exposure, increased customers, and more reminders of your business when someone needs your services.
Doubled Exposure – Doubled exposure, or double the exposure, quite literally means that you are being exposed to twice the number of people as you would without social. A Facebook post is visible to 15-20% of your fan base, which is actually about on par for the average number who see a standard blog post or we page. This means that you can literally increase the number of people who see your content to begin with by sharing it on your social.
Brand Reminders – A brand reminder is a reminder that your brand is there, and any social account is a great reminder of this. Brand reminders can include photos, status updates, or tweets, so long as they are out there, and remind your clientele, customer base, or fans, who and what you are. Of course, the golden rule of social is that no more than 1 in 5 posts should be promotional, so don’t go overboard.
Consistency – What does consistency do for your business? A lot more than most people think actually. Did you know that consistent marketing or posting means that more people regularly see your content? Consistency tells your fans that you are a constant source of information or products that can be relied upon which can benefit your traffic, your sales, and your revenue.
A Voice – If you don’t have a blog then you could be lacking an internet personality. Unfortunately for you, much of the web is now all in favor of sites that are personal, real, engaged, and interactive rather than just professional. You can use your social sites to show your fans who you are as well as your business policies. But don’t take it too far, studies show that keeping your business and personal social sites as separate as possible actually benefits you.
Perceived Authority – Social sites give businesses a huge advantage with perceived authority. This authority is based on the number of followers or likes that you have as well as the amount of social interaction you have. Usually the higher these numbers, the more authoritative you are seen. While you can achieve high perceived authority with good networking skills, you can also achieve it by actually being an authoritative source of information.
Increased Influence – Last but not least, you can actually use social accounts to increase your brand and marketing influence. Whether to increase sales, increase traffic, or conversion, your social presence helps you to interact with people. Typically, interaction leads to sharing, visits to your site, and purchases.
Social can benefit your business in more ways than the ten listed above. Whether you have an account and simply aren’t paying it that much attention, or worse, don’t have one, you should start posting, updating, and interacting with your social. While not all of the benefits will be immediate, you can see them all in interaction, sales, and traffic results.