Just for a second imagine, what life would be like without platforms that allow people all over the world to connect. Imagine having to pay more than double what you currently do, just to reach a loved one. Imagine having to email an entire album of photos so that your friends can see your new business and what you have been up to. Won’t it have been a very lonely world?

The rise of online networking, however, has made it all as easy as a click of a button.

This is why your business needs social media.

Whether you run a small local shop or a big company, a social media presence is essential for your business.

Social media presents huge potential for businesses. This is because many consumers log onto it daily and are exposed to some of your competitors.

If you have been wondering how social media will help your business, here’s how.

Generate Leads Directly & Indirectly

In as much as social media will let people know about your business and better understand your brand, it can also drive leads both directly and indirectly.

It is therefore important to ensure that it is easy for people to convert. This is, through the social media channels you decide to use as a brand.

As social media platforms have evolved over the years, they have become more and more powerful for driving leads. Most of the platforms eventually adding clear calls-to-action (CTAs) to brand pages, posts, and more.

Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and even Snapchat have gone through updates to help display CTAs where you can showcase products and services offered.

This makes real sales from within the platform more common than ever before.

Social media platforms have also added other CTAs to profile landing pages in addition to the standard Follow and Message buttons seen on most accounts.

Boost Organic Visibility

There’s so much potential value to be unlocked through social media, aside from networking.

It’s important to understand how social media affects SEO as well.

Google has repeatedly said that social media likes, favorites, shares, backlinks, etc. are not direct ranking signals. However, there is a correlation between social media activity/popularity and how/why it is ranked by search engines.

So, even though social media shares don’t serve as actual, full-value backlinks, the people, brands, and webmasters/marketers who see your brand’s content via social media may very well link to your brand’s content (since it’s quality content offering real value), and those backlinks hold real value.

Impress Potential Customers

Keeping in line with maintaining your brand’s respected reputation is the opportunity to impress potential customers with how you’ve handled other, typically unrelated customer interactions.

People often turn to – even rely on – social media and online review sites to get a good idea of just who a company truly is.

Just like marketers, consumers are using social media as a tool to help them make better purchases and decisions in general.

On average, people take into account 10 reviews of a local business before making a purchasing decision.

This gives potential customers the chance to see that businesses truly care about their customers even after they’ve made the sale that is so important to them and their business’s success.

Branding

You may not see as high of a conversion rate via social media (depending on the business and sales structure) as you do other marketing mediums (paid search, organic search, etc.).

But the impression a brand gives off and the reputation it built can be greatly enhanced and showcased through social media.

Messaging across social platforms allows you to talk about what’s most important to your customers. It lets you train them to keep your brand top of mind when those important buying decisions need to happen.

Each platform is different in terms of what it does well, the demographics of the audience using it, and the kind of content (and timing of its publishing) you see posted regularly. Each brand’s messaging should be tailored accordingly.

And while your business’s conversion rate is likely going to be lower on social media than it is via email marketing or paid search, your business goal is always going to be conversions. Maximizing them on all available channels is the name of the game.

Track Your Competition

Social media channels also allow us to look at the tactics used by direct competitors.

And we can learn a lot from our competition.

No one is perfect, and we can all learn something. The ultimate goal is to have the customer understand us and depend on us for our authoritative approach within our niche over our competition.

Our competitors are aiming to do the same things as us (establish and protect brand reputation and ultimately sell its products/services).

Therefore, it’s worth monitoring and finding ways your business can do better to educate and entertain users, as well as the things your brand does well, and ways you can get better across the board.

In Conclusion,

It would be impossible to deny the influence social media has on the consumer. Whether it be through simple brand awareness or brand loyalty that equates to sales, social media has a big impact. If you haven’t given much thought to your social media marketing strategy, now is the best time to take action towards having a strong social media presence.