The benefits of using social media for business
Explore our 15 benefits of using social media for your business - from driving sales to growing your reach.
The social media landscape today
The key word for the social media industry today is ‘growth’. The We Are Social Digital 2022 (external link) report shows YouTube ad reach has increased by 11.9% in the last year, contributing to a global ad audience of 2.56 billion – and that’s just video.
Elsewhere, Instagram has experienced almost double this growth, with its ad reach numbers growing 21% since 2021. Even more impressive, between October 2021 and January 2022, TikTok’s ad reach grew by 7.3%.
How social media can help your business
Before we get into our full list, we wanted to provide a quick summary of the key areas where social media may help your business thrive.
- Brand building. Establish and shape your brand in terms of your language and messaging and visual identity
- Sales and marketing. Advertise your products and services to your chosen demographics at your chosen time with targeted social media promotion
- Content distribution. Distribute your content and products to anyone, everywhere – if you so desire
- Customer services. Deal with issues and queries directly and instantly to get to the root of the problem
- Analytics and ROI. Evaluate your business outputs, inputs and KPIs in a way that was impossible a decade ago.
The best social media platforms for businesses
Now you have a top-level overview of how social media can help, it’s time to consider the main social media platforms and decide which one – or combination of them – will be right for your business to use.
A Facebook Business Page provides your customers with a one-stop shop for everything to do with your brand and products. Add options to contact you instantly via Messenger or over email, link directly to your site and products and create and advertise upcoming events. Learn more about using Facebook for marketing your small business.
Instagram has become much more than a place to share pictures of your breakfast. With the introduction of Instagram Shop, suggested ads, shoppable links and product tags, the platform is a great place to both advertise and sell your products over a streamlined user interface. Learn more about using Instagram for your small business.
Grow organic brand awareness and build a loyal following with Twitter. With its trending topics it sets the agenda, so you can see what’s happening in the world. Its in-depth analytics tools measure performance, and flexible ad campaigns provide you with the tools to adapt, grow and sell.
LinkedIn is the professional face of social media. Grow your business to business (B2B) reach with a network of professionals who can help you develop. Take advantage of its comprehensive job platform and LinkedIn Learning, with the latter helping you to expand your knowledge to further your brand impact and streamline your processes.
Video-sharing platform YouTube is a great place to market your small business. Starting a YouTube channel is step one, then it’s up to you. Whether creating your own videos on subjects that link to your brand and are useful for your audience, or working with influencers and exploring paid advertising. Learn more about using YouTube for marketing.
15 Benefits of using social media for business
Now you know your Instagram from your LinkedIn, it’s time to take a closer look at those 15 benefits of social media up close you can see what the right strategy could bring to your small business.
1. Build brand awareness
Social media platforms provide a variety of tools and tactics to build brand awareness – from ads to space to grow your audience and experiment with different marketing techniques. Use social media as an expansive tool kit to meet your business goals.
2. Grow your audience
Social media provides the opportunity to build a loyal following of customers and clients as well as fans of your brand. Followers are won authentically, so they’re likely to be genuinely interested in your products and services. The more followers you can generate, the more interactions, conversions and, ultimately, sales you can expect.
3. Create a solid brand image
Being active on different online platforms provides the opportunity to present a consistent, streamlined image and aesthetic across all touchpoints. Social media, and a little bit of creativity, allow your business to grow into an instantly recognisable brand, however your customers want to access your services.
4. Create efficient marketing campaigns
If you feel you need to tighten your processes, social media is the perfect place to get started. Online platforms allow you to create tailored content to market to your desired demographics – through data gained from competitor research and analytics.
5. Market to the right people at the right time
Knowing who your audience is, where they are and when they’re most likely to interact with your content is vital to those all-important sales conversions. Social media analytics provide insight from consumer data reports to push your content to the right people, in the right place at the right time.
6. Promote key products and services
Focusing on promoting key products and services that get the most interactions and sales can help to boost your business profits and reputation. It’s better to be known for doing one thing well rather than multiple things at a mediocre level.
7. Harness the power of online ads
Organic traffic may not be enough to create the number of conversions you’d like when you’re first starting out. This is where paid ads can come in. A reminder though of the importance of researching how paid ads work to ensure you understand them and the potential benefits and returns on any investment you make.
8. Experiment with your content
Social media platforms are also the perfect place to experiment. Take time to try new tools and tactics to work out exactly what your audience wants to see. Every ‘failure’ has its teachings, especially when it comes to marketing and refining your technique.
9. Take advantage of competitor analysis
One of the major benefits of using social media for business is the information and analysis you can take from similar businesses. Put on your observation cap and see what works for them and what doesn’t. Consider researching their performance metrics.
10. Market to different demographics
Although finding your audience is key, you may consider advertising to a wider range of demographics. Social media has the power to uncover not only previously inaccessible customers, but also those who were previously unconsidered. Marketing to new demographics can bring success.
11. Connect with other businesses
Creating meaningful relationships with other brands is a great way to grow your reputation. This network may consist of businesses both internal and external to your industry. Every company will have lessons to learn and things to teach, however they operate.
12. Newsjack topical trends
Twitter is increasingly the place where news breaks and stories build. This is especially useful for brands fighting for online space, as jumping on trends, known as newsjacking, can help you to join and start popular conversation and garner traffic. One suggestion though: only comment on things that are relevant to your business.
13. Speak directly to your customers
Social media helps to open channels of communication between you and your customers. This helps build personal relationships and an intimate brand voice and personality. It will also create a space where customers can feel comfortable to feed back about your products and services.
14. Quickly solve customer complaints
This direct channel of communication can also improve your customer service. Solving problems and countering bad feedback should be one of your major priorities, as positive online reviews are important for maintaining a healthy brand reputation.
15. Make your business interactive
Brands that make their customers part of their story tend to do well. From sharing, likes, comments and clickable elements, ensuring your customers feel there is reciprocity in their relationship with you, and their customer journey, is essential to gaining and retaining an audience.
At Hiscox, we want to help your small business thrive. Our blog has many articles you may find relevant and useful as your business grows. But these articles aren’t professional advice. So, to find out more on a subject we cover here, please seek professional assistance.