October 21, 2021
in Social Media
Before beginning to plan how many times a week to post and on which platforms, first consider the areas of social media that matter for your business.
Working through what objective measures you can use, different ways to leverage it, and why you’re using social media in the first place will help you find the strategy and mix that is right for your business.
Social media is for so much more than brand awareness. It is great for that, yes – but social can also influence your marketing and sales funnels, help build brand authority and reputation, inform product development, provide customer service, and more.
Check out these 16 reasons why social media is important for your company.
- 1. Growth
- 2. Driving Traffic
- 3. Customer Support & Outreach
- 4. Reputation Management
- 5. PR
- 6. Being Found
- 7. Local Search
- 8. SEO
- 9. Funnel Development
- 10. Agile Marketing
- 11. Prospecting
- 12. Thought Leadership
- 13. Promoting Content
- 14. Content Ideas From Your Audience
- 15. Gaining Industry Insight
- 16. Recruitment
What’s the point of social media? I’m talking about our businesses or organizations.
Have you thought about that? If not, that’s step one.
The likely answers have to do with growing audiences, driving traffic, and contributing to business goals. Often, we find that social media strategies are more tactical and less strategic leading to an approach that is disconnected from goals and results.
Whether social is intended to generate awareness, foster engagement, or deliver specific conversion goals, those KPIs or any others can typically be based on growth objectives.
Growing social always sounds like a good idea. Focusing on what we’re growing, how we’re measuring it, and why we’re doing it are the most important aspects to consider when shaping a strategy or plan.
2. Driving Traffic
Assuming one of our goals is to drive traffic and that we want more traffic, social media is a great digital channel or vehicle for doing so.
Yes, there’s often value in impressions and engagement that happen within a social media platform. However, at a certain point or period in time, we’re going to want them to click through to our website and engage with it.
There are a lot of ways to drive traffic to content and resources appropriate for where an audience member is in our community or in their customer journey.
Like other content-based tactics and channels, leveraging social media, we can increase website traffic and further engage with our audiences in ways that provide value to them and get them closer to conversion and our overall goals.
3. Customer Support & Outreach
Beyond marketing objectives, social media allows us to interact with our customers and audiences in ways that we can’t as easily in other channels.
Sure, we can send emails to those that have subscribed. However, when we want to foster community and have open communication with more two-way opportunities, social media is the best channel.
Even if we’re not thinking about social for customer support – at some point – a customer is going to use it to reach us for an issue. Don’t get caught off guard or wait for it to find you.
Leverage social media for customer support, where appropriate, and for outreach for any topics where it makes sense.
Whether community building, charitable ventures, or other uses where you can rally your audience to individually or collectively take action or provide deeper relationships, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to do so.
4. Reputation Management
Many social media sites – especially for B2C businesses – also serve as review and rating websites.
If you’re unaware of which social sites your audience is using and leaving reviews on in your industry, you can miss out on the opportunity to leverage reviews for your benefit.
Plus, you can miss the negative reviews that you have the opportunity to respond to and address professionally to gain the reputation your company deserves.
Social media is a great vehicle for disseminating important company news and messages.
LinkedIn allows for more professional and press release-like communications, but beyond the corporate feeling content, you can leverage many social networks to get positive news out to customers, prospects, and stakeholders about what the company is doing beyond making a profit.
Spreading cheer and gaining goodwill on social media often gains the most engagement from audiences which in turn increases audience sizes over time and impacts visibility in timelines and feeds.
Don’t ignore or underestimate the impact of social on amplifying PR.
In light of Facebook’s changes in filtering promotional content from the organic news feed, we find that PR content does better at getting through in many cases due to higher engagement rates.
6. Being Found
A lot of the time when we think of social media we think of boosted content, ads, and ways to grow our audiences.
Those are all great but don’t forget that social is a place to be found as well.
In some ways, Facebook is a search engine and people search for things in the search bar. Those seeking specific content, topics, conversations, and more have the potential of finding your profile, page, or presence.
Make sure you have an up-to-date presence leveraging all of the content you can load into your page details and be mindful of pinned content and things that are within the first view and first impression when someone lands on your page.
Be mindful of how “findable” you are in social media platforms. Think about optimization and don’t leave that out of your social media strategy.
Things like reviews, hours, location information, and more influence local search results and authority status within social platforms and beyond (ex: Google Maps).
7. Local Search
Speaking of maps and local search. The local search ecosystem and algorithms look beyond the information verified in Google My Business and other native maps platforms.
Part of the outward look at directories includes social media networks. The location-specific information and attributes of social pages and profiles factor into local search authority status and rankings.
A well-optimized social media page’s benefits go beyond the social media network and extend to local search. Don’t undervalue this aspect.
There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) about the impact of social media on SEO.
Regardless of the debates over causation, correlation, and whether there are signals built directly into search engine algorithms that relate to social media, there’s consensus within digital marketing that if you’re doing SEO, you should be thinking about social, as well.
Creating a clear link between websites and owned social profiles is a must. Beyond that, creating feeds to bring social content into websites and having links back to social profile pages is important.
Beyond that, I strongly recommend putting together a plan to create as much content and gain as much engagement on social sites as industry-leading competitors in the traditional marketplace, search rankings, and social media realms.
9. Funnel Development
Social media has the potential of impacting different levels of your marketing funnel. It is most often thought of as a way to generate awareness – and it does offer an opportunity to do a great job at that.
Much like a keyword strategy for search, you can map out a content strategy to address your audience where they are in their journey. Having content and ways to engage those who are not yet aware of or are being reintroduced to your brand is important.
Once you’ve captured your audience and you’re consistently delivering great content to them, you can get them to engage and go deeper. That includes the traffic you drive to your site.
Don’t be afraid to set up funnels and retargeting in your social media plan that ultimately gets to the “ask” or the conversion. You don’t have to shy away from driving leads and sales from social.
If you feel it isn’t the place for it, I’d politely ask you to reconsider and make sure that your calls to action are placed properly and at the right moment in your relationship with the content and the customer.
10. Agile Marketing
While big content investments are still made in gated content, books, ebooks, and research studies, agile marketing has emerged as a necessary approach. It includes small content investments and quick testing to make adjustments.
Rather than investing six months and six figures in a big content project, try out smaller pieces, learn how the audience responds, and use that information to guide the continuing investment in content.
Social media is the perfect place to try pieces of content, ideas, and judge interest and engagement as it is cheap, quick, and easy to deploy within.
Compared to some other digital marketing channels, social media can have a different type of reach.
Search relies on people looking for what we have to offer when they plug in a specific query.
Email marketing is limited to our existing audience unless we’re buying lists.
Social media offers the opportunity to get in front of a larger referral audience organically when followers engage with content making it show up in their networks’ feeds.
Additionally, we have many options for sponsored content and advertising that allow us to proactively target the extended networks of followers as well as choose demographic and interest-based campaigns.
Through the sponsored and advertising options on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook/Instagram, we can expand our prospect audiences proactively in ways that we can’t in other channels.
12. Thought Leadership
If one of your goals is to build and establish thought leadership over time, then social media platforms can help you do so.
While most of the content we’re creating likely is posted and housed on our own websites that positions us as an industry leader, if we’re just posting it on our sites, we’re kind of just talking about ourselves.
When we use social media to gain reach, tie into influencer audiences, and find ways to amplify the content, then we allow our audiences to determine the quality of the content and authority status we deserve in the industry.
13. Promoting Content
In some ways in line with developing thought leadership, more broadly we can use social media to promote content. Thought leadership is building trust and authority status. It includes content.
When we’re mindful of what our audience wants and it is in alignment with what we want our audience to engage with, we can promote content for specific objectives. Some might be general awareness or staying in front of the audience.
In other cases, we can promote content that serves specific needs and features calls-to-action that drive someone to engage at a different level.
Whether it is sales-driven, community-based, charitable, or driven by our objectives, we have the opportunity to promote the content of our choice to our audience and beyond.
14. Content Ideas From Your Audience
User-generated content is awesome any time you can get it. Whether that is a forum (assuming things are positive about your brand, products, and services), FAQs, or other crowd-sourced ideas, UGC is big for building your editorial calendar.
You can do specific research, survey, or look at common questions asked by your audience to generate ideas for your content roadmap. You can also go even deeper by doing some first-party research through social media and your audience.
Surveying or focus grouping topics in an informal way can fuel new content you create based on the responses and sentiment you get from your audience.
Be open to asking, structuring your “ask,” and generating ideas from your audience to make sure you’re opening up a two-way street and delivering on what they want, not what you assume they want.
15. Gaining Industry Insight
Beyond the focus of our own posting and efforts to gain more attention, engagement, and ROI, we can also listen and learn a lot in social media.
By monitoring your competitors, using social listening tools to keep tabs on shifts in your audience, and staying engaged ourselves and through our companies, we can gain insights.
These insights can advise strategy, inspiring content, help with product decisions, and fan out into bigger marketing intelligence initiatives.
Your content matters to job seekers.
LinkedIn is one of the best-recruiting tools out there. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sources are also important for showing what the company culture is like and helping sell candidates on their decision to join your organization.
Yes, recruiter seats are popular and most of the time worth the investment on LinkedIn in addition to job postings.
However, if all you’re doing is recruiting and missing the boat on marketing your company through social to your ideal candidates, you could be losing out on who you want to hire.
There are so many more opportunities beyond organic posts a few times a week. You have avenues for two-way communication and direct feedback from your audience. You can impact other digital marketing channels like search. You can build a leadership position in your industry.
No matter how big or small and how broad or local your business is, social media should have some level of importance and has a lot of potential impact for driving toward your online and overall business goals.
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