Recent projections show that social media networks are expected to have more than 327 million regular users in the U.S. alone by 2027. In the global community, there are currently over 4.2 billion active users.
Consumer shopping habits are shifting more toward the online space, and traditional media is rapidly losing any meaningful effect on driving traffic, generating leads or encouraging customer loyalty.
Because of this, it’s no longer optional for brands to invest the time and resources needed to develop and maintain an engaging, active social media presence across all relevant platforms. Here are five ways the ConvertSocial team suggests to bring a solid social media presence that can work for your brand.
1. It is cost-effective marketing
Social media is free advertising for your brand. Even if you pay for boosted posts on Facebook or Instagram, it still typically costs less than a full-fledged digital marketing campaign.
In addition, it can often be more effective to have an active social media account because it allows people to share your posts with others, boosting your reach and engagement even further in an organic way. Brands like Moon Pie and Duolingo are great examples of this strategy. Duolingo’s TikTok presence earned them a clickthrough rate 9% higher than the market average and rocketed them to the top of the charts in the Apple and Google Play stores.
Related: The 7 Secrets to the Most Effective Social-Media Campaigns
2. It boosts search engine visibility
Establishing active social media accounts increases user engagement and site traffic, but it also helps to boost your search results placement organically. It isn’t a direct factor in SEO strategy, but it does prove to Google that your brand has value and trust, which is critical for better search results.
It’s important to remember that social media sites have strong search engine capabilities in their own right because they know that users tend to search for what they want on their platform first. This means that including a little bit of strategic SEO when creating engaging social channel content can help more people connect with your brand’s profiles, increasing likes, shares, comments and backlinks.
All of this helps generate “social signals” that show Google people are interested in your content. In turn, this pushes it higher in search results.
3. It gives your brand a human touch
A recent survey found that 78% of users are more willing to buy from a company once they’ve had a positive social media interaction. This could be a customer support chat or a positive comment exchange on social media content.
Over half of the survey respondents feel great about a brand simply when they feel the company’s content is creative and relevant to them as customers, so creating these positive feelings is not difficult. In fact, a Sprout Social survey noted that 61% of consumers think that audience engagement is the most important part of a brand’s social media presence. These positive interactions show your audience that your company is made up of real people who are just like them, strengthening your “human connection” and customer loyalty.
Related: Here’s One Reason Why Your Business Could Be Failing
4. It creates a community within your target audience
Every successful brand has a brand community. This is the core group of people who identify with your brand’s persona and share many important traits with each other. Brands that can create a strong community within their niche are able to transform themselves from a storefront to a lifestyle, which goes a long way toward solidifying customer loyalty.
Communities are where you convert potential customers and deepen the emotional ties with existing customers. When people feel like they belong to something greater than themselves, they’re more eager to become further enmeshed in the lifestyle and share it with friends and family.
The important thing here is to create a genuine sense of connection. For example, Friendster’s community failed in the early 00s because it didn’t link people together in a truly meaningful way. Conversely, Red Bull has created a close-knit global community thanks to word-of-mouth and a dynamic social network.
5. It keeps your name at the forefront of customers’ minds
Statistics show that 55% of consumers learn about new-to-them businesses through social media. On top of this, at least 90% of shoppers buy from brands they follow on social media channels, and 40% actively seek out recommendations for products and services through social media platforms.
This means that an active social media presence is a simple way to keep eyes on your brand. In an era where commercials often result in a negative ROI, this is a meaningful way to generate interest in your brand.
Social media has an advantage over traditional media because it provides a two-way street for communication. Now, instead of brands simply talking to their audience, customers can talk back and engage in a dialogue. When people feel seen and heard by a brand, they are more likely to think of that brand first when making a purchase or recommendation.
Your business needs social media, so don’t wait for another second
It’s not too late to establish an active social media presence, but it’s essential to do it sooner rather than later. Customers want the experience of interacting with a like-minded community of other brand lovers and the brand itself. They need to see the human side of your company, and you need advertising channels that are proven effective.