Social media marketing is one of the newer ‒ and more confusing ‒ forms of marketing. Many business owners know it’s important, but they can’t put their finger on why it's important.
So, why is social media marketing important for business? Social media marketing is important for business because it provides a ton of hard-to-find benefits:
To learn how social media marketing can provide these meaningful benefits, read on.
You can’t make money if no one knows who you are.
For someone to become a customer, they need to know that your business exists.
In the old days, most businesses relied on the phone book, word-of-mouth referrals, and print advertising to get the word out.
The optimal methods of increasing awareness have changed dramatically in the past few decades.
Now that everyone is spending their time on the internet, the best places to find new customers are all online. And as most potential customers are on social media, using it is one of the best ways to increase your target market’s awareness of your brand.
Using social media can improve how you rank in Google. To understand how you first need to know how Google decides who to place at the top of the search results.
In a nutshell, Google gives the top result to the page that will be most helpful to the searcher. Google wants the user to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible so that they use Google the next time they need to look something up.
Google’s search algorithm takes an enormous amount of information into account when deciding which pages should rank first. I’m not going to get into all of them here ‒ that would take far too much time ‒ but I will talk about the SEO metrics that social media can help improve.
When analyzing a website’s validity, Google looks for signs of authoritativeness. The algorithm will feel more comfortable sending a user to a site that has proven to be knowledgeable about its industry.
Backlinks are one of the best signals of authoritativeness that a website has authority in its niche. In fact, according to a Backlinko study, the number of domains linking to a page correlated with a higher ranking more than any other factor.
Google looks at how many other websites are linking to you when determining how authoritative your website is. It also checks how authoritative the linking sites are ‒ the more authoritative a site is, the more impactful the backlink.
Why does this matter?
Here’s why ‒ social media can help you build backlinks. A study run by Hootsuite found a positive correlation between social engagement and change in search rank.
The study found that the actual backlinks from social shares don’t seem to matter much. The boost in rank came from people who saw the shared content linking to it from their own websites.
By sharing your content on social media, you increase the chance that other authorities in your industry see the content. If the content is good, those authorities might link to it in their next blog post. And a backlink from these authoritative sources will improve your search results rank.
Time spent on page
Google also measures how long visitors spend reading a particular page. A high percentage of users spending a long time on a specific page indicates to Google that this piece of content is particularly helpful.
If you make genuinely helpful content, visitors who come to your website from social media will spend a long time reading your articles. And if these visitors already follow you on social media, they will probably spend more time on your site than random visitors who find you through Google searches.
According to Google, a “bounce” occurs when a user opens a single page and leaves without clicking through to other pages.
A low bounce rate indicates to Google that your content is so helpful that most people click through other pages on your site.
On the flip side, a high bounce rate says that most visitors leave after viewing a single page. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your content is bad ‒ the majority of your readers might only want information on one specific topic.
However, the same Backlinko study I mentioned earlier also found that a low bounce rate correlated with higher Google rankings.
So, if you write helpful content that motivates users to click through to other pages on your site, the resulting lower bounce rate will positively impact your search rankings.
Sharing that helpful content on social media can bring in clicks from followers who are already interested in what you have to say. These loyal users are more likely to click through to other content on your site ‒ especially if they haven’t read your latest content.
People are more likely to buy from you if they trust you. And one of the best ways to establish trust with your target market is to build up your brand authority.
Aside from consistently providing quality products or services, the most effective way to build brand authority is to establish relationships with your core customer base. By interacting with your audience on a personal level, you can show them that you and your business genuinely care about their problems.
Social media is the best medium for establishing a personal connection. It enables you to interact directly with individual consumers by replying to comments and responding to messages. You can also establish yourself as the leader of a community full of people interested in your industry. I can’t think of a better way to build trust among your target market.
Social media marketing is extremely affordable.
For starters, making an account and posting content is completely free. It costs nothing to get your feet wet in the ocean that is social media marketing.
And if you want to get into paid advertising, it’s significantly more cost-effective compared to more traditional advertising methods.
The bare minimum you’ll pay for a television ad is $100 ‒ and that will get you a 3 AM time slot on a channel nobody watches. In comparison, the minimum budget for a Facebook ad is $1. This bottom-of-the-barrel entry cost to advertising allows you to experiment with different marketing ideas without blowing through your budget.
According to a study performed by Texas Tech University, businesses that post regularly on social media have more loyal customers than those who don’t.
This doesn't come as a surprise. Interacting with your audience on social media is one of the best ways to nurture a loyal following. Unlike other communication mediums, social media allows you to communicate with your audience on the same level as their friends and family.
More than 4.2 billion people are active on social media. This enormous global audience contains tons of people in your target market ‒ and creating an account allows you to connect with them instantly.
If you aren’t marketing on social media yet, I highly recommend you start.
While social media marketing isn’t the simplest form of marketing out there, the internet has an abundance of resources that will teach you everything you need to know.
And oh yeah, it’s completely free.
If you don’t know where to start, you can schedule a free social media marketing consultation with one of our marketing experts. We’ll take a look at your business and your current web presence and provide some actionable tips on how you should proceed.