Social media marketing is considered the “next big thing.” Sure, there are some entrepreneurs who still think of it as a passing marketing interest. But the numbers paint an entirely different picture. In fact, according to Social Media Examiner, an estimated 97% of marketers are using social media for their marketing campaigns.

Advantages of Using Social Media

If you’re still on the fence about using social media marketing, here are some of the ways it has helped small businesses:

1. Increased Brand Recognition

In the Internet age, you need to take every chance you get to increase your brand’s visibility. Make use of your social media networks as channels for your brand’s message so you can access more customers and make your brand more recognizable.

2. Increased Website Traffic

If you have a website, then obviously your goal is to increase traffic. There are several ways to do this and social networks top the list. In the past, traffic came only from search engines but now, social media has become integral to boosting website traffic as well.

3. More Customer Engagement

A positive engagement with your customer base is crucial to improving your company’s reputation. In social networks, brands and customers can interact more freely and quickly, and conversations are more personal and effective. By improving your lines of communication with your target customers, you can improve the image of your brand.

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4. Enhanced Customer Insights

With social media, you’re also given the opportunity to gain important information about your target customers, such as what they are interested in. You can do this by monitoring user comments. You can also categorize your content syndication lists and find out what kind of content gets the most interest from your followers.

Measuring conversion is done based on promotions posted on different social media channels. You’ll find out which promotions get the most response so you can find the perfect combination to get the highest revenue.

 How to Tap Social Media

If you want to pack more punch into your marketing efforts, using social media can give your campaigns a much needed boost for a very minimal cost. While a lot of small businesses out there know that they need to tap social media, the problem is that they don’t really know how to do it and what tools to use.

Some businesses are not even sure how social fits into their business model or how it can affect their marketing results. And then there are also those who are afraid that they might be doing it wrong or they do not have enough resources to accomplish their objectives.

If you have decided that you want to take advantage of social media, then let’s take a look at 3 vital areas of your business where you can benefit the most from social media activities.

1. Public Relations

There’s no doubt that social media can amplify your public relations campaigns. So start by knowing who you’re trying to reach and what kind of messages will be most effective for them. Look at your PR campaigns and find out where you can integrate social media.

Then take a closer look at your content, determine which ones you can use or re-use, and which ones you can re-purpose. You can turn an old article into a blog post, share quotes and stats on Facebook, publish business insights on LinkedIn, and so on.

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2. Sales

Sales is about building and maintaining relationships with your customers and with social media, you get a new channel to do this. You can monitor digital media channels to create a strategy that can influence your customers better.

Social listening can give your sales team a lot of invaluable customer insights that can help you generate more revenue. By tracking your target customers’ issues and interests, you will know what keywords to use to reach out to your audience.

3. Recruitment

Using social media is not just about acquiring more customers, it’s also about attracting new talent that can be beneficial to your company. Remember that while many individuals nowadays are looking for employment opportunities, they are also interested to know what you have to offer, as a potential employer.

To attract the best job applicants, make use of social media. Entice candidates with pictures showing the culture in your company. De-construct the traditional job descriptions and turn them into a short video, post or even tweets. Show them a glimpse of what it’s like to work in your company.

Final Thoughts

Social media marketing has become an integral aspect of any online marketing plan mainly because it enables you to reach your target audience quickly and inexpensively.

Unless you have a million dollar marketing budget, the only way for your business to compete with bigger and more established companies is by using the Internet to reach out to more potential customers without spending a lot of money on your campaigns.

Branding can be accomplished very effectively on social media. According to this infographic, 46% of online users rely on social media when making decisions on which products to buy.

Remember that there are close to 2 billion social media users right now and as many as 52% of customers are acquired via Facebook, while 36% are acquired via Twitter.

With social media, you can get more leads and more sales for your business without investing a lot of money on your campaigns. If you have not invested in social media marketing yet, now is definitely a good time to do so. Don’t forget, your competitors are using social media to boost their business too!