When social media first landed in our lives, there were endless numbers of people saying it was just a fad. Well, we’re now over a decade on and social media is still here. It’s hard to believe that Facebook is now 15 years old and Instagram, which many still refer to as “new”, is over 8 years old!
Social media is now used by billions of people all over the world. But businesses are also seeing the huge benefits it can provide them too. This article takes a closer look at why social media is important for businesses, as well as some social media success stories.
Why is Social Media important for businesses?
There are many reasons why social media is important for business, but here are just five key points that you should know about:
- It helps create brand awareness
If a customer doesn’t know about your business, they can’t buy your product or service. By having a social media presence, you can reach your target audience and share information about what you do. You also have access to a much wider global audience too, which may not have previously been available to you via traditional marketing methods.
- It helps build authority
Customers increasingly carry out their own research before making a purchasing decision. It’s likely they’ve already looked at your competitors too. But by having eye-catching, professional social media accounts, you can develop authority, whilst giving customers more confidence in buying from you. No social media presence or poorly managed accounts may give a bad first impression and your customers may choose to shop elsewhere.
- It helps brands understand their target audience
Emails, leaflets and ads all have one thing in common. They’re 1-way conversations. Social media helps to change that by enabling a 2-way conversation between your business and your customers. As well as posting content for your customers to view, customers can share their comments and opinions. This instant feedback is invaluable and can help you to better serve them in the future.
- It helps brands improve their customer service
Customers are increasingly moving away from picking up the phone. Instead, they want quick (or almost instant) responses to their queries or concerns. They’re therefore turning to social media. For businesses this may be daunting, as it may lead to public negative comments, but customers are going to be posting to social media whether you’re present or not, so it’s far better to be there, ready with effective social media management for when they do post.
- It helps generate sales
Many businesses turn to social media to help with sales, finding prospects and moving them along the sales funnel. A great way to do that is with effective posts and social media advertising.
Social media success stories
There are endless social media success stories from businesses of all sizes. But here are a few examples that have stood out:
- The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
You’ve likely heard about this challenge, or even taken part in it yourself. ALS started this challenge in 2015 and it went viral. Millions of people took part and submitted their videos on Facebook, whilst also raising awareness of ALS and generating donations. As a result of its popularity, the campaign has continued every summer since!
- Lego’s Facebook chatbot – Lego has enhanced its shopping experience using a Facebook Messenger chatbot named Ralph. Using a series of simple questions, Ralph helps users pick the perfect LEGO gift. It’s fun, it’s easy to use and it helps drive sales. It was initially rolled out for Christmas 2017, but due to its success, it’s been available ever since.
- Oreo’s famous Super Bowl tweet – For the Super Bowl, brands work to create the best ads and pay millions to get in front of the nation. But in 2013, when there was a huge power cut, it was Oreo that stuck in everyone’s minds. They created a simple reactive “dunk in the dark” tweet that went viral. The brand got a huge amount of brand awareness, completely for free.
It is time to develop your Social media skills…
Are you interested in shifting your career to become a Social Media Marketing Manager? Or would you like to update your existing social media skills? Open Colleges Digital Transformation Learning Library is the perfect place for you.
There are over 285 digital assets available, on topics such as big data, digital transformation strategy, continuous learning and social media marketing. Assets are regularly updated too, so you can be assured that you’re learning the latest industry practices.
Subscribe to Open Colleges Digital Transformation Learning Library today and you’ll find a range of video courses, audiobooks, audio summaries and eBooks to help you develop your social media marketing skills.