In the last decade, social media has taken over our lives. An estimated 3.48 billion people use social media – that’s 45% of the total world population, with around more than a million new people joining every single day. New platforms are constantly being created, but the biggest players are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, with the majority of users having accounts with each platform.

Why do businesses use social media?

Personal social media pages give away a lot about an individual, from the content they post to the people they follow and engage with – it’s easy for platforms to understand a user’s interests and predict what they will want to see next. All this user data is invaluable to marketing, making it a very powerful advertising tool for businesses to use. But when it comes to posting organically, it’s a different story…

There are two types of businesses when it comes to social media. Those that invest heavily in posting on multiple platforms and engaging with their target audience, and those that don’t see the value in social media and only post because they feel they should.

Do you by any chance fall into the latter category? If you do, you’re not alone – most businesses run social media pages without understanding how to utilise them to engage customers and sales. But the truth is, social media plays an important role in digital marketing campaigns so being strategic in what you post and how you interact with users is something that you should take seriously.

So, why is social media important in marketing?

Brand engagement

Social media is the perfect platform for you to show your brand’s personality and interact with your customers as people, rather than a business. Not only does this help to leverage you above your competitors, but it also helps to make you relatable and encourages consumers to interact with your brand beyond the typical buying cycle. Not to mention, by engaging with your target audience on a causal, more friendly level, you are creating personal experiences that build trust and brand loyalty; and your customers are far more likely to recommend you if they like dealing with you as a brand.

Increase touchpoints

Sharing content regularly increases your brand’s exposure online and increases the number of touchpoints that your target audience has with your business. Users need to see your brand around 10-12 times before they will convert, so maximising those touchpoints helps to speed the buying process. The good news is, content doesn’t have to mean blogs –  post images, videos, infographics, or anything that will appeal to your target audience, just make sure that it is relevant and consistent with your branding.

Boost SEO

The more enticing content you post, the more likely users are to share your brand and visit your website – and you know what that means. Increased inbound traffic boosts your SEO results and helps you further secure that no. 1 spot at the top of search engine results. Not only that but with more people visiting your site, you’re more likely to get conversions.

In summary

Okay, it’s all good and well saying you need to take social media seriously, but how do you do that?

Honestly? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, but we recommend taking time to plan valuable content that will appeal to your target audience and then test, test, test. Try a range of different posts – imagery, videos, text-based and see what generates the most interaction. Most platforms offer post insights so you can measure what’s working for you, but you can also invest in some tools that will break it down further.

You will also find that you achieve better engagement on certain platforms over others, whilst still posting onto the other platforms, put your focus into what works and build your community.

The main point is to let your business have fun! Break the corporate confines and let loose on social media – you never know what might happen! Good luck!