Whether you're new to the marketing world or you've been at it for a while, you might be asking yourself this question. Social media started out as quite a niche thing. With Facebook and Twitter, it grew to a pretty substantial size. With the general fall in popularity of platforms such as MySpace and Bebo, some people question whether current social media is here to stay. Either way, it's important to understand how valuable these networking websites currently are for those of us in marketing.
Boost your brand online
As we all know, social media can do a hell of a lot to boost brand awareness. It gets your name out there. When people start retweeting, favouriting, liking or whatever else they can to acknowledge you, that's when your social media starts turning into an inbound marketing tool.
In fact, the more creative you are with your social media presence, the more your audience starts to engage with your company as its own entity with its own personality. After that, you start to develop trust - the key to good-quality leads and sales. Just take a look at Denny's, the American diner. You might not want to be as quirky with your posts, but their tactic works. People enjoy their posts and see the personality of the business through its jokes.
You can promote without promoting
Generally speaking. Social media takes work. However, a post here and there that doesn't directly promote your product can actually promote your business just by getting your name heard. With most businesses and consumers online 24/7, being active in front of millions of eyes makes all the difference. Just look at all the social media going 'live' - from SnapChat to Facebook's Live feature. The more up to date you are about your activities as a business, the more you improve customer interaction.
At the end of the day, it's cost effective.
Social media is free or the most part, minus search engine PPC adverts. Despite this, it gets your content seen by millions of people every day, all over the world. Whilst it might be difficult at first to get your social media accounts pulling in vast quantities of followers, they can be truly valuable if you put the effort in. With social media only continuing to grow, you can also find ways to track the actual ROI from your social media efforts too.
So in answer to the question, do we need social media, the answer may be 'no' but it won't be long until it turns into a resounding 'yes'. The benefits appear to be great, with only the amount of effort the downside. But that will be worth it too. Because we must also remember, the more we can connect with Generation X and Z now, the more likely our business is to stand the test of time in the coming age of new graduates.
Want to learn more? Our two-day highly practical Social Media: Strategy, Tools and Tactics course, gives you the skills, tools and confidence to create and execute an effective social media strategy for your business.