Why It’s Time for Social Media to Integrate With Your Marketing Strategy

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When social media just started making waves in the marketing world, it was seen by most as marketing’s red-headed step sister. No one was fully aware of what to do with it or how to harness the power of social for their business. Fast forward to present day, and nearly anyone who’s anyone is on Facebook and Twitter and probably Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Truth is, social media is marketing and businesses can no longer ignore it. If social media isn’t already part of your marketing strategy, you’ve fallen behind.

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A Dozen Reasons to Be on Social

While social media has been around for over a decade, many executives have trouble quantifying ROI on social media and, therefore, are hesitant to put the time and money in required to be successful on social media. However, we have a dozen reasons why you should not only be on social, but why you need social media to grow your business. Let’s start with the basics.

Find Consumers Where They Are: On Social

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that social media is the preferred network for millennials—the largest group of people in the U.S. According to Business2Community, 70 percent of the U.S. population, regardless of age, have a social profile. Need we say more? Your customers and potential customers are on social; you should be, too.

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There is a right way and a wrong way to do social media. If you’re doing it right, you will reap all the benefits that come with an effective social media strategy. Namely, building relationships with former, present and potential customers and influencers who can help get your name out there. Retweeting these people, starting intriguing conversations, sharing blogs and asking their opinions will go a long way in making them feel like they’re more than just a moneymaker. It’s about building a valuable relationship.

While getting to know your audience on social can’t replace current efforts, the insights you get from social media can complement the market research you’re already doing.

Love Them and They’ll Love You Back

Once you’ve established yourself on social and have begun building relationships with influencers, thought leaders and potential customers, you’ll notice that you’ve started building brand loyalty. There are a million studies out there proving that brand loyalty can increase ROI and here’s why: your brand becomes relatable.

People respond well to brands that humanize themselves and appear less like a giant, un-relatable corporation. The more you engage with followers and fans, the more human you appear. Your brand is associated with thought leadership or humor or whatever you’re putting out on social. People connect with you because they like how you interact with them. With a bit of effort, you’ve built a brand advocate that can spread your message across their channels in a way that is sincere. Bam, ROI.

ROI Rules

In every executive board meeting you go to, you’re guaranteed to hear “ROI” tossed around quite a few times. CEOs want you to constantly prove how your efforts are providing ROI. It has been a common misconception among CEOs that social media can’t yield ROI. Well, friends, the days, they are a changin’.

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Thanks to social media, corporations can now easily find customers they didn’t know existed. Even better, customers can find you. Tools like Hootsuite allow you to follow influencers and hashtags to easily find who’s talking about you. A simple hashtag search around your product or service can show you people that may be interested in what you’re offering. It can also reveal a new demographic you previously weren’t targeting.

How do customers find you on social media? This requires some work on your end, but we’re betting that final sale is going to be worth double the amount of work you had to put into it. Join Facebook groups or Quora and comment on content, answer questions, ask questions and encourage members to check out your site. Getting your name out there is huge in the world of social media and this is an easy way to reap the rewards. However, make sure you’re not shamelessly self-promoting yourself in these groups, as you will likely be kicked out and your reputation will be damaged.

Subtle Selling

Google Adwords is a popular way to advertise, but did you know that social media can drive more traffic for less? Yep, you heard us right! According to Business2Community, through targeted and boosted Facebook posts, businesses can drive traffic for as little at $0.12 per click. Compared with Google’s $1-2 CPC, we’d say social is worth it.

Have a new landing page? An exciting offer you’re promoting? Blog posts that need some love? Social media can help drive traffic for all of these! How? Social media posts can direct your audience to whichever site you’re trying to get them to by adding a link at the end of your content. If you’re trying to get your audience to your blog post, simply share the link with a question about the topic or asking people to give their thoughts on the topic. Not only are you able to target well (the people that will see this [organic] post are interested in you–they’re following you), you’re connecting with people where they are: on social.

Effective Targeting

Social media channels like Facebook and Twitter have made ad targeting simple. Facebook in particular allows businesses to get granular with targeting; choose from demographics such as location, education, purchase history, you name it! We already know that the CPC is significantly lower than Google and you add in effective targeting, you’re sure to prove ROI faster than without social media efforts.

Go Get ‘Em!

Social media can be overwhelming and scary to start, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a successful tool to drive ROI. Still not sure how to revamp your efforts? Black Bear works with a diverse group of clients, upping their social media game and teaching them how to be social media rock stars. Come see us and let’s discuss how to make your social media the ROI machine it should be.

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