As a modern marketer, you likely often find yourself within the social media realm managing multiple accounts on various sites. It can feel daunting. If you are in charge of your organization’s social media marketing efforts, you know and understand that being “social” can have a big impact on the buyer journey. But not everyone really grasps why, as social media still carries the connotation of being a hobby or a time waster when you’re bored, rather than a lucrative channel for nurturing prospects and publicizing content.
To bring to light the powerful impacts of social media that often get overlooked, here are five reasons why social should be part of your strategy when competing in today’s digital landscape:
1. It’s a feeding ground for industry insights.
What better way to gather information from your target audience than to listen to real, candid conversations that your prospects are having? With social media management tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social, you have the ability to listen in on trending conversations happening within your target market. This is a great way to find your next blog topic. And one of the best parts is that this can all be accessed for free.
2. You become human.
As the business environment changes, we have to adapt to the changing expectations of our consumers. One of the trends that social media has caused is the expectation for companies to be more human. Reviews, comments and word of mouth have forced brands to be more candid on social platforms. These voices should not be ignored, as consumers give them more weight than any paid advertisement. Welcome to the world of influencers and social commerce: People validate and buy from other people. Consumers often self-educate and make up their minds before they step foot in a store or before your salesperson picks up the phone.
3. It makes cold-calling cool.
Many people say that cold-calling is dead. However, I wouldn’t totally agree — it just requires a new approach. With professional networks like LinkedIn, you can prospect in a whole new way, from joining relevant groups to commenting on posts to engage with leads in a non-intrusive way. When you do connect, it’s a whole new experience from both sides of the conversation. Maybe you’ve connected with your prospect and engaged them in a conversation by commenting on a post of theirs. You can bet those engagements make a difference in whether or not they answer your call or open your email.
4. It gives you street cred.
If you aren’t active on social media or don’t have accounts altogether, your company is asking for a slow death. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but you are making things much harder for yourself — especially when your audience and every one of your competitors are already there. If you aren’t on social, you are seen as outdated or even nonexistent. Many consumers validate a company based off of their profiles. Ask yourself, are you a company that you would want to follow?
5. You can do more for less.
The reach that you get on social media from posting quality content alone is hard to replicate anywhere else. Add in some spend for advertising to push your campaign and you have a highly targeted ad running for low cost, compared to most other marketing channels.
Of course, you have to put all this in context for what works for your organization. A business-to-business software company is not going to have the same strategy and approach to social as a busines-to-consumer company in retail. Take the time to develop the right strategy for your audience. The effort will be worth it.