Gone are the days when social media only applied to certain industries seeking certain audiences. Every business needs to master social media marketing because, simply put, it’s arguably the most important form of marketing in the modern era. To get ahead—or even to stay competitive—here’s how social media marketing will impact your business.
Social media is the new lead generator.
Look at social networks as free, searchable databases of potential leads. According to Media Bistro, about two-thirds of businesses see lead generation when spending just six or more hours per week on social media marketing. Not only can customers find you easily, you can search for them simply by learning the keywords and influencers in your arena. Join the conversation and instantly get in touch with businesses and consumers interested in what you’re selling.
To make the best use of social media marketing for lead generation, coordinate your efforts with add-on apps to track sales and manage your communications. Third-party software designed for Twitter, for example, use metrics and keyword searches to automate lead generation for you. You can also use social media consolidation software to manage your presence across multiple networks and pull data into your lead management software.
It’s likely your most cost-effective option for marketing.
Let’s be honest: every business wants to save money on marketing expenses, and social media marketing can produce a greater ROI than pretty much any other option. Your costs can be limited to the time spent in-house and however much you want to spend on creating content.
Effective use of social media does require time and talent, so it’s overly optimistic to think of it as “free” marketing. However, a business can leverage the existing social media platforms to greatly reduce costs and still get the word out.
Billboards reach drivers on the morning commute, and you pay a fortune for short-term exposure. On the other hand, your leads are using social media on phones, tablets and computers all day long. And once you have great content online, you can keep pointing back to it with tweets and statuses. It’s an inexpensive gift that keeps on giving.
Get exposure to both business and consumer leads.
Think social media marketing only attracts certain demographics? Welcome to the next generation of social media marketing, and you’ll find businesses of all industries and consumers of all walks engaging in the conversation.
Every business can find a social media channel that best suits their message. LinkedIn typically works best for B2B marketing and Facebook for consumer engagement, while Twitter works well for both. Whether you target businesses or individuals, you can find them all on social media.