It’s no surprise to business owners that they need a digital presence to connect with their consumers. There are multiple reasons that every single business needs to be active on social media in some sort of way, and at the end of the day these reasons all come back to gaining more leads.

These connections might not always be a direct influence in the sales funnel, but everything that happens in the public eye online will have an affect on leads for your business. Social Media is an important opportunity that business leaders need to pay attention to if they plan on advancing their digital marketing goals.

Expectations

Facebook is officially the most popular social media network (source). At least 72% of consumers are turning to Facebook and other social platforms to make their purchasing decisions (source).

Having a Facebook business page is an expectation within the business sector, just like websites were back during the initial Internet Boom. People expect your business to have a digital footprint with a website and a social presence as it’s extension through at least one social media platform. Out of the growing number of social platforms that are becoming available, there is at least one option that your target market cares about. Their age and demographics will play a key factor in how your business will use this platform to connect with them, and researching this is a critical opportunity for future business growth.

Competitive Advantage

If you don’t think your business needs a social presence, then take a look at your competitors.

The failure to establish a strong online presence allows the competition to make it harder for you in the future to position yourself as the better choice. As their influence grows online within the industry and your target market, the more work – and money – you will have to invest later on to have your content outperform their influence.

Remember, the longer you take to join the social conversation surrounding your industry, services, and/or products, the more time you’re giving your competitors the advantage in the market.

Display of Authority

Every marketing tactic should always have the goal to drive new leads to the business. Social media allows a creative outlet to drive users to learn more about your company through your digital voice. This could be encouraging users to call and book appointments, let them know about special offers, and drive traffic to online stores.

Not all businesses involve those types of actions online, but that doesn’t mean their social profiles aren’t driving leads or helping their business.

Another type of lead generation that happens through a strong social presence is establishing brand authority on your business’s subject matter. Becoming a thought leader drives a connection between others within your industry and the target market. Displaying authority makes it easier for other entities that your business interacts with to trust your company, because you’re publicly sharing your expertise.

As of 2014, at least 81% of shoppers reported in Adweek that they research information online before making their shopping decisions. At least 51% of B2B marketers do the same as well (source). Establishing a clear and consistent voice through social media and solid content are the most proactive ways any business can take advantage of this opportunity.

Customer Service Outlet

A rising trend that businesses can take advantage of in social media is using the connection as a customer service channel. Whether you officially establish this practice as a company, users will naturally use the outlets for this reason – so it’s best not to ignore them.

It might seem tempting to avoid the profiles for this very reason, but it will actually make things worse. Negative feedback will happen on social media whether your profiles exist or not. Having the profile allows you the chance to respond to the matter. It looks far better to other customers and the upset user’s followers when they see you’ve responded to the matter professionally, rather than ignore the negative feedback. Responding to the negative feedback publicly builds a genuine sense of trust that your business cares about the customer’s experience and aren’t simply focused on generating sales.

Customer service opportunities can also provide a plethora of positive benefits. Social users love sharing positive feedback about their experiences with businesses, and sharing special stories that drive others in the online community will gain attention for your brand. Encouraging reviews on sites like Facebook can influence new leads in doing business with you, and on Google+, it can help improve the ranking of your content and paid ads as well.

Relevancy to Future Leads

Another concern for businesses is wondering if their target audience is even using social media. A good content strategy can identify an online audience that will help generate leads.

For instance the Baby Boomer generation reported in a recent survey that they belong to at least one social media platform – Facebook being the most popular (82%) – and the majority reported to spend at least 11 hours on social media each week (source). That’s a significant number of impressions a business could miss out on if they weren’t taking advantage of social media.

If you’re concerned that an older audience isn’t on social media, that doesn’t mean other influential people in their lives aren’t. Depending on the industry of your business (for instance healthcare, banking, etc.) the key decision makers for the elderly may be their children. Social media exposure offers an opportunity for these decision makers to consider your business for the non-Internet user, but also plants the seeds for when they may need your business’s assistance themselves.

Social media is an investment in the long-term operation of your business, because it allows you the opportunity for the next generation to have your brand on their radar.

If you’re still not sure how social media can play a role in your brand, then it’s time to chat with the experts here at Treefrog and discover how your social presence will drive more sales for your business.

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