social media internet marketing

Social Media and Its Role in Internet Marketing

Is your business on social media? If not, it’s time to think about implementing social media into your digital marketing strategy.

Just having a website is no longer enough. You need an omnichannel marketing approach to make the most of all the tools at your disposal. Leveraging social media to promote your business and the products or services that it sells can be one of the best ways to get more customers, expand your reach, and build your brand.

In this article, we’ll explore the increasingly important role that social media plays in internet marketing and how it affects your business. Let’s dive straight in.

Why is Social Media Important for Businesses?

Social media isn’t just for the individual consumer. It can be a powerful tool for businesses to gain brand recognition, build trust with customers, and even get new customers! Let’s discuss a few of the big benefits of social media for small and medium-sized businesses.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is crucial when it comes to growing your business. You want potential customers to recognize your brand the next time they are searching for your products or services.

Social media can help with that. Think of all the ads you see every time you scroll through your own social feeds. Even if you tune most of them out, you start to recognize certain companies the more you see them.

That’s the power that social media can have for your brand.

Social Proof

It is essential for any business to have an online presence – you need to show social proof that your company exists and does a good job consistently.

Creating social media profiles for your company and getting active on those accounts can help provide this social proof. When potential customers find your business on the social accounts they are active on and see a lot of positive reviews, that builds trust in your brand.

Generate and Nurture Leads

When you use social media the right way, you can use it to grow your business. The various social media channels out there provide ample opportunity for generating and nurturing new leads.

Let’s use Facebook as an example. You can put an ad out on Facebook about a new service or product you’re offering. Potential customers then see this ad – some of them scroll past it, but some of them click on it or on your profile to learn more about your company. Then, that potential customer has a question about your offering and messages you on Facebook. That’s the perfect opportunity to foster this new relationship and convert a customer.

Of course, that’s just one example of the many ways you can gain leads from social media.

People Use It!

Of all the reasons to use social media in your business’s digital marketing strategy, this is perhaps the best one: people are using it.

You have the potential to reach so many new customers across social media. Even if they aren’t reaching out to you on social media, it’s one more way to stay top-of-mind with your target audience.

Don’t just take our word for it though, check out these statistics:

  • More than 60% of the world’s population is active on social media (Smart Insights)
  • There are more than 33.1 million social media users in Canada (Made in CA)
  • Over 90% of the United States’ population – 302.35 million people — are active on social media (Demand Sage)
  • Facebook is the most popular social media channel in Canada, with more than 26 million users (Made in CA)
  • About 74% of the United States’ population uses Facebook, making it the most popular social platform there as well (Demand Sage)

Social Media Internet Marketing

What Role Does Social Media Play in Digital Marketing?

Social media should play an active role in any good digital marketing strategy for businesses across most industries. Of course, the type of social media marketing you utilize will vary depending on your audience and business goals.

Let’s take a look at how social media’s role in internet marketing can impact your business.

Social Media Marketing Increases Sales

Social media marketing can be a low-spend and high ROI way of getting more customers for your business. It does this by fortifying your brand, connecting with digital natives, and establishing a direct line of communication with your followers.

A lot of social media platforms now have native eCommerce features that can, for example, let you purchase a product or service right from an Instagram post.

All of this is possible when you make yourself available on social media, to people who are looking for the kind of product you sell.

You can also reach out to customers and prospects directly via social media.

Some social media tools can comb through social media platforms (such as LinkedIn) to extract verified email addresses that you can then use in your email marketing campaigns as well.

Social Media Marketing Improves Your Search Performance

Internet marketing includes a whole suite of tactics such as search engine marketing, digital advertising, website performance, search engine optimization, and more.

Although it might not be as evident, social networking sites can give a big boost to your search performance too. Social media is a massive content sharing and ranking platform, and search engines pick up on these ‘social signals’.

Depending upon how widely a post has been shared and the quality of the content, search engines like Google can now show tweets and other social media posts directly on their search engine results page.

This means that any high-performing piece of content that you share on social media has the potential to help your brand rank higher on searches, and consequently get more traffic to your business and your website.

So, invest in the kind of content that can go viral on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These can be videos, infographics, blog posts on topical content, user-generated content, or co-branded content.

When it comes to content creation on social media, you can even see what your competitors are posting on their profiles and learn from them!

Social Media Helps You Build High-Quality Relationships With Your Followers

The biggest competitive advantage of social media is its ability to connect directly with your target audience and develop meaningful relationships. It truly is a two-way conversation on social media.

You can learn a lot about your customers simply by observing how they react to the content you put out. Sentiment analysis is a vital part of any social media strategy.

By reading the comments people leave on your posts and the context in which they mention you in their own posts, you can get a fair understanding of how your brand is being perceived by users on social media.

Responding to customer complaints immediately, and resharing appreciation posts with a simple thank you is a small step towards building a relationship with your followers. Doing this also makes your brand seem more approachable and consumer-friendly.

Best Practices for Any Social Media Marketing Strategy

Now that you have a better understanding of why social media is so important for your digital marketing strategy, we have some actionable best practices that your company can utilize in your social media plan.

Set Measurable Goals

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: set measurable goals. This is a crucial step for any digital marketing strategy. Social media is no different.

Before you begin any social media campaign, make sure it has a clear purpose. Ask yourself why you are doing this and what you hope to gain from it.

Not every decision-maker in your company is going to be sold on social media. Having clear goals that outline your budget, ROI, and how social media meets a larger business objective can help you achieve buy-in from stakeholders.

Here are a few examples of measurable goals for social media marketing efforts:

  • Improve brand awareness in your location. This can be measured in ad impressions, post reach, followers over time, and social share of voice (how many people talk about you on social media). 
  • Increase traffic to your website. You can track your website traffic, referrals, and even email signups to determine the success of this goal. 
  • Boost leads and conversions. You can track how many leads or conversions came from a social media campaign with tracking pixels and analytic data. 
  • Increase attendance for an upcoming event. Boost your event across social media channels and measure the traffic for your event page, invitation, etc. Track how many signups come from your social campaign. 
  • Attract new candidates for job openings. Similar to an event, you can boost job positions on social media and track how many qualifying candidates applied from your social media campaign. You can also boost this across multiple platforms to see which one turns around the most leads.

Of course, you’ll want to set specific criteria according to your objectives for the campaign, but this helps give you a good starting point.

Meet Your Customer Where They Are

Your target customer is not active on every social media channel in existence. Before you dive all in on the social media train, you need to understand where your customers are spending their time online.

If you’ve invested in creating a buyer persona for your business, that persona should include what social platforms your customers are active on. If you haven’t, now could be the time to flush out that persona to understand more about your audience and where to reach them.

Create a Plan

Don’t post on social media just because everyone else is. You should create a concrete plan to achieve the goals that you’ve set for your business.

Your plan should answer these questions:

  • How will my social media strategy achieve my business objectives?
  • Who is my target audience and where can I reach them?
  • What kind of content most resonates with my audience?
  • How much should I post each month, week, or day?
  • What are my competitors doing well on social media?
  • What kinds of ads or posts have I seen that perform well?

As you answer these questions, you can start to form a social media strategy that will help your brand thrive online.

Take Advantage of Trends

Social media trends are an impactful way to resonate with your audience.

Don’t just hop on every bandwagon, but take advantage of the relevant trends that make sense for your business.

These can help you relate to your customers on a more personal level while also sharing informative content about your brand.

Start a Social Media Marketing Strategy Today!

Social media internet marketing has come to play a big role in promoting your business online. From communication and branding to tracking competition and trends, social media can be quite resourceful.

A great social media marketing strategy can lead to increased website traffic, more customer goodwill, better brand loyalty, and better SEO. Social media is undoubtedly the swiss army knife of digital marketing.

For assistance in crafting the best social media marketing strategy for your business, give Asset Digital Communications a call today!