The Benefits of Social Media: How to Choose Strategically

Social Media

If you were asked to rattle off a list of social media benefits for your business, you could probably come up with at least five items without batting an eye. Terms like brand awareness, follower growth, and customer service roll off the tongue as naturally as getting in the car and driving to work every day. That’s because we hear them all the time. Calling them “buzzword terms” is a little bit cliché, but essentially that’s what they are. However, they really don’t carry enough weight on their own to provide us with actionable insights.

The Benefits of Social Media

The danger with buzzwords is that they sometimes lack the substance required to remain relevant. Social media benefits that improve your business should start with strategic benefits that work their way down to the smaller, tactical benefits.

The difference between strategic and tactical social media benefits:

Strategic benefits: These are the big-picture benefits concerned with the operations, profits, and trajectory of your business and its purpose on social media.

Tactical benefits: These are the smaller, day-to-day, week-to-week benefits acquired as a result of implementing the strategic elements.

An example of a strategic benefit would be “increasing sales”, while a tactical benefit could be “driving traffic to a landing page”. When you’re creating your business’ social media strategy, it’s a good idea to start by choosing the strategic benefits you want your brand to achieve.

The 4 Main Strategic Benefits of Social Media:

1. Build brand affinity
2. Maximize reach
3. Gain consumer insight
4. Increase Sales

Build Brand Affinity

Affinity is defined asan attraction or sympathy for someone or something”. Your business should be using social media to create affinity with a qualified audience. You want the audience to feel naturally attracted to your brand in a way that establishes trust, and authority.

This can be accomplished using these three tactics:

  1. Establish a brand identity and voice – Once you’ve defined who your brand is and how they speak, your audience can start relating to your brand characteristics and messaging.
  2. Create and share content that addresses audience pain points – Reinforce your audience’s opinion that you understand and share their problems and can present them with solutions.
  3. Provide stellar customer support – Respond to all inquiries, concerns, reviews, and complaints as quickly as possible. Preferably within 24 hours or less to prove how serious you are about enhancing customer satisfaction.

Together these three tactics will set the foundation for a well-rounded presence that enhances the benefits of social media.

Maximize Reach

Maximizing your reach is different than expanding your reach. Maximizing your business’ reach on social media builds on the foundation you created during the brand affinity stage of your social media strategy. The more qualified prospects your brand can reach on social media the better. If there’s one thing social media statistics prove, it’s that reach is a powerful tool. Maximizing your brand’s reach can be accomplished using a variety of successful social media marketing tactics. Two of the best tactics include:

  1. Improve the quality of shared content – The more value your content strategy presents, the more value you’ll derive from your audience.
  2. Implement community management – Community management is about creating an experience on social media that compels your audience to interact with your brand.

The benefits of social media your brand will derive from practicing these tactics will amplify your reach while naturally attracting more qualified followers.

Gain Consumer Insight

Most people think of research when they see consumer insights, and they’re correct. In order to optimize your audience’s brand experience on social media, you need to know everything you can about their likes, dislikes, behaviors, and desires. The key to gaining successful consumer insight is to conduct custom audience research.

2 Common Forms of Audience Research:

  1. Surveys – Contact loyal brand advocates and ask them to answer questions pertaining to the brand and its products or services.
  2. Quizzes – Quizzes are usually shorter than surveys and can be used to discover audience insights on more narrowly focused topics.

Consumer insights will produce benefits of social media for your business that can be used to identify new marketing opportunities beyond just social media. For example, if your business sells stuffed animals, your survey might reveal that parents would like to see your brand create a new product line featuring jungle animals.

Increase Sales

This one is more straightforward than most strategic social media benefits. Everyone wants their business to make more money and one of the best ways to do that with social is by driving qualified leads to landing and product pages. Highly qualified leads can be sent directly to a product or service page if they’ve indicated that they’re prepared to purchase. All other leads should be funneled to a high-converting landing page that clearly and succinctly offers a solution to their issue.

Tactics to Increase Sales Using Social Media

  1. Drive qualified leads to a landing page using targeted content offers
  2. Create ad campaigns that target new leads and your brand’s current audience

Many more tactics exist for driving sales, gaining consumer insight, maximizing reach, and building brand affinity. If you take the time to listen to your audience and focus on the benefits of social media your business needs the most, your tactics should play a vital role in the success of your brand.