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Since the rapid rise of social media in the early 2000s, businesses have been quick to harness the power associated with talking to such a broad audience. While many businesses do social media extremely well, a lot are still struggling to keep up with the ever-evolving nature of social media. Below, we look at some of the ways social media can play a helpful hand in the success of your business.

Help spread the word

Or, as seasoned marketers say, building brand awareness. People can’t support your business if they don’t know about it right? In traditional shop fronts, the signage and front window were big assets and provided an opportunity to showcase your business to passer’s by. Now that more shoppers are moving online, your internet presence has become your window. Social media channels allow you to build connections, promote your business and most importantly engage with consumers.

An example of this is the Dirt Company account on Instagram. They’ve translated their brand message and aesthetic to their social media channels, telling potential customers what they’re about at a glance.

Reach the right audience

It’s estimated that approximately 3.5 billion people were active on social media in January 2019. That’s a lot of people, but it’s unlikely that all of them are your target customer. So, how do you reach the right audience for your business? Social media makes this easier by allowing you to specifically target certain users with posts or ads. That way, you can promote your business only to people that are more likely to be interested in it. Social media can also extend beyond your traditional audience, helping you find new customers that you may not have traditionally marketed to.

An example of this is Momentum Life, who sell life and funeral insurance in New Zealand. Since their products are specifically for New Zealanders, they can target ads on their Facebook page to only people living in that country.

Make the most of your budget

Compared to other forms of traditional marketing, social media promotions can be relatively inexpensive. Creating a profile and sharing content with your followers is free, but you’ll likely need to pay for ads or boost content to make a meaningful impact. Still, paid activity through social media can often be very cost effective, especially for smaller businesses. With the right ad and audience targeting, you could get great results on a limited budget.

Help give better customer service

While many businesses see social media as simply a promotional channel, it’s very much a customer service tool as well. Social media encourages two-way conversation and feedback from customers that can be a huge positive for your brand promotion. Even negative comments or reviews can be a boon for your business. How you handle feedback of any kind says a lot about your business. Serve customers online the same way you would serve them in person, by thanking them for positive feedback, and responding to negative feedback promptly and professionally. A big mistake for businesses on social media can be ignoring feedback altogether—if someone’s taken the time to share their thoughts, they deserve a response!

One company that does this well is ClassPass. Their customer service replies on Twitter are quick, helpful and show off their brand personality.

Create brand loyalty

Brands that engage with their social media followers can create a sense of loyalty that lasts long after a purchase has been made. This ongoing engagement with a company not only drives repeat sales, but could also get you new ones. Building loyalty with your customers through social media could in turn inspire them to recommend you to their family or friends. This sort word-of-mouth buzz through social media is probably better for your business in the long run than hoping to go viral with an ad or promotional video.

Boost sales!

Social media can create a great sales funnel, after all isn’t that the main priority of promoting your business? Each of the steps above can help you along this journey, from building brand awareness to final sale. With some time, effort and budget, you could see an increase in sales for your business.