Humans crave connection — in fact, our psychological need for love and belonging is placed right in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s therefore no surprise that 60% of the world’s population use social media to be connected with one another.
With so many people now logging on to social platforms every day, social media has become a must-have weapon in the marketing arsenal of the modern day business. In just a click of a button, companies can advertise products and services to their followers, as well as interact with them directly.
As marketing agency Pitch puts it: “Online platform-based marketing is crucial in the current digital landscape. We’re living in the age of the social network, and social media marketing is well on its way to becoming the most effective means to reach huge global audiences.”
The merits of social media marketing seem obvious, but what specifically are the benefits for brands?
Increased brand awareness
Social media marketing is one of the easiest ways to improve a business’s visibility, in turn raising brand awareness. There are so many ways businesses can harness this, from creating shareable content that hundreds, thousands or even millions of people see, to working with influencers to promote a brand’s products and directly interacting with prospective customers to convey a company’s USP.
Research has proven the link between social media and brand awareness, with one study finding that “the impact of social media marketing on brand awareness includes obtaining high brand reach, enabling individuals to join in brand discussions, and increasing traffic or number of followers and the feedback that they deliver.”
Greater customer satisfaction
Social media marketing isn’t just great for securing new business. It’s also a highly effective way of improving current customers’ satisfaction.
Whether it’s answering a question, responding to a complaint, or just thanking a customer for their feedback, brands are able to directly communicate with their customers and target audience. It also gives brands the opportunity to offer personalised responses instead of automated ones — something that shows the brand in the best possible light, even when it is acknowledging negative feedback.
Social media can also help to improve customer satisfaction by making it easier for businesses to widely communicate company updates, highlight their customers, and humanise their brands.
More brand authority
Brand authority refers to how likely customers are to view a company as a trustworthy source of information or an expert opinion in its field. Greater brand authority generally equals greater trust from customers, a better overall reputation, and more influence in the company’s industry, all of which can ultimately boost its bottom line.
Social media can be an excellent way of building authority, as it enables brands to become a thought leader on their particular niches. Whether it’s posting insightful content, taking a stand on societal issues, or sharing news on their platforms, there are so many ways businesses can harness social media to demonstrate that they’re experts in their field.
There are numerous examples of brands that successfully use social media in this way. For instance, Nike harnesses platforms including Instagram and Facebook to reinforce its position as a brand authority for sport, while GoPro does the same for photography.
The benefits explored show just how important social media marketing is for brands in 2023. Companies that fail to fully embrace this most potent marketing tool risk getting left behind by their competitors, making the choice to do so crystal clear.