Did you know that social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing? Or that 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form? No matter what you sell and who you sell it to, using social media as a marketing tool can help you grow your brand and pad your wallet. (via ContentFactory)

At this point, you should have some sort of social presence online whether it is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. It’s just the name of the game now and you should be in it. How you use it however, is the secret sauce.

Now that we know Social Media is key to growing your business, let’s discuss how.

1. Use it to connect with your target audience and build relationships.
One of the reasons we love posting on Twitter or Instagram is reading the responses and reactions from our customers. We can interact with them in “real-time”. You can read their status updates and tweets to get insights and then possibly adjust your marketing strategy at that very moment.

2. Users are receptive to your messages.
People view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines. As a result, they’re less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say. This translates to serious web traffic when you link to your site and posts that market themselves as your friends and followers share what you’ve posted.

3. Social media ads allow targeting and retargeting.
One of the reasons social media is important is because of the highly customizable nature of social media ads. Facebook ads, for example, allow you to target users by things like location, education level, industry and even purchase history and the pages they’ve liked. You also have to the option to install a Facebook pixel on your site and use it to retarget the users who visit you — these people are far more likely to convert into solid leads and sales!

4. Social media can help you get noticed at events, and even generate earned media coverage. Whether your business is sponsoring a charity fundraiser or attending a major trade show, there’s no better way to leverage your presence than with the help of social media.

5. You can respond to problems immediately.
If there’s a problem with your product or service, you want to know about it right away. With the feedback you get in the process of social media marketing, you’ll be the first to know when there are issues – and you can take steps to resolve them right away. Study after study has shown that consumers appreciate companies that respond to customer complaints (and don’t hesitate to rant online to anyone who will listen when companies don’t take the time to make things right).

6. A strong social media presence builds brand loyalty.
Published reports found that brands with active social media profiles have more loyal customers. It’s easy to imagine why: when you’re engaging and interacting on social media (not just tossing your posts out onto the web hoping someone will stumble upon them) you become less like a corporation and more like what you truly are — a unified group of people who share a vision.

For more details, feel free to contact me: hello@nicolebrashear.com