Social media is one of the most important tools a company can embrace. In 2020, there were some 233 million social network users in the United States, the equivalent of about three-quarters of the country’s population. By 2023, that number is expected to increase to approximately 257 million. Last year, the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes per day. If your company is not on social media, you are truly missing out on the opportunity to connect with your audience, promote your products/services or events, tell your company story, communicate with external/internal stakeholders, or boost your SEO. Here are a few tips you can employ to take advantage of the myriad benefits social media provides.
Many times I catch myself using social media as a search engine, just like Google. When I come across a new brand, company, product, restaurant or even band, a quick social media scan often shapes my first impression. If you are a startup or even a well-established company without a digital footprint, I begin to ask myself, “who are you?” Without well-developed social media profiles, I tend to question your brand credibility.
A strong social media presence will increase your brand awareness and credibility. In fact, 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform. Maintaining a social media presence will not only establish your brand but will also help develop connections with existing clients and build trust with potential clients. Plus, social media posts are a great way to help express your brand’s identity.
Enhance Your SEO
Even better, you can use social media to direct traffic to your website and enhance your search engine optimization efforts. Although social media activity isn’t a direct ranking factor, brands who engage with audiences on social platforms benefit through increased brand exposure, wider content distribution (through shares and impressions across network feeds), user engagement that builds positive brand reputation and other signals that do directly influence ranking calculations. These signals help search engines better recognize context and relevance of your content, which can give your brand a competitive edge in organic SEO.
As our VP of Digital Services, Amy Sigrest, often says, “SEO isn’t something you do to a website. SEO is a byproduct of good marketing and PR.” Together, SEO and social media marketing help companies perform better on both channels. SEO research helps you identify new audiences and opportunities to develop relevant content, and researching audiences on social networks helps you effectively target where and how to share your content to the people who are most likely to view and share it.
The ability to create a real human connection is one of the key benefits of social media for business. Publishing online content and establishing a social media presence serves as a way to communicate, meet consumer needs and build trust before you establish a direct relationship. Social media allows companies to connect with clients on a personal level in an environment where common interests are shared. More importantly, no matter what industry your business is in, social media offers the opportunity to establish your brand as a thought leader — the go-to source for information on topics related to your niche.
Furthermore, social media platforms provide opportunities to make business connections. You just might find the final investor your need on LinkedIn, the perfect influencer to promote your product or fellow small-business owners who may be willing to cross-promote or collaborate on a joint project. In turn, influencer marketing boosts social media and SEO efforts with increased social signals, new links and mentions on various websites, and an increase in followers and engagement on social media.
Brand awareness, enhanced SEO and business connections are just a few of the reasons that your company should be active on social media. Having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable company of any size, from local startups to multimillion-dollar global organizations. Let us know how we can help integrate a social media plan into your overall PR and marketing strategy.