Is social still a key element of your marketing strategy? Why/why not?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. Social Gives Information

Derek FlanzraichThe world is increasingly turning to social media for its information, its inspiration and its decision-making. Ignoring social as a marketing channel is a bad idea for any business that’s consumer-focused.
Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

2. Content Is Shared Through Social

Arjun AroraWe have fully integrated social into our larger marketing strategy. All of our content is shared via social. Social impacts SEO. We run PPC campaigns on social networks. Retargeting on social channels puts us in front of a relevant audience. We engage with customers on social. Social gives us unparalleled reach, builds brand awareness and is a channel that continues to provide immense returns.
Arjun Arora, ReTargeter

3. Social Impacts SEO

Brett FarmiloeSocial media impacts SEO, and SEO impacts sales. Incorporating social media into your marketing can help content get indexed faster with search engines. Search engines deem content to be new and interesting when they see “likes,” retweets and shares. Search engines also display content results based on the people connected to you. All these are great reasons to focus on social media for SEO.
Brett Farmiloe, Digital Marketing Agency

4. Social Is Part of Marketing Strategies

Dave KerpenSocial is a huge part of our marketing strategy. Social networks are where I go to listen to and learn about our customers. Social media (content, blogging and advertising) is how we drive over half of our leads and millions of dollars in revenue.
Dave Kerpen, Likeable Local and Likeable Media

5. Social Will Always Be Key

Andy KaruzaAside from being a great tool to get the word out and continually foster a relationship with my customers and users, it gives us powerful insight into what they want. Social media gives people a tremendous amount of visibility into not only what’s going on with their company, but also what’s going on within the industry.
Andy Karuza, brandbuddee

6. Everything Correlates to Social

Adam SchoenfeldWe eat, sleep and breathe social in our company. Early on, social was critical to successfully building our community. As we’ve grown, it continues to be one of the top ways that we engage with current customers and share content. We’ve expanded our involvement and are experimenting with paid placement that allows us to target new audiences and amplify our content.
Adam Schoenfeld, Simply Measured

7. Social Creates Relationships Quickly

Corey BlakeAs a storytelling business, RTC is actively building a community of like-minded people around our work and the work of our clients. Social is the quickest way to start new relationships with others who are in alignment with our brand and our core values. That has to be followed up offline in some capacity, but it’s the first step in the funnel.
Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

8. Marketing Depends on Social
Jim BelosicWe rely on social for marketing. That includes promoting the content we create in house: e-books, infographics, blog posts, guest posts and PDFs. Without social, it would be very challenging to get all the great content that my team creates out there.
Jim Belosic, Pancakes Laboratories/ShortStack

9. Social Allows Engagement

Phil LaboonYou really need to stay active and engage with your audience when using social; don’t just build followers. You need to share engaging, valuable or educational content. You just can’t send out hype about your company all day. You really have to establish yourself as an educational resource. Don’t just look at success as gaining more followers without capitalizing on that.
Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

10. Social Amplifies Client Messages

Alex FriasWorking in the events and lifestyle space, social has become our number one vehicle to amplify both our clients’ messaging and industry awareness about our services and recent work. Social is great to highlight our work and is a new business development tool that puts us in front of the right eyeballs.
Alex Frias, Track Marketing Group

11. Social Is in the Customer Purchase Path

Fabian KaempferSocial is a key element in our marketing strategy because it plays a role in several steps of our customers’ purchase path. It’s a good source of referral traffic for us, it serves as a customer service touchpoint during and after the buying process, and it’s a medium for attracting new visitors and customers from our existing customers’ networks from social sharing post-purchase.
Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

12. Social Is a New Marketing Channel

Aaron SchwartzSocial engagement is the easiest way for fans to learn from customers. We continue to invest our time in Facebook and Twitter and have recently made a serious effort on Instagram. Because our product is visual, it allows fans to show their creativity with our brand. Their efforts inspire a lot of our internal brand communications!
Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches