Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0 Social media has evolved from a space for personal interaction into a vibrant marketing channel for businesses of all sizes. It has become a requisite for any business in order to compete in the marketplace. However, with the deluge of technology, it’s hard to know how these services can work for you. Today, we’ll go over the top four benefits of social media for business. Brand awareness The first benefit of social media for business is its ability to generate organic brand awareness. As we know, a major component of building credibility comes from creating a brand identity. While other marketing materials, such as a website and business cards, have been the go-to items for new businesses, social media should be added to the roster. Social media allows a business to share its brand across various platforms and create a consistent and unified look, feel, and voice. This consistency is the foundation for a reputable brand and business. By using the same logo, brand colors, bio descriptions, and links to your business website, you create an authentic online presence. Serena & Lily, an online home decor retailer, does a fantastic job of leveraging brand awareness throughout their social media accounts. Although each social profile (Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, respectively) looks a little different, there remains a recognizable brand identity, which helps when establishing a brand. Keep this lesson in mind when you’re creating your social media accounts. This may sound like a lot of work, but it isn’t! Within a few hours, you can claim your social media identity on the platforms where your customers are most active. The best part is that these platforms are all free! Who doesn’t love free marketing? Stellar customer service In a world where customers expect white glove experiences, social media is a wonderful avenue for delivering on those demands. Since social media is all about interaction and dialogues. it’s a natural place to surprise and delight your potential and actual customers. Social media profiles allow businesses to communicate, proactively or reactively, to their followers in real-time. When followers comment or pose questions and a brand responds in a timely and knowledgeable way, it conveys the business’s dedication to customer satisfaction and experience. This kind of engagement goes a long way in fostering loyalty and solidifying a positive impression in your followers’ minds. Don’t worry, though, this doesn’t mean you need to be available 24/7. People respond well to proactive communication about service hours and availability. Include these key facts in your social media bios, so it is easy to find. If you want to drive customer service off of your social feed, direct people to contact your business through a dedicated email address. When customer service is done right, it has the potential to go viral. Just take a cue from JetBlue, whose Twitter account is incredibly responsive and contributes to their customers’ experiences. A notable example of social media posts going viral is the below tweet reply from JetBlue. A passenger started a conversation with the company, and it resulted in her receiving a welcome parade upon arrival. This tweet got serious coverage and only boosted public opinion of JetBlue’s customer service. image courtesy of JetBlue Spreading positive messages is always a win for small business and honing your customer service on social media is one tried and true way to do so. Low-cost way to acquire leads Small businesses are always looking for low-cost marketing efforts, and social media fits the bill! As mentioned before, these platforms are free and plenty of brands have grown exponentially through organic social media marketing. By investing some time into understanding your target audience and tailoring your posts, aesthetic, and even platform presence, a business can quickly grow its following and create a captive audience. Take cues from your competitors, whether real or aspirational and see how they manage their accounts. Simply highlight your unique selling proposition to distinguish your brand from the competition. Once you’ve honed your social media branding, your follower base will grow and be full of potential customers. How do you know they’re prospective leads? They’ve opted-in to follow your business; this means they’re interested in what you have to offer! What better way to cultivate the right customers than through social media? Systematize your social media efforts to give your audience what they want and save your business hours of time by employing automation tools. Increase website traffic and search ranking Another benefit of social media for business is its direct impact on website traffic and search ranking. On social media profiles, businesses can list their website URLs, so a visitor needs to look no further than above the fold to find a website link. Beyond the bio section of a social media account, actual social media posts afford opportunities to add more links to your business website. The most effective Twitter posts include an image, caption, and URL. The visual, relevant caption, and inserted link all serve to get a person to take a specific action (i.e. visit the website). The more URL clicks, the more website visits a business gets. It’s a winning formula that applies to every other social media platform. Interestingly, social media also affects your search ranking. When your social post links to your website or blog content, those links help search engines discern that your website is reputable and should rank for specific keywords. As we know, Google’s algorithm is continually evolving to weed out spam websites and appropriately rank websites that are legitimate. By incorporating social media into your marketing strategy, you can positively influence your search ranking without being a search engine optimization guru. For a small business, leveraging the power of social media is a good investment. There is tremendous upside that can and has translated to brand awareness (and sales) for businesses of all sizes. Every business can benefit from free marketing, so give social media a try today! Read more: Five Ways to Be a Positive Influence on Facebook Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article originally appeared on Vistaprint Digital and has been republished with permission.Find out how to syndicate your content with B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?