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5 Reasons to Step Up Your Social Game

social

It’s incredible to look back over the last decade and see how far social media has come; according to new data, the average person spends about 1.72 hours per day on social platforms, representing a total of about 28 percent of all online activity. For entrepreneurs with businesses across a variety of different industries, this means establishing a strong social presence online is no longer just a suggestion to increase revenue and drive traffic, but an absolute necessity to a brand’s survival and success in the digital age.

Regardless of the vertical you’re in, establishing your brand on the right social platforms is paramount to engaging with your target market and maintaining relevance with your customers. Branden Hampton, as mentioned in his academy episode, was an early adopter of social media and has now amassed more than 32 million followers. Social media allows you to not only increase your brand’s recognition on multiple different channels, but provides an unbeatable outlet to build better relationships with those customers and increase your brand loyalty through connecting with your audience more effectively – ultimately resulting in more opportunities to convert. While the case for the amount of value social media provides speaks for itself when it comes to lead generation and customer engagement, many brands and businesses have yet to unlock these benefits because they simply haven’t put their priority on their social strategy quite yet.

To get a better idea of how impactful platforms like Facebook and Instagram can really be for business growth, taking a glance at the auto industry and their use of social is a prime example of how these networks are being sustained and monetized by smart brands. For example, Mini Cooper’s award winning “Mini’s NOT NORMAL” campaign  in 2014 captured a new audience and generated roughly 230,000 unique users to engage with their campaign in only a six-week period. Still not convinced? How about the fact that by encouraging users to upload pictures and videos with the hashtag #MINITONORMAL, 29,420 new fans and followers were recruited, their twitter following tripled, and 3,853 visitors to the campaign hub went on to look for a new MINI on mini.co.uk. with 11% became qualified dealership leads.

Our affinity towards cars and lifestyle has allowed auto-manufactures to capitalize on social media to reap extremely lucrative benefits. The passion evoked when buying a car translates into social networking with an incredible 38% of consumers reporting they’ll consult social media next time they buy a car, and 24% of automotive shoppers on Facebook reporting they used the site for their most recent vehicle purchase.

These facts about social’s relevance within the car industry are just one example of how networks like Facebook and Instagram are disrupting traditional marketing methods and why connecting with your audience on social translates into the 21st century consumer’s buying behaviors. The power of a strong social media presence is indisputable.

Regardless of whether you’re in the car industry or not, here are the 5 major reasons your business needs to step up your social game:

1. Social trust leads to higher conversion rates. People like doing business with people, and social media acts as a platform for brands to interact with their customers and deliver a more humanized interaction than traditional marketing methods. If you build up a strong enough social following, you’ll create a greater sense of trust and credibility with your brand, quite possibly resulting in a 100% higher lead-to-close ratio than outbound marketing simply because you’ve established the key element of social trust.

2. More eyes in more places. Every social profile you create is another opportunity to engage new visitors and increase inbound traffic. Customers you didn’t know existed will find and buy from you, and every hashtag, picture, video, and piece of content you share or comment you post is an opportunity for someone to react which will establish familiarity and brand recognition with your audience. Even if your click-through rate is low at first, the number of opportunities for conversions increases the more you interact and post on a regular basis.

3. It’s an equal playing field. Unlike the disparity between the multi-million dollar budgets of big brands compared to the resources of small business owners when it comes to affording traditional advertising campaigns, social media has created a more leveled playing field where all companies have an opportunity to create massively viral campaigns, simply based on their ability to post engaging, link-worthy, attention grabbing content.

4. Feedback, feedback, feedback. Social media is a place to make your voice heard and hear your customer’s voice too. You’ll be the first to know about and can respond to problems more effectively by listening to your customers rants and raves in real time. Additionally, people will be much less likely to view your postings as an advertisement and much more interested to hear your story and message via social. It’s an opportunity to get up close and personal with your target market, engage in online conversation and see what they’re liking, sharing, and posting in relation to your brand or industry.

5. Nobody likes to play catch up. Your competition is most likely already tweeting or Instagraming away as you read this, meaning your potential conversions and traffic are currently being poached. So if you haven’t made a social media profile for your business yet – jump on it! It’s ok to try new things and make mistakes. We lost six figures from not understanding social media early on.We all know that fortune favors action, so the sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits.

Simply put, social marketing is here to stay and is an integral part of doing business in the 21st century for all brands across nearly every industry. It’s no longer a question of if you should establish a social presence, but more of a question of when you established your social presence and how impactful your social strategy is. Just make sure you do your research on whatever social platform you decide to get on and its relevance to your brand’s industry and goals, then create a well-thought-out strategy behind what, how, when, and why you post.

Shannon is the co-founder of Girl Powered Network, an organization that connects and empowers young women pursuing entrepreneurship. She has also established a 2nd business with her brother, Third Vista, which is a multi-service creative agency focused on helping brands and individuals produce engaging campaigns to successfully tell their story online, offline, and through various social platforms. She lives in Miami, Florida, and as someone who is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and businesses, Shannon spends her time focusing on how she can be an asset in helping others grow to reach their highest potential and achieve even greater success.