Why is social media marketing important? It’s no secret that online marketers love social media to market products or businesses. However, why do they favor these platforms? What makes it different from owning a website or promoting yourself via Google ads.
In this article we will teach you:
- What social media marketing is
- Why social media marketing is important
- How social media platforms & their algorithms work
- The effectiveness and impact of social media
- Best social media marketing tips (e.g. best post times)
And much more! Let’s take a dive into the world of social media marketing and find out why social media marketing is important. Our findings are based on expert insights and backed up with statistics from leading industry goliaths.
Learn all the tips & tricks about social media marketing from our social media expert!
What is social media marketing?
Customers don’t like to be pushed to where you want them to be. Social media marketing is your solution to meet them where they are. But what is it exactly? And why is social media marketing important? Social media marketing stands for promoting a product or service through social media platforms where users engage in a social context. All the activities that you do for this fall within social media marketing.
The use of social media is not something you should ignore. It is essential to achieve your marketing goals such as customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. But most importantly, when you use social media marketing you can make customers prefer your brand over others. Additionally, it’s a great way to become an authority and beat your competition. If your competitor ignores social media or is using it inefficiently, their brands will never become strong in this modern world. It’s really that simple.
Why social media marketing is important for marketers
The importance and use of social media marketing have increased massively over the past years. And because of this big increase in such a short timeline, lots of entrepreneurs thought that the whole 'social media marketing thing' would be temporary. That it costs lots of hours and money without getting results. If you're one of them, it is definitely time to wake up!
When using correctly, social media marketing can provide a lot of money for your business. You will attract more customers and become a stronger brand. And a strong brand increases your business value. Customers will know better what to expect, and your brand helps you to connect with your customers emotionally too. It makes customers prefer you over others.
Social media marketing brings your audience together as a community. You will inspire authentic conversations whilst you increase your brand’s awareness. It helps you to connect with the right audiences in a relevant way. And when your audience starts to talk about your brand, you know you’re doing it right. Seeing posts from other customers about your brand will make them likely to follow and recognize you.
How do social media platforms work?
Most of us have used or are using social media. You can stay in touch with people that you know or discover brand new people. But to get a better understanding of why social media marketing is important for your business, we need to have a closer look. How does social media work exactly?
it's been never so easy to publish content on social media platforms which actually shows no reason not to use it. After all, it is free to use them, and there are hundreds of millions of users on these platforms – including your potential customers. The most visited social media platforms out there right now are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But then we also have promising newcomers in Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, and more.
It’s quite a lot, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we will go over them in a bit to help you use the right platforms!
Every social media network you engage in is a chance to make your brand known to the public. One certain thing is that your customers are online. Their friends, colleagues, and other brands are there too. Every social user is looking for one of these three aspects:
So, the users are looking for you to fill a gap. To help (educate) them with what they need. Why wouldn't you provide it to them? When you can give answers to their questions or doubts, you can help (potential) customers and bring them over to your website or shop. It is actually a need that you can fill and thereby increase customer trust. And when your competition doesn’t do social media marketing, it gives you an even bigger advantage.
On a social media platform, you can create, access, and exchange user-generated content. This can be content in the form of videos, text, images, and audio. User-generated content helps you to understand your community and target audience better. You will build trust, increase engagement and it helps to keep your stakeholders happy.
Building trust is very important. Before they invest or buy something for you, they need to trust you and believe you can help them. Making use of social proof is, therefore, a great way of making content. Share your own successes or those from your customers so everyone sees you deliver actual results.
User-generated content adds a lot of value to your company. You will build relationships and these are the foundation of customer advocacy. And this is one of the greatest marketing assets. By customer advocacy, you can tremendously scale your business.
Social media feels more honest and trustworthy and contrary to your website you can talk about anything that you have in mind. As long as it contains one of the three points we've mentioned before, it is perfect content for social media marketing.
Stay on the platform!
Since there are many social media platforms you can use, it is important to stay on the platform. You can do this by limiting the number of links between multiple platforms. What does that mean? Let me illustrate this to you. When you're posting something on Instagram and you are putting a link there to Facebook or your website there's a chance that you get the user off the platform (in this case: Instagram).
In simple words, social media platforms don't like it when users will get off their platform which makes them do anything to prevent users from going away. They not only do this by delivering a good user experience, but they've also programmed the algorithms in such a way that a post that includes links to other platforms won't appear in the spotlights as much.
Of course, it is always possible for your post to get picked up by lots of people. But it is good to know that you should try to build social media platforms separately. Don’t link them too much with each other. Keep in mind that this is beneficial to the visibility of your posts and the users have chosen for that specific platform for a reason. It is most likely what they prefer to use.
Followers, followers, followers
So imagine you're taking social media marketing seriously and you're posting content very regularly. You see the number of followers increasing over time. What are you going to do with thousands of newly earned followers? A lot of them will probably just stay a follower. And what I mean with this is that they follow your content, but they don't actively do something with it. They don't visit your website or buy one of your products.
You want them to become more than a follower. When these customers feel heard, like you, and feel a connection with you, they will come back to you. This will lead to more profit from your current followers or customers. A great way of doing this is to be active in your stories. Create the right balance between personal, educational, or expert content. If you do so, more saves & shares are coming your way.
Try to deliver more than expected with your information, recommendations, or entertainment. And most of all: be active. Don't be afraid that you let them hear too much from you. When you think this, you probably are not active enough. You get followers because they WANT to hear from you. So never hesitate to use your social media.
Of course, don’t spam. Always focus on transmitting quality information.
Influencers and ambassadors
Talking about relations, a great example of a relationship is with an influencer. These are people that have a huge amount of followers and they give you the chance to reach people who are interested in your products or services. Unless you pay for it, it can take some time before you can collaborate with an influencer. You need to build a good relationship first with this person.
Another form of relationship is one with customers who love your brand. Social media marketing helps you to find this out. Maybe they want exclusive access to certain information, or they want to be the first to know about new products, or maybe they are seeking recognition. You name it. Once you know this, you can offer it to them. This helps them to promote or support your brand in a positive way. And you know what? They can eventually become an influencer too.
Choosing the right social media platform for your business
The question shouldn't just be: why is social media marketing important. I would say we go a bit deeper and look at which social media marketing is important for you. Choosing a platform is crucial for your chances to successfully implement a social media marketing strategy. Different platforms favor different types of businesses. Below you will find our infographic where you can check which social media platform fits your business.
Social media affects our lives
Now you know that social media takes a crucial part in the success of your company, you should also know how it affects the lives of customers (and also yourself). Because all entrepreneurs are customers themselves too. The effect it has can be both minimal or huge. In any case, it’s important to know the psychological effects.
Research has shown that 85% of people do online research before they buy anything. That goes for all sorts of internet searching e.g. Google search, YouTube, social media, etc. Searching online isn't anything new. Everyone has used Google to find out about products. However, something interesting is happening. Instead of Google, social media is getting increasingly popular as a research method for brands and products.
More than 54% of all users use social media to research products and brands. Social media helps to create a good image of your brand or product. It is not only a form of advertising but it's a great tool to connect with your audience. And according to Searchenginewatch’s report, consumers who are influenced by social media are 4 times more likely to purchase or to spend more on their purchase. In fact, 29% of social media users are more likely to make a purchase once they have seen a product.
Do it right and you will create a positive brand image. Do it wrong (or not at all) and you will create a negative brand image.
Average social media time is increasing!
Wondering why social media marketing is important for the future? The average social media usage is on the rise. In the graph below, you will see how our average social media time changed per generation. Interesting to note is that the biggest difference occurred between the baby boomers and generation x. Furthermore, the importance of social media marketing keeps rising if we look at the millennials and Generation Z. Social media marketing is important to get your brand known to the new generation of buyers.
Why is social media marketing important for businesses?
Now that you know what social media platforms are and how they work, it’s time to answer the key question. Why is social media marketing important for your business? To answer this question, we will take a look at the popularity of social media, the reach potential, and how you can grow your account organically as well as paid.
The ongoing popularity of social media
Below you will find an infographic about the most visited websites to get a better understanding of the popularity of social media. These statistics are pulled from the Similarweb software in the period of December 2020.
What's interesting about the most visited website infographic is the fact that social media platforms are holding positions 3-5 and are only beaten by Google and its baby sister YouTube (which is arguably also a social media platform). Facebook is long disputed but remains the absolute king of social media. Facebook has 25.33 billion visits versus 902 million visits from the number 2, Twitter.
The social media platforms are beating big search engines like Yahoo and Baidu. Even student’s favorite Wikipedia isn’t able to keep up with the popularity of the social media platforms.
With an audience of that magnitude, it's not surprising that marketers favor social media marketing as one of their most powerful tools. Even a fraction of this audience is enough to drive massive profit towards businesses. And this is only the start of the answer to why social media marketing is important…
Why is social media marketing important for your reach?
Social media platforms are popular but what does that mean for your business? It means you have a potentially large reach if you know how to maximize your social media marketing. Reach stands for the number of users you have possible access to.
Reach is dependable on a couple of factors:
- The organic reach based on the content vs users ratio
- Optimization of reach by using hashtags
- Boosting methods e.g. likes and comments
- Posting times and days
- Social media ads
Content vs users ratio: the content vs users ratio is based on the amount of total content available divided through the total amount of users. When there is more content available than users, you will have a smaller reach potential. It’s still possible to reach a large audience with your posts if it has the right engagement. However, it’s a lot more difficult and will often require a decent amount of time before you will build an audience on that platform. For instance, Instagram has a high content vs user ratio compared to LinkedIn. This means it’s more difficult to reach a lot of people with Instagram than it’s with LinkedIn.
Hashtag optimization: hashtags are distribution channels through which your content flows and gets distributed to users outside of your social media network. The idea is quite simple: put a #name in your text and your post will be categorized under the hashtag. Followers who are interested or related to the hashtag will get to see your post. It’s important that you keep the hashtags clean and related to your niche. Don’t spam hashtags or face the risk of getting penalized by the social media platform.
Tip: if you wonder what hashtags are suitable for your account, remember this simple trick. If you have a small account then use hashtags with a small audience. You can go after the bigger hashtags when your influence (based on followers and the interval of posting) grows.
Likes & comments: likes and comments are basically votes of popularity. Interesting posts will get more likes and therefore the platform will show them to more people. The algorithm is going even a step further by interpreting likes & comments differently. A like is easy to give and it's pretty much effortless. On the other hand, a comment takes time to write. Therefore most platforms see comments as more valuable than likes.
Tip: put questions in your posts to trigger comments from users. Comments are super-likes and will trigger the algorithm to show your content to more people.
Posting times: it’s often very tempting to post when you feel like it. You get a rush of enthusiasm to grow your page and show your kick-ass content to the world. However, this is often not the greatest strategy. There are certain timeframes when people are more active on social media. It even differs per platform when people are the most active. Below you will find the optimum timeframes for posting your content on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.
Social media ads: last but not least, we’ve got social media ads. It might not feel as satisfying to pay for an audience in comparison to obtaining it organically. However, that doesn’t change the fact that social media ads are highly effective in reaching new audiences and extending your reach.
Social media ads are effective because:
- You can target specific leads based on data
- They increase brand awareness and brand building
- It makes it easy to build relationships with your customers
- Social media ads are cheaper than other forms of advertising e.g. billboard
You can pay for impressions and for clicks. Both have different tariffs and clicks are more expensive, but also more profitable to your business. Furthermore, your costs differ per social media platform and the smaller platform isn’t always the cheapest one.
Social media ads - beginner strategy & cost per click overview
It's a lot, isn't it? Don't worry. Below you will find a chart with the CPC (cost per click) of all the different social media marketing platforms. Additionally, if you want to start with social media ads, please invest safe and build it up. Use the money you can spare and test a lot of different keywords, pictures, and copywriting before you commit larger sums of money. Everyone can learn to use social media ads but there is always a learning curve.
Tip: people often wait with paid ads till they become organically strong and have a large account. However, I would strongly advise against this approach. Why? Because you will ignore so much growth potential by adopting ads in your early strategy. It's the same as saying you prefer to walk and drive back with the car instead of driving the car the entire time. It slows you down.
Social media marketing tips 2021 [Bonus]
You know why social media marketing is important. To give you a head start with your social media marketing, we will give you a list of social media marketing tips as a bonus. These tips will benefit your organic growth and long-term profitability. However, you need to apply these tips regularly. By no means is this a quick fix to get instant traffic because that just doesn't exist.
The social side of social media marketing – engage and relate to your audience
- Respond to all comments: back in the day, likes were the algorithm's indicator that a piece of content was interesting. Likes became spammy and easily manipulate therefore the social media platforms needed something better. You could see comments as super likes. When people engage with the creator, it must be a good piece of content that will keep people on the social media platform.
- Create your unique voice: try to sound different through the way you write. People see countless posts every single day, make them remember you. Creators tend to sound professional and to be honest a bit boring. Keep it light and add humor in your voice of tone.
- Post when your audience is online: it sounds so simple, yet it's a mistake that every marketer makes. You feel a surge of inspiration and you immediately post on your social media. However, it was 3 p.m. and there is nobody online. It hurts your reach because you need as many likes & comments within the first hour as possible.
- Use gifs & memes: gifs and memes are great to disturb the post feed. Especially on platforms like LinkedIn, there are a lot of serious posts. It can work extremely well to once in a while add a funny gif of a cat to disturb the feed and make people look your way.
Technical social media tips to boost your reach
- Analyze successful content: try to discover what works for your audience. Certain posts will perform way better than the rest. Analyze the content and replicate that piece of content. Because if it works, why wouldn’t you produce more of the same successful content?
- Automate your posting schedule: use social media schedulers like Tailwind to automate your posting schedule and track valuable data to beat your competition.
- Stick to your niche: don't confuse your audience by entering multiple niches. It must be clear with one look what you are about. Your audience wants an expert and not a shady-looking account that posts about anything and everything.
- Don’t overuse hashtags: more hashtags means more reach right? *buzz* wrong! Algorithms see over usage of hashtags as spamming and will limit your reach. Always check how many hashtags they prefer. Twitter 2, Facebook 5, LinkedIn also 5.
- Include keywords in the text: make sure you include keywords that are relevant to you in your post, title, and image title. For instance, a barber could include the keyword hair cut in his content.
- Use video (higher views): videos keep people longer on the platform. Therefore social media platforms will reward videos with a larger reach. Ideally, you’ll want to mix photos and videos to keep your content engaging.
Why is social media marketing important – Conclusion
Why is social media marketing important? By now I hope that this answer is just for the form and that you will understand the importance of social media marketing. Why? Because there are many reasons why social media marketing is important.
To name a few:
- You build a relationship of trust with your audience
- Give potential buyers a research opportunity
- Increase brand awareness, loyalty, and value
- It allows you to get largescale feedback
- Reach a brand-new audience and collect prospects
Furthermore, consumers who are influenced by social media are 4 times more likely to purchase or to spend more on their purchase. In the past, social media was not seen as trustworthy and more a place for memes and cat pictures. However, there is a big change occurring right now. The younger generations (x, millennials, and z) are putting more faith in social media as a research tool for brands and products.
If you want to attract young customers with a long-term buying horizon, then you should definitely look into social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Reddit. But are young customers the only type of customer you can reach through social media? No, for every business there is a suiting platform. For real estate, LinkedIn is the perfect platform because you can find a highly educated audience with money there.
I hope our article has shown you why social media marketing is important for any business. I truly believe there is a social media strategy for every business type. Not every channel is suited for your business, but there most definitely is a right channel for you.
- Hootsuite annual report – https://www.hootsuite.com/resources
- Similarweb stats December 2020 – https://shrsl.com/31861
- Intergrowth - https://inter-growth.co/seo-stats/
- Searchenginewatch - https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/11/20/how-social-media-influence-71-consumer-buying-decisions/
- SproutSocial - https://sproutsocial.com/insights/index/
- SEMrush stats December 2020 - https://www.semrush.com/lp/sem/en/?ref=3359045984&utm_campaign=aio_campaign&utm_source=berush&utm_medium=promo&utm_term=23
- Expert insight by Mark’d Agency
Social media marketing FAQ
To further help you understand why social media marketing is important, we've answered the most frequently asked questions about social media marketing. In my opinion, there is no reason why a business shouldn't use these free platforms to promote its brand. Is your question now included? Please leave me a comment down below
Social media marketing is all the activities you perform to promote a service or product. Think about posting reviews, product videos, ads, or influencers. Social media is a place where you can meet your potential customer before they know they need you. Social media gives you tremendous prospecting opportunities.
Why is social media marketing important? Because it gives you the possibility to reach an audience that would otherwise never be accessible. Many potential customers are not aware of your product or services. Social media platforms offer you the space to display and show your brand to a huge audience. Every business should take social media marketing seriously.
Social media marketing increases brand awareness, brand value, and builds trust with your audience. It allows you to show the personal side of your business. Consumers who are influenced by social media are 4 times more likely to purchase or to spend more on their purchase.
Besides all the technical changes that have changed social media marketing through the years, there is also an interesting change in the social impact. Before, social media was a place of randomness and cat pictures. Nobody took the content seriously. However, nowadays people use social media to research brands and products. Additionally, this trend is rising as the younger generations have more faith in social media.
Social media marketing started almost at the same time as the introduction of social media itself. That would be around 1997. Through the years a lot has changed about social media through algorithms and data. However, the principle is still the same. The platforms want to keep you as long as possible to show you advertisements and make money.