Yet beyond the dollar amount is a clear message to modern marketers:
Investing in social media marketing is an expectation, not an exception to the rule.
Why Invest in Social Media Marketing, Though?
Again, we don’t blame you.
Enough time has passed that we can look at the concrete benefits of social media by the numbers, though.
This rings true whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, an ecommerce site or anything in-between.
From social media facts and figures to success stories in action, we’ve broken down thirteen reasons why brands both big and small should start spending via social.
1. Your Target Audience is Already There
The public at large is pouring hours upon hours into Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on a daily basis. With many of us checking in on social media multiple times per day, it’s safe to assume that your customers are doing the same.
The takeaway here is that rather than hoping and praying for traffic to come to you, social media presents an avenue to approach your audience directly. Whether through remarketing ads or shoutouts on Instagram, people are more than willing to engage with their brands they support.
2. Social Ads Have an Insane ROI
The buzz over social ads over the past few years is about much more than just hype. Facebook (and subsequently Instagram) have invested heavily in making their ad platform incredibly robust in terms of audience targeting.
Want to go after bounced traffic that didn’t complete a sale? What about folks from your email list? Looking to zero in on people based on their behaviors and interests on Facebook?
Yeah, you can do all of that and more to make sure that your ads are targeting exactly who you want. The end result is more clicks and conversions and better return on your investment.
Oh, and not to mention that Facebook and Instagram ads allow brands to get crazy in terms of creativity. From videos and carousels to eye-popping photo ads, your sponsored posts aren’t stuck with the stench of a sales pitch.
3. Beefing Up Your Backlinks
Social media’s status as an SEO ranking factor is no longer a mystery. The fact that Google Analytics has an explicit social traffic indicator is just another clue to the link-building power of social.
Not only is content marketing via social totally free, but also helps you warm relationships that lead to link-building opportunities.
The more shares you can score, the more likely you are to receive some sweet, sweet link juice over time. If nothing else, covering the various social channels ups provide new avenues for people to land on your site.
4. Access to Granular Audience Data
Social analytics such as those provided by Facebook Insights can provide invaluable data on your target audience. From uncovering demographics that you didn’t know were relevant to your business to figuring out which content performs the best, this data is key to crafting future campaigns.
Spoiler alert: social media for business is about so much more than just traffic.
Unlike AdWords or other paid marketing channels, the key benefits of social media marketing boil down to branding and awareness.
In short, people want to know what you’re all about before they make a purchase.
And if you’re a local business, people are likely to look you up via social to check out your hours or contact information. Besides, your social media profiles might even outrank the likes of your actual website.
6. Automatically Optimise Your Brand for Mobile Users
The good news? With an active social presence, being optimised for mobile is an afterthought. Given how easy is it to connect with brands through Facebook or Instagram versus a potentially clunky website, social media offers a mobile-friendly avenue to engage with customers without doing any legwork yourself.
7. Snappier Customer Service
Like it or not, it’s a growing expectation for brands to be available around the clock.
In fact, some social media users expect a response from brands within an hour.
Social media provides a constant point of contact between you and your customers. The ability to respond quickly and in real-time prevents potential customers from bouncing.
Brands such as Black Milk provide stellar customer service via Facebook, answering their customers ASAP to address any concerns they might have.
8. Emphasizing Engagement Over One-Off Sales
Sometimes assessing the direct dollars-and-cents ROI from social media can be difficult.
That’s because social focuses on engagement rather than ramming a one-off sale down your customers’ throats.
Instead, you’re playing the long-game of building a community that’s in love with you and your products. By establishing a relationship with your customers through your social content, you have your very own tribe that you can sell to time and time again. Difference is that they’ll actually want to hear from you.
In a sense, it’s all about finding a balance between relationships and sales. For example, brands like Stelly show off their products via Instagram...
...but also post content with personality to win over their followers versus just going after their wallets.
9. Getting On Board with Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has become a staple of business itself, allowing brands a more authentic avenue to show off their products.
Influencer marketing almost exclusively happens via social and represents a sort of new wave of social commerce. For those who doubt the financial ROI of a strong social presence, look no further than the numbers of how much brands pay influencers.
10. The Perfect Place to Curate User-Generated Content
Whether you’re struggling with content ideas or are just looking to give your marketing a more personal touch, customer photos are where it’s at.
Representing a powerful form of social proof, user-generated content is well-documented for encouraging customer interactions and winning over buyers. If you have satisfied customers showing you off via Instagram, use them as part of your future marketing campaigns.
11. Double-Dip Your Paid and Organic Efforts
Social media marketing doesn’t have to be a game of “either-or.”
In other words, you can have both a paid and organic strategy in place.
For example, there’s nothing stopping you from posting content and running the occasional sponsored post from time to time. In fact, doing so can actually reduce your paid investment in social media marketing.
Big brands such as Airbnb are noted for doing exactly that, regularly posting user-submitted photos of their awesome travel destinations...
…while also running some of the best social ads in the game.
12. Squeeze a Higher ROI Out of Your Content Strategy
Given that 60% of brands struggle with content creation and distribution, anything that allows you to expand the reach of your posts is a plus.
As highlighted below by Vegemite, you can get more bang for your buck in terms of content creation and distribution by publishing your content across multiple channels. Doing so is totally common and ensures you can as many eyes on your content as possible.
13. You Don’t Need a Bloated Budget
Finally, social marketing doesn’t require you to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars to see success.
Sure, some smaller brands or startups might get away with a totally free and organic strategy.
However, there’s no denying that social media is becoming more of a “pay to play” channel year over year as evidenced by the updated Facebook algorithm and boom of social ads.
But either way, the barrier to entry is relatively low. A hybrid strategy that includes organic content and paid promotion represents the best of both worlds for most brands out there.
And with that, we’ve wrapped up our list!
How Much Are You Investing in Social Media?
There is no “right” answer in terms of how much to spend on social media marketing, as long as you’re investing something.
The fact remains that as social spending rise and platforms continue to evolve, those who have a strong handle on paid promotion are more likely to outperform those who are just winging it. No matter what sort of business you’re running, adopting a paid strategy is a smart move to maximize the reach of your future campaigns.
Subscribe to Hello Social’s blog posts and newsletter: