"It's essential that you have a clear idea of why you're using social media. Most business owners haven't clearly defined why they are using it or what it will accomplish for them."
- Nancy Marmolejo, National Association of Sales Professionals
Common wisdom states that your business needs to be on social.
What can social do for your business that traditional advertising and search engine traffic cannot?
Broadly speaking, there are three benefits that social media holds for any business.
1. Finding Your Market
67% of global Internet users engage on at least one social media platform. If your company isn't engaged on social, that means you're missing out on a huge swathe of potential customers.
Customers use social for everything - to keep up with friends, learn the news, and most importantly for you, find other content of interest and value to them.
Social media for business is all about:
* Growing your reach
* Building your influence and authority
* Connecting with your marketplace.
In the world of social, your reach is often amplified.
The more people you engage with your content, the more people will share that content with their own networks. The people in your network will be spreading your message to their network for you.
In addition, social media offers you a new way in which to communicate with leads both new and old. People increasingly prefer to communicate through social media, and your business needs to part of that conversation.
2. Amplifying Your Voice
"It's virtually impossible to employ a successful organic search optimization effort without a robust social content or social presence. These social signals have eclipsed signals like links."
- Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing
As your network grows, so will the trust that your market has in you. That trust can serve to build your following, increase your sales leads, and increase your conversion rates.
The authority you gain through social media can help your own search engine ranking, as this increased authority attracts more links to your site and your content.
Your presence on social media helps keep your company in front of your customers' eyes on a regular basis. This reminds them of who you are, what you do, and that you are a leader in your field.
Positive customer experiences, the day to day inside your company, and regular content that adds value to the lives of those in your marketplace help keep your company at the front of your customers' minds.
Through the strength of the relationship you build with them, they'll be primed to utilize your company the moment they require your services.
The trust you build has a secondary benefit.
Not only is it driving sales, but when jobs open at your company there are already people excited to work for you. By investing in your presence on social, you can save on recruitment costs when you are hiring.
3. Targeting Your Advertising
Social media platforms offer you a remarkable insight into your market. As you build your social media presence, you build a deep well of information about your customers.
Each social platform offers their own version of paid advertisements, and you can leverage the analytic data they provide to ensure your ads are effective. Your ads can be micro-focused to ensure that they end up in front of the exact people most likely to engage with your business.
Targeting in this way allows you to direct people to your website from social with greater efficiency.
You also benefit on search. As social helps your site move up through the ranks on search engines, you also gain from an increasing amount of highly-targeted search traffic. These visitors are interested in your content and your products, and can be a rich source of potential customers.
"You gotta love spending 30 seconds posting to Facebook and then watch 500 to 1,000 or more visitors hit your site. That's awesome and it's free."
- Jon Dykstra, FAT Stacks Entrepreneur
For many business, social can feel tedious and like it's not worth your time in the beginning.
Once you make that commitment, however, and invest the proper time and resources, the snowballing effects will quickly appear and make it all worthwhile.
Steve Shaw is the founder of vWriter.com, helping businesses "Be Everywhere" through the power of content. Grab a free copy of his Content Authority Formula, the proven formula that builds your authority, influence and visibility across the web: https://www.vwriter.com/caf