Consider the scale of social media today, and the fact that Google+ has already garnered more than 90 million members in a few short months, and you can start to see a case for putting your business into the heart of social media.
Are your customers using social media? Are there B2B customers using LinkedIn? Do you have B2C customers milling about on Facebook? More than likely, no matter how obscure your vertical is. The fact remains though that there are other reasons you should focus on social media marketing besides the customers that may be there.
There are a lot of other reasons to get into social media marketing that have very little to do with directly engaging your target audience. In fact, if you were to pretend that you have no target customers directly accessible via social media, would you still have a reason to launch a social media marketing strategy?
The answer is yes, and here are several reasons why a social media marketing strategy is important even in the absence of customers.
1) Social Media Marketing affects your Search Presence
Most businesses are starting to learn the value of content marketing, and if your content marketing couldn’t get any kind of visibility in the search results then it seems like a waste of time. Social media marketing can help improve the visibility of your content to ensure that your site pages and off-site content pieces DO show up in search.
Google and other search engines are working to include social metrics in ranking and establishing relevancy for content. In fact, Google+ activity has become a staple in search results, allowing users to see how their network connections interact with content that is relevant to them. This also include Google+ status updates within the search results.
Search engines absolutely love cues from social media, because it’s one of the most editorial ranking factors for content. It seems pretty cut and dry that if a lot of people are talking about a particular topic from a certain site, then that topic must have something valuable. That type of socially shared content, spread via social media, carries a lot more weight than a random blog post with no views on some obscure website.
2) More Control over your Online Image
Social media marketing goes beyond content visibility. With a solid social media strategy, you can also control what types of pages appear in search results for branded terms, company profiles and more. From a reputation management perspective, a broad social media marketing strategy ensures that your profiles are visible in the search results. Imagine if someone conducts a Google search on you or your brand – what do they find?
If you have a social media marketing strategy in place, then more than likely the search results will not only include your company website but all of your social profiles as well. This is a great way to dominate the top search results with content you want people to find.
3) The Power of User Generated Content
According to eMarketer, 65% of users ages 18-24 consulted the information they found about brands on social networks when making a purchasing decision, and a whopping 2/3 of consumers use search engines when researching a purchasing decision according to eConsultancy. There’s a pretty good chance that your target audience is among those groups, and social media is one of the best ways to get them to produce and share content among their own networks. As Google establishes your relevancy, that user-generated content becomes a part of what people find when they search for your business, products and services online.
4) Getting the Expert Tag
But lets assume that your target audience isn’t a part of the 2/3 of consumers utilizing search engines for research. There are still other people who may find content related to you and your business on the web. This can include thought leaders, potential business partners, vendors, investors, future employees, journalists and more. These people expect to find you, and also expect to find a good deal of information about who you are and how you do business.
Social media marketing helps you establish clout an expert status in your industry. You activity on social media, even if minimal, can enhance your visibility and help align the starts for important opportunities – especially if your competitors aren’t running their own social media marketing campaign.
5) Other Companies Customers are on Social
Let’s not forget that the customers of other similar businesses are on social media. They’re research products, services, searching for better deals, and window shopping. While they’re currently doing business with a competitor, they could potentially find you through your social media marketing. The right kind of activity gets your exposure with the target audience of similar businesses. As a result, those customers begin flocking to you, especially when you can provide something of value.
If you look at the bigger picture outside of direct engagement, social media marketing helps you expand your overall reach and visibility. It’s more than just a listening post or method for promotion and engagement. It’s about controlling all aspects of your online marketing and digital marketing strategy. It’s about using every tool at your disposal to ensure that you are as visible as possible at all times.
Above all else, an active social media marketing strategy and presence will amplify the effectiveness of your other marketing strategies.