5 ways social media marketing benefits stretch beyond sales


Savvy small business owners are getting adept at using social media marketing to boost sales. (If you want a great overview of the major social media platforms you can leverage, check out this infographic.)

However, there are social media marketing benefits that go beyond immediate sales. It’s important that you understand the big picture of social media marketing so you can use its attributes in the best ways to improve your small business.

1. Boost your business’ value

When a company is bought and sold, and even when investors decide to buy a stock, they need to consider the “intrinsic” value of the business. A Coca-Cola bottling plant would have a higher value than an Acme Cola bottling plant, even if they had the same machinery in the same size building sitting on a piece of land of equal value.

The Coca-Cola brand has intrinsic value.

A strong presence in the social media, with lots of followers and fans, will make your small business more valuable than a similar small business with a paltry social media presence.

2. Improve customer insights

If you keep an eye on which of your posts resonate with your followers and which fall flat on their face, you’ll start understanding your customers and prospects better.

One of the most important things to do with any social media marketing effort is to make sure that it aligns with your customer persona. If it doesn’t, then something needs to change: either you’re drawing the wrong fans into your social media world, or your business needs to tweak its products or services.

3. Improve customer service

When you’re attentive to your social media channels they can be used to greatly improve your customer service. You’ll find that many customers voice their problems on social media before they’ll try to contact you through more traditional means. In fact, sometimes you may pick up a minor complaint and be able to handle it before it becomes a major problem.

Both Facebook and Twitter have proved to be useful for social media customer service. Twitter has some advantages; you can use it for private messaging and therefore take your conversation out of the public’s view.

Social media “listening” is important for customer service and for improving insights into your customers. Simon Tam has a good rundown of some free social listening services and sites in this Huffington Post article. (Topsy, by the way, is no longer with us.)

4. Become an Influencer

If you’re like most small businesses you’re the brand and your social media marketing can, in the long run, greatly enhance your position in your industry and/or community. This benefit of social media marketing will open doors for you.

Others on social media will turn to you (or your social media posts) for advice and therefore reposting. You will be able to leverage your status to give you access to new ventures and you might be able to eventually build a business or income stream through your personal brand.

5. Improve your SEO

When you do a good job on the social media platforms, others pick up your good work and repeat it. Also, when you promote a content marketing item through your social media channels, if it’s good, others will link to it from their websites. This gives you the oh-so-coveted backlinks that improve your ranking on search engines.

Finally, when you’re actively engaged and committed to realizing these social media marketing benefits, you’ll find that your ability to generate sales through social media gets better as well. It’s a win-win.