The social media ecosystem is booming at an unprecedented rate. If there was ever any doubt, now it is clear that digital socializing is much more than a passing fad. The most prominent social networks have established themselves as marketing giants that are in possession of vast amounts of consumer data. Businesses across the globe have taken notice as well: They use social media to gauge customer sentiment, fine-tune their marketing tools, share content and carry out branding.

Driving force behind success

One of the most common uses of social networks involves showcasing products and services and amplifying the marketing messages. Many brands also aim at increasing website traffic or enhancing their search engine ranking by the power of social signals. Social media is an indispensable asset to anyone who aspires to build a large audience. There is also a potent synergy among websites, social accounts and blogs that can be harnessed to achieve online goals faster.

Customer acquisition and retention

Social networking is a great way to gain substantial exposure for a brand. In a nutshell, companies that have social media presence are easier to find and connect with. That is not all, because brands are in a position to deliver a human touch, build meaningful relationships and foster customer loyalty. They nurture regular interaction and customer service pulls its weight around the clock. All of this has a positive impact on spreading brand awareness and boosting customer retention.

Lead generation and sales spike

Major social hubs are also used to generate leads. Twitter is deemed to be the best in terms of lead generation, especially for B2B organizations, although other platforms bring a slew of benefits as well. It is the quality – not just the sheer number of leads – that matters. Many companies have managed to identify key decision makers and influencers and uncover new business opportunities. Ultimately, they are empowered to increase the sales and reinforce the bottom line.

Competitive edge

Social media landscape is a fertile ground for swell customer experience and customer service excellence to grow upon. Both of these elements make or break the success of brands in a digital era and separate one company from another. Businesses are expected to deliver fast response times and stellar customer service around the clock. What is more, consumers are used to their daily portions of social content and want brands to come up with it on a regular basis.

The power of data

Listening to what people are talking about is another crucial aspect of socializing in the digital realm. Social networks generate huge amounts of data about customers in real time. Just take the example of 500 million daily Tweets and 4.5 billion Facebook likes. These are not just some staggering numbers, but also valuable insights about user preferences and behavior. Therefore, through social listening and active engagement, it is possible to gather relevant data, make informed decisions and step up the business game.

Targeted advertising

Another benefit of social media comes in the form of targeted advertising. Namely, social ads pose an affordable tactic to promote products and services as well as to distribute content. Thanks to versatile targeting options, one can reach a niche audience and overcome hurdles in the area of advertising, such as general mistrust or ad blockers. On networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, brands may target ads according to the location, age, behavior, interest, demographics, etc.

Up the ante

Social media is no longer an optional strategy. It represents an invaluable platform that encourages companies to go beyond sales pitches and traditional advertising. They are under pressure to set aside immediate avail and create a real dialogue, enrich relationships with customers, and add value to their lives. In the process, brands are also able to acquire a wealth of information about the clients, competition and the market. Hence, in this day and age, social is the name of the game for anyone seeking to grow, promote and expand the business.

Posted by Keith Coppersmith

Keith is an Adelaide based business journalist with a degree in Media Management. He enjoys writing and providing insight into the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.