Social media has revolutionised the way that people do business, maybe even more so than the telephone ever did.

Every day, we find new and potentially better ways to incorporate social media into our daily lives, and this doesn’t go unnoticed by most of the networks we use. To keep up with user demands, all of the platforms need to constantly evolve. If they weren’t continually developing enhancements and improvements, they would quickly lose their relevance in today’s marketing world, leading to users losing interest.

This bodes well for businesses that plan to use, or are already using, social media as part of their marketing strategy. Social media for business is growing more popular – just as it has for individuals. Even though some people still consider social media for business to be a passing trend, most of us know better by now.

The following statistics show how social usage is continuing to grow:

• In the UK alone, there are over 42 million active social media users. (WeAreSocial)
• 85% of people rely on Twitter and Facebook for their morning news. (HootSuite)

This statistic is very important:

• 40% of UK adults say it’s very or somewhat important that companies they purchase from have a strong social media presence. (HootSuite)

So, what is it that makes social media for business so appealing? With so many businesses using social media for marketing already, there must be plenty of good reasons.

Here are three of the best reasons why businesses need social media:

1. Social media for business costs less than traditional marketing

Traditional marketing often requires a sizable budget for printing marketing brochures or hiring people to make phone calls. Many businesses are learning that marketing through social media, by comparison, costs much less – at least monetarily.

2. Social media for business provides brands with more exposure and awareness

As noted above, people are joining social media at nearly astronomical rates, and those numbers seem to be growing on a daily basis. The brands that are regularly engaging and interacting with their followers on social media have advantages over the others that aren’t.

Social media for business can lead to efficient “word of mouth” marketing, and provide benefit to brands in the forms of increased traffic to their websites and more leads generated, for example.

3. Social media offers efficient and cost-effective networking and communication for businesses of all sizes

Social media makes it easy to network with anyone in the world, at any time of day. Virtual meetings and communications will never completely replace face-to-face interactions; however, they do have plenty of other benefits, including saved time and money.

4. Social media could boost your website’s SEO

Search engine crawlers know which pages are consistently earning traffic and which are just floating out there, forgotten and ignored. A killer content strategy for SEO is the most important part of earning top spots in search engine rankings, but driving traffic to your optimised pages will cause them to climb much faster in the search engine results pages (SERPs.)

5. Social media presence needs to be strong to build brand loyalty

Going back to the statistic I found on HootSuite:

• 40% of UK adults say it’s very or somewhat important that companies they purchase from have a strong social media presence.

40% of UK adults are not the majority; however that is still nearly half of the UK population. A lot of people will not buy from your company, unless you have an online presence, so it’s worth building up that presence as it can lead to sales. Having an active social media profile will get your business a lot more loyal customers. It’s easy to imagine why: when you’re engaging and interacting on social media, you become less like a corporation and more like what or who you truly are.

There are only five of dozens of reasons why businesses need social media in today’s digital world. From increasing awareness of a business to developing relationships with potential clients to selling products or services – it has become essential for success.

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