From individuals being the main users, companies and corporations are jumping in to experience the effects of social media. The productization of social media is snowballing and knowing the benefits will sway more to join this marketing trend. Below are 7 benefits in having your own social media presence.

A lot of people are on social media.

More than a billion people use social networking sites. This is more or less 70% of the Internet population. The number of social network users around the world will rise from 1.47 billion in 2012 to 1.73 billion this year, an 18% increase. By 2017, the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion . For businesses, this means that you can target more people with your products and services. Compared to traditional marketing, the scope of social media is very wide, even reaching people on the road via their mobile phones and tablets.

Directly connect to your target audience much easier.

Understanding how to target you specific audience is an important factor in marketing. In social media, you can specifically know where your customers spend their time, three recent research studies show active Internet users spend anywhere from 16% to nearly 25% of their online time on social networks . Once inside the social networks, you can play various metrics and statistics to further pin point the desired market. Do note that these techniques are also available offline to be used in traditional marketing but social media makes things much easier.

Reach customers that traditional marketing misses.

In just a few clicks you can reach millions of people worldwide. The scope of social media is so large that it can give you potential customers that traditional marketing can’t or will have a hard time reaching. When you post something on your social media channels, you’ll never know who will direct a friend to your blog, Facebook page or Twitter account. The potential for acquiring new leads is unlimited.

Build brand loyalty.

With social media, businesses can now interact to their consumers easily and cheaper compared to old-school marketing. Twitter is an ideal form of this interaction. The flow of short bursts of information can encourage customers to remain brand loyal. A 2012 study in the Journal of Marketing demonstrated that brand loyalty can stem strongly from word of mouth, which is something at which Twitter excels . Because of this, businesses can take advantage of Twitter’s ability to rapidly spread information whether it is through retweets or mentioning a company in a tweet. Constant interaction is needed in order to build proper brand loyalty and awareness.

Starbucks is one of most powerful brand on Twitter today . They’re a good example on how to build brand loyalty. When you browse through their timeline, it can be noted that they reply mostly to individual tweets of customers. In its simplest, they know how to engage with their consumers so the loyalty remains. They listen to what their market are saying and they give feedback.

Fast feedback.

You can get input from your market very quickly via social media. The number of social media users is in the millions and even if only a small percentage is able to give you feedback, this can amount to thousands of data in an instant. With this, you’ll get a wide array of respondents from different demographics in a very quick time.
This can be very useful if you need input in a minor decision. An example would be asking an audience if your website design is too cluttered. Questions about our inner workings should be avoided. But for minor things, social media is a great way to get fast feedback. Your social media can serve as your own personal focus group that can give you quick feedback.

Study your target market easily.

Twitter and Facebook offer a variety of ways to analyze trends and conduct market research. Businesses can easily gain insight and see what customers are talking about in real time and view emerging trends. An example is the hashtag. Companies can view certain hashtags related to their company and see how consumers interact with it.
Since a lot of people are now using social media, this makes it possible to conduct market research with an audience that is larger than any other marketing or media source can provide. The casual environment of social media also helps loosen up the participants, promoting better user interaction, engagement and participation. The end result is accurate and honest data from the research.

Cost-effective.

A normal marketing campaign will generally involve TV, radio or print. Advertising for these channels can cost a lot. And sometimes, the effort is wasted (switching radio or tv channels when the commercial shows).
Social media is much cheaper that traditional means since it’s nearly free (compared to traditional marketing) and it is available every time online. Creating a page on a social media site costs nothing. You can avail of premium offers but that is not necessary to make your campaign work. The availability of the web can’t be compared to traditional marketing. Hardcopy prints will eventually be destroyed, but your online creations can last forever online.
Despite social media’s young age, it is becoming an important part of the modern marketing mix. It has become imperative for businesses that want to create buzz around their products and services. The importance of social media in today’s landscape is indisputable. Keep in mind though that social media is not the only strategy to use in marketing, it is just a part of the equitation that has great benefits. Building a brand has never been so important as today and social media has allowed all businesses to have a say.