If you go out for a meal and don’t post it to Instagram, do the calories still count?

A lot of things have changed in business thanks to social media, yet at its core, every form of digital marketing is simply a tool for businesses and people to do something we have always done: communicate.

The difference is, there’s huge potential for businesses that local, traditional methods and in-your-face cold sales techniques could never reach. With the right message, you can transform that potential into success.

Here’s a breakdown of some key elements that make social media so important to businesses.

Social Media Gives You Control

Advertising slots in magazines and television were long-coveted for good reason.

Associating your business with the right emotional pull is essential. Placing your goods, services, or offer in front of the people in the right context can be a shortcut to expressing your brand values. For example, the readers of a vegan, gluten-free and ethical magazine would expect and associate the food advertised inside to be appropriate for their lifestyle.

Today, you can create that context on social media through hashtags, influencer marketing, out-of-this-world personalised and targeted advertising, and even search engine results. It’s cheaper, easier to measure, faster to produce, and gives you more control. The trick is to get the context right.

Social media marketing puts the power of building rapport in your own hands. You don’t need to wait for an advertising slot. You can reach and build your community through your own content, your own way.

Social Media Saves Time and Money

Although advertising doesn’t always cost a jaw-dropping $175,000 per second (like for 2019’s Super Bowl), ‘good’ and ‘cheap’ don’t mix when it comes to advertising slots. Even traditional “direct” marketing can be a massive shot in the dark. (Let’s just say, on Facebook you’re unlikely to accidentally send your message to the wrong address.)

The power to target content, and particularly ads, to a very specific audience, allows you to measure and track what works. Even better, social media’s short half-life gives you the ability to pivot and evolve. Analytics can be measured multiple times a day, 24/7, to give your business the information it needs to know what works and what needs to change. Unlike a ‘test’ audience that you might use for traditional media, the data you get through social media is real.

Either your audience is buying, or it’s not.

With the right strategy, social media makes marketing more efficient than the long data-cycle of traditional media, saving both time and money.

Content Won’t Work Without It

Think you can just pop out a blog and be done? Digital marketing—get ready for a buzzword —works as an ecosystem. Just like a plant needs sun, water, and the right nutrients in the soil, your business needs a healthy balance of content. Social media is essential for sharing your message – blogs, videos, images, and more – with a wider audience.

Without social media, your content would be like a shopping mall without any roads, signs, or parking lot. No one will find it, no matter how good it is.

That means missing out on search engine results and other essential exposure.

When businesses ignore social media, they waste the investment made into content production.

Remember, digital marketing is like a virtual storefront for your business.

Social Media Goes Both Ways

Online, the conversation goes both ways. For your audience, it’s an instant and easily accessible way to talk to you no matter where you are. The conversation doesn’t even need your audience, customer or client to come and speak to you directly.

Social media mentions and monitoring involve keeping track of who is talking about you, when they talk about you, and what they’re saying. KFC’s new fries campaign is a brilliant example of how social media mentions, even bad ones, can drive change.

Through social media and your online community, you can judge sentiment about your brand, find common themes to help you improve your business, immediately answer questions, and respond to current events faster than any other platform allows. (Oreo’s #BlackOut response is a classic.)

Whether B2B or B2C, social media marketing gives businesses control, saves time and money, and creates a two-way conversation.

Social media is not just important to business, it’s essential. Make it count.

If you’re interested in finding out how Social INK can help your business, don’t hesitate to reach out here.

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Anna Simmonds
Anna Simmonds

Anna, Head of Social, knows her beans when it comes to social media. She keeps her finger on the social pulse, funnelling her knowledge and experience into creating engaging social media campaigns. She’s also pretty decent with a camera and Photoshop.