What advantages do social media platforms offer to businesses? Think about the fact that there are already more than 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide.

If social media isn’t a part of your digital marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a quick, affordable, and efficient way to connect with roughly half of the world’s population.

1. Increase brand awareness

Just by having an active presence on social media, you’re unlocking a whole new platform to advertise your business. With more and more businesses taking their presence online, it’s important to stay relevant and up to date with what’s happening in your industry. With so many active daily users on social media platforms, you would be missing out on increasing your brand awareness by not having an online presence.

2. Humanize your brand

Whether your goal is to increase your blog’s readership, sell a product, or offer a service, you must first establish trust. In addition to learning the “why” behind what your brand is doing, your audience wants to learn more about your company as a whole and the individuals that work there.

We all like being able to see how businesses operate and who is in charge of them, especially before we part with our hard-earned cash. By being transparent, a brand is perceived as human rather than a faceless company. Put a face to a name and establish connections around concepts that people can relate to and believe in to humanize your brand.

3. Stay top of mind

Social media can be a powerful sales tool – If you are consistent, it will benefit you in the long run. Your goal on social media is to stay top of mind until your prospect becomes a client.

Here are five ways to use social media to stay in people’s minds:

  • Publish consistently

  • Share educational content

  • Interact with others on the platform

  • Create content that encourages interaction

  • Make video content

4. Increase website traffic and generate leads

By providing your audience with valuable information and engaging with them, you increase your chances of converting some into leads or directing them onto your website where they can find more information about your business. Through doing so, this will also improve the visibility and ranking of your website.

5. Source content

Not only is social media a great way to find ideas for interesting content, it’s also a great way to get user generated content specific to your business. It has been found that 4 in 5 consumers are strongly influenced by user generated content (UGC) in their shopping decisions.

Whether you’re selling a product or service, encouraging your customers to share a post using your product or sharing their experience can extend the reach of your brand to their audience and help build trust, but it can also give you the opportunity to reshare their content to your audience too.

Some popular UGC formats include:

  • Reviews and testimonials

  • Video content

  • Social media posts and stories

6. Learn more about your audience

Social media platforms offer audience insight tools and analytics which allow you to research opportunities for your business and gain a better understanding of who is engaging with your content. You can also see which content is reaching your audience and generating the most engagement.

A key component of successful social media marketing is narrowing down your audience, as doing so will help you determine where to invest your time and money in order to connect with more of the right people.

Keep in mind that a big part of social media is brand awareness. Someone might scroll through a post from you in their newsfeed and days later, they might look up your page or website to locate the details or find out more.