social mediaAccording to socialmediaexaminer.com, a leading authority on everything social media, a whopping 92% of marketers give a big thumbs up to online networking.

Social networks have had a major impact on our lives and is changing the way companies can connect with customers. Although social platforms were never intended to be used for commercial purposes, they do have a major role to play in company-customer interactions.

So let’s take a look at the top five most crucial benefits social media networks offer online businesses.

1. Drive traffic

Although social media is not seen as an advertising platform per se, social networkers use it to discover content. By linking your blog with your social media networks you instantly post content in your account for others to access.

Providing you are publishing great content with clickable titles, you will drive traffic to your site which helps to boost SEO. If you have a user-friendly website and excellent products, you should also expect to increase conversion rates as well.

2. Raise brand awareness

The worldwide web does exactly what it says in the title. As a result your brand name is seen by more people. And social media is an ultra-fast courier. By interacting with followers, giving advice and making intelligent comment, your brand name and expertise will be noted by more people than traditional advertising can ever hope to achieve.

3. Developed customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is important for the success of many online businesses. A core following enables you to build a strong fan base which will eventually earn you more reach.

Social media networks are arguably the best tools available for marketers to connect with customers to provide customer support and customer service. All of which of course enables you to ensure customer satisfaction.

4. Market insight

Another valuable asset social networks give you more than other marketing tools is market insight. By analysing what people are talking about and what content they are sharing, it is possible for brands to determine needs and desires of consumers.

Innovative firms can use this information to their advantage, either by filling a gap in the market with a new product, or designing a marketing campaign around an existing product that can solve a problem or benefit customers in some way.

5. Lead generation

Social media has without doubt, huge potential to improve lead generation. However, brands need to tow-the-line a little before you reach that stage. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Online consumers are not the most trusting of people. You have to earn their trust by raising your online creditability – which you can do by using social networks to provide customer support and service, even fielding complaints.

The survey shows that lead generation does work. 51% of companies that took part in the study reported increased sales as a result of a social media marketing campaign.

Although online networking can take some effort, once you work social media management into your working day, and break through the barriers, you will eventually be rewarded for your efforts. It takes time, it can be frustrating, but statistics show social media marketing does work.