The best answers to "Why do I need a social media strategy?"

Our Social Specialist answers the age-old question of why you (yes, even you) need a social media strategy.

Written by Tom Cross
Social media |   5 minute read

Working in social media and digital marketing for so many years, I’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about social media. One of the biggest? Social media isn’t a marketing necessity, but more of a nice-to-have. 

Although the ROI of social media activity is sometimes hard to prove, there are many other types of benefits a social media strategy can offer your business, including: 

Branding

If you have a brand, then social media should be your best friend. There’s no other type of platform that allows you to successfully showcase your brand and its unique personality while promoting products and engaging with people directly.

You need a strategy to make sure your brand actually reaches the right people on social media. 

Marketers agree, too. 73% of marketers believe in the effectiveness of social media for their businesses. 

Creativity flourishes on social media. No single platform is like social media in that you can have images, text, videos, stories, live streams and conversations that communicate your brand strongly and clearly all in one place. Don’t let all of your efforts and creativity fall onto the timelines of people who aren't your target audience. 

Through social media, you can tell your brand’s story (your key component in attracting consumers) in multiple ways. And, because the world of social media is so fast-paced, there’ll always be new ways to attract more potential customers and tell this story.

Although this fast pace may scare you away from having a strategy at all, it’s better to have a strategy and adjust it after research, instead of forgoing one altogether. 

Analysis

If you were to pay for a billboard or radio advert, could you be sure of how many people came across your marketing efforts? Would you be able to pinpoint precisely how many of these audience members then converted? 

All forms of digital marketing are unique in that you can track their success using highly specific data. From this, you can fine-tune your marketing to better fit what your data shows your audience does or doesn’t like. 

“Sure,” I hear you say. “But I can get these kinds of stats from my website, too!” In fairness, this isn’t incorrect. 

From website analytics, you can see what pages and pieces of content are most visited, how many people convert or download your resources and which pages have a high drop off or bounce rate. But, if you can’t track what exact piece of marketing made those visitors decide to visit your website, you’re not gaining as much insight into your visitors as you may think.

For that, you'll need a platform that allows you to gain all of these valuable insights. This will let you find out exactly how much of a role your social media strategy played in content success.

Without a strategy, defining the types of content you’re posting for tracking and analysis is difficult. Strategies allow you to purposefully create content with specific language and visual choices, covering certain topics and relating intentionally to campaigns you’re running.

Reach 

All other forms of marketing - physical or digital - have the potential for massive amounts of reach when done well. If you put up a billboard in a busy location, thousands of people will pass it. If you place an advert on TV around the time weeknight game shows are running, you’ll get your message in front of millions of eyes.

But no other kind of marketing can be shared the way social media marketing can. If you have no plan for what you'll post or target your ideal audience, how will you achieve this success? 

Globally, 3.6 billion people use social media and that number is rising annually. Who would overlook a marketing strategy when using one unlocks this kind of reach potential? 

We live in an age of information overload. And your audience is a part of that constant content distribution machine. If your audience sees something from you that they like on social media, two things can happen: 

  1. They engage with it via comment, like or share. This means the social platform will rate your post highly and show it to other people who may not follow you but have similar interests to your existing audience. 
  2. When they share your posts themselves, their connections will see and engage too. In turn, these connections may follow you or visit your website. At the very least, you’ve been exposed to a wider audience and that’s great for overall brand awareness. 

These outcomes can lead to more website visitors and if your website is up to scratch, more conversions.

Additionally, it’s much easier for consumers to recommend you to friends or family members via social media. 71% of customers who’ve had a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend them to others. 

All it takes is one tag in the comments section of a post and if a customer has had a good experience with you before, they can become advocates for your brand with minimal effort needed on their part. 

Social media is the perfect place to not only create an amazing customer experience through being engaging and helpful; it’s a key place to reap the benefits of this stellar customer service too. Talk about expanding your reach. 

Increasing traffic 

91% of people who follow a brand on social media will visit their website. But what exactly does that achieve?

The more people who land on your website, the higher your chances are of converting more visitors. 

The more frequently visited and popular your website, the better your SEO ranking. This depends on your bounce rate, assuming you have an engaging website that will capture a visitor’s interest and encourage them to stay awhile and explore.

You can also expect your SEO ranking to thank you for the social media-led traffic increase. 

From the analytics on your website, you can find parallels between which kind of posts are most popular and what pages on your website are most popular. This way, you can hone in on your audience’s real interests. 

Do they click a social post about a product-related blog and then visit a page on your site that hosts reviews? Maybe they click a link to read a case study? Many of your visitors might then find themselves reading a related blog you’ve linked on the case study profile.

Comparing and contrasting your social media audience’s activity and behaviour and your website visitors give you a more honest and complex insight into your consumer.

Information and questions 

As I mentioned earlier, we live in something of a golden age of information. We have an endless 25/8 stream of information coming out of our phone laptops, TVs and the people around us. 

Why is this? 

The accessibility of information is only half of the culprit of this phenomenon. Ultimately, it all comes down to the fact human beings are curious, ambitious and never satisfied. We’re hungry for knowledge and want to learn. And the same is true regarding the products or services we’re considering spending our hard-earned money on. 

54% of social media browsers use social platforms to research products.

Answering consumer questions, sharing information and highlighting why you're the better choice over your competitors has never been easier, thanks to social media. 

Anecdotally, I can tell you people often skip the process of looking for the answers to their questions on search engines and go straight to asking brands via social media. And why wouldn’t they? For them, it's easier, quicker and they can share images and links relevant to their questions in real-time, either to a real human or a helpful bot. 

Social media content has been the top trend in marketing for several years now, which is expected to continue. So to make the most of your social media this year, you need a strategy. 

Although social plays a huge role, your marketing strategy is about more than just social media. That's why we’ve created a helpful resource to help you get the best results from your marketing.  

From social to SEO, we've covered everything you need to know when it comes to a succesful marketing strategy. Click below to grab your copy. 

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