does social media marketing work

If your company already has a website, you might wonder why you also need a social media page. Maybe you think your customers aren’t on social media. But with over a billion social media users worldwide, chances are slim that your customers aren’t among them. And your future customers? They certainly will be.

But does social media marketing work? Once you understand why you should be on social media and understand the pros and cons, the answer will become obvious.

Why should your company use social media as part of its  marketing plan?

Being on social media allows you to engage with current and future customers. People who use your products or services can easily interact with you and potential customers get a peek at your brand and what you have to offer. And engaging with your customer adds value to your brand—customers are said to spend 20 to 40 percent more money with companies who respond to customer service requests over social media.

Second, social media marketing broadens your company’s reach. The reach of social networking sites is extremely high, so finding new customers is simple. You’ll be amazed what happens when you tweet or post discounts to new friends or followers.

Third, it heightens your company’s visibility. What would have been a customer service call in the past is now an interaction on social media. So your attempt to make a disgruntled customer happy? Social media users will take notice and share their positive impression of your company online. And the beauty of word of mouth advertising is that it costs you nothing.

What do customers want?

Customers want the companies they connect with to have an attractive social channel, and they prefer smart company accounts that have a strong personality. Interactive social channels are also important. Customers want to be able to converse with companies so their needs can be addressed.

The pros and cons

Just as there are two side to every coin, social media marketing can be advantageous or disastrous for a business. The negative effects come when companies jump into multiple social media streams without actually analyzing the requirements (which are normally based on things like customer types, purchasing habits, and channel usage frequency). And even though it’s easy to join social media, it’s difficult to sustain a presence there.

Despite the potential downside, 54 percent of salespeople report sealing business deals as a direct result of social media marketing. This is why marketing organizations need to recognize social media marketing as a powerful channel for new leads and take action.

Because if your customers aren’t already on social media, they will be soon. Better be ready when they arrive.