Want to learn more about the benefits of social media? You’re in the right place.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a brand that isn’t at least somewhat active on social media right now.
But while most businesses recognize that they should have a social media presence, many couldn’t tell you why it’s so important, or exactly what social media can do for their brand in both the short and long term.
With that in mind, we’re going to be looking at some of the top social media benefits for businesses and content creators in this post.
We’ll start by exploring some of the most obvious benefits and how you can unleash them for your business. Then, we’ll move on to some lesser-known benefits that are often overlooked.
Ready? Let’s get started
1. Boost brand awareness
Over half the world’s population—and over 90% of all internet users—are active on social media. So naturally, your potential reach on social media is greater than pretty much any other marketing channel.
It’s no wonder, then, that boosting brand awareness is the number one reason marketers use social media.
As long as you get your social media marketing strategy right, you can get your brand in front of hundreds of thousands of new potential customers and significantly improve brand awareness and recall. And that boost in brand awareness can translate to more sales and revenue for your business later down the line.
Here’s a case study that illustrates just how big of an impact a good social media marketing strategy can have on brand awareness.
The Museum Of English Rural Life is a museum in Reading that explores the history of the English countryside. Not exactly a particularly memorable or exciting brand, right?
But thanks to some clever social media marketing by social editor Adam Koszary, it’s become a familiar name to hundreds of thousands of social media users and racked up over 150k followers on Twitter. You might remember this viral Tweet from them, which received over 100k likes:
Try creating your own funny or interesting social posts that have the potential to go viral. And if they do, you should see an instant uplift in brand awareness.
2. Generate leads
Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate new leads for your business. You can use social networking sites to get potential customers into your funnel and then nurture them until they’re ready to convert.
There are even ads specifically designed to help you generate qualified leads. For example, you can send out targeted Facebook Leads Ads, which users can click to automatically fill out a lead collection form.
Aside from lead ads, you can try using your social media posts to drive traffic to your email opt-in page. Or use chatbots to automatically collect leads when users message your brand on social media.
To maximize the success of your social lead generation campaigns, consider using a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a marketing tool in which you offer some sort of useful resource or incentive in exchange for a prospect’s contact details, like an exclusive discount or free download.
3. Drive website traffic
Social media posts and ads can be a great way to drive traffic to your website or key landing pages. If this is your goal, it’s worth using UTM tracking tags to see which of your visits are coming through each social channel.
If you’re focusing on Instagram, you won’t be able to add links to your site in your posts—only in your bio.
The problem is that you can only add one link in your Instagram bio. So if you’re hoping to run multiple campaigns in tandem and drive traffic to several different web pages in your posts, you’ll need a workaround.
That’s why many creators create a custom landing page to house links to all the pages and products they promote in their Instagram posts, and then link to that page in their bio. This is exactly what influencer Zach King has done:
4. Promote your content
Social media marketing works hand-in-hand with your wider content marketing strategy.
When you write a new blog post, create a new infographic, drop a new podcast, or upload a new video, you can share it on social media to drive an initial influx of traffic and build some momentum.
That’s what we do for our most important content at Blogging Wizard. Here’s an example:
Since this post is the logical first step for new bloggers to check out, we also keep it pinned to the top of our Twitter profile.
5. Build backlinks & boost SEO
Sharing your content on social media doesn’t just help drive traffic to it—it can also help your content to rank faster, and boost its organic visibility.
It’s not clear whether or not social signals—like likes, shares, and comments—are direct ranking factors (though they may well be)
But what is clear is that social media can indirectly boost SEO by helping you to drive some initial traffic to your content and thus generate on-page SEO signals like dwell time, which experts are pretty sure are ranking factors.
Not only that, but you can also use social media as a link building channel by sharing your content with influencers and bloggers in your space, in the hopes they’ll share it with their audience and link back to your domain. And the more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your content should rank.
6. Humanize your brand
Consumers these days look for authenticity in their brands. They don’t want to shop from faceless, hyper-professional corporations— they want to shop from businesses that they identify with on a personal level.
Social media offers a unique opportunity to humanize your brand. By sharing funny, relatable posts you can create more personal connections with your customers while showcasing your brand values.
Supermarket chain Aldi offers the perfect example of this. You might remember their viral Colin vs Cuthbert Tweet saga, in which they shared hilarious memes on Twitter, poking fun at their rivals M&S for taking legal action after M&S accused Aldi of ‘copying’ its Colin the Caterpillar product:
Their series of Tweets accumulated hundreds of thousands of likes and led to a 2000%+ increase in the brand’s engagement rate on Twitter. But that wasn’t the brand’s biggest win.
The biggest win was that they successfully humanized their brand and gained public favor through their use of light-hearted humor, while simultaneously de-humanizing their biggest rivals and making them seem like a heartless corporation by comparison.
7. Crowdsource user-generated content (UGC)
One benefit of social media that businesses often overlook is its usefulness for curating content. You can run a UGC (user-generated content) campaign to generate tons of free content about your brand or products, which you can then use in your wider marketing campaigns.
For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you could run a hashtag competition on Instagram asking customers to share snaps wearing your products. Not only does this help to generate a buzz around your brand, but it also gets your product in front of potentially millions of people. And you can pick out the best photos and use them in your marketing materials.
It doesn’t have to be photos either. Semrush recently ran a UGC contest on Twitter and offered users of their SEO tool the chance to win up to $5k by sharing their success stories.
Again, there were multiple benefits of this campaign. First, it encouraged more users to use Semrush tools. Secondly, it generated social media engagement and helped build a buzz around the brand. Thirdly, it helped them gather feedback about the ways people use Semrush tools.
And finally, it gave them a bunch of real-life case studies from customers who’d used their products successfully. They could potentially use these case studies as social proof on their website to attract more customers.
8. Use it as a recruitment channel
Many brands see social media purely as a marketing channel. But it can also be used to support other business departments, such as in Human Resources (HR) for talent acquisition.
Social media is a fantastic place to source talented employees and can help you to reach candidates that you might not have been able to reach through traditional job ads. LinkedIn is particularly suitable for this as its a social network build specifically for professionals.
Remember when Musk issued a call for Tesla staff who were working from home to either come back into office or resign earlier this year?
Well, rival tech and engineering companies were quick to snap up all those talented employees who chose to jump ship via social media.
For example, Amazon Web Services recruiting leader Zafar Choudhury wrote this in a now-deleted post on LinkedIn in reference to Musk’s ambitions to colonize Mars:
“If the Emperor of Mars doesn’t want you, I’ll be happy to bring you over to #AWS”
9. Conduct market research
You can use social media to gather insights into your target market and discover new trends.
For example, tools like BuzzStream let you look for trending content on social media. You can use the insights you gather about what type of content generates the most engagement to inform both your content and social media marketing strategy.
You can also use social media to keep an eye on your competitors. Competitive analysis tools can help you to reverse engineer their social media strategies and find out what’s working and what’s not.
And of course, you can use social media analytics and reporting tools to see the impact of your own social media activities. Then, you can use these insights to prove ROI to your investors, stakeholders, or other key parties.
10. Deliver excellent customer service
Social media platforms are quickly replacing email and phone as the go-to customer support channels for customers.
Your customer service team can use social media to communicate with customers, provide support, and resolve complaints and queries more quickly and efficiently than many other channels.
And the great thing about offering customer care through social media is that it can generate positive word-of-mouth referrals for your brand.
If a customer is already interacting with your brand on social media when you deliver an excellent customer experience, they’re more likely to share that experience there and then with their friends.
There are lots of ways to provide better customer service through social media. For example, you could set up a Facebook Messenger where you receive and respond to support queries.
Or you could set up a support page on Twitter and invite users to @mention you for help, then reply in the comments, like Wix:
If you’re going to be communicating with customers across multiple social media channels, it makes sense to use a social media inbox tool to keep things organized. That way, your customer service team can manage interactions across all your brand accounts and pages from one unified dashboard.
11. Manage your reputation
Social media can also help with reputation management.
You can use a social media monitoring tool like Agorapulse to ‘listen in’ on conversations about your brand across all the major social media platforms and find out whether people are talking positively or negatively about your brand.
That way, you’ll be able to keep track of your brand sentiment.
And when someone posts a social media comment that poses a threat to your reputation, you can respond quickly to mitigate the damage, just like McDonalds have done here:
Some social media monitoring tools will automatically notify you if a sudden change in brand sentiment is detected. So if people suddenly start complaining about your product or service en-masse, you can look into the issue and fix it before it gets out of hand.
12. Boost sales & revenue
You can use social media to drive sales and boost your business revenues.
One of the best ways to drive sales through social media is by leveraging influencer marketing to showcase and promote your products.
For example, car brand Subaru increased their sales by 10% in 2016. And influencer marketing no doubt contributed to that growth. In their Meet an Owner campaign, they worked with over a dozen influencers in different niches, who each created content promoting Subaru cars in fun and creative ways.
For example, Instagram influencer Zach King released a video where he tried to impress his date by giving her a ride in a Subaru, with some cool visual effects.
This video alone has been viewed nearly 10 million times to date—that’s a lot of promotional value for Subaru.
13. Discover partnership opportunities
Another one of the biggest social media benefits is that it can open up the door to new partnership opportunities.
You can use influencer research tools to discover users with a large following in your target audience, and then partner with them to promote your brand.
And it’s not just influencers. You can also use social media to discover potential brand partnerships and build lasting relationships with other businesses.
14. Share updates and brand news
Certain social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, are perfect for sharing press releases and updates about your brand.
For example, if you’ve just launched a new product, you can put out an announcement on your social channels to help gain some traction. Or if there’s been a major change rolled out to one of your products, you can let your customers know about it through social media.
This is especially important for SaaS brands who might need to keep customers informed about ongoing issues or outages.
For example, when Facebook (now Meta) experienced outages last year (and the world went nuts about it), they put out announcements on Twitter to keep the public informed about what was happening, which were quickly picked up and amplified by the media:
This helped mitigate some of the reputational damage caused by the outage. Customers might not have been happy that they couldn’t access Facebook-owned platforms, but at least they knew they were doing something about it and weren’t left in the dark.
15. Boost your credibility
Social media is great for building your credibility and establishing thought leadership in your niche.
This is especially important for bloggers who are hoping to establish themselves as experts in their field.
For example, digital marketing guru Neil Patel uses his Twitter page to share content and posts with useful SEO & marketing tips and industry news:
Not only does this help him drive traffic to his website content, but it also helps maintain his reputation as one of the leading voices in the digital marketing space.
16. Leverage targeted advertising
One of the biggest benefits of social media is that it allows you to set up laser-targeted advertising campaigns.
Social media platforms collect all sorts of data on their users, like their interests, demographic, browsing habits, and so on.
And while consumers might not be particularly pleased to know that social media giants hold such detailed information about them, it’s good news for advertisers because it allows us to get really granular with our PPC ads.
You can set up Facebook Ads campaigns to promote your posts out to users who are an exact match for your target buyer profile.
For example, if you’re advertising a local driving school, you can advertise your posts to users within a 10 mile radius of your service area who are in the right age range and have already registered an interest in driving lessons.
And because you only pay per click, these types of hyper-targeted campaigns tend to generate much higher ROIs (return on investment) as every click is from a qualified lead who’s more likely to be interested in what you’re selling.
17. Unlock monetization opportunities
Social media isn’t just beneficial for brands. It’s also a source of income for many full-time content creators.
If you can grow your organic following on social media, you can monetize that following and earn a ton of money through things like affiliate programs, sponsored posts, and brand partnerships.
There are thousands of influencers who have done exactly that. For example, Khabane “Khaby” Lame is one of the most popular TikTok creators.
He posts simple but hilarious Duet videos in which he reacts to life hacks, and they’ve earned him over 142 million followers to date:
He’s successfully monetized that audience and now has an estimated net worth of over $13 million.
That concludes our roundup of the top benefits of social media.
As you can see, social media is an essential marketing and communication channel for businesses of all sizes.
It has tons of benefits for brands and content creators and can help you to deliver better customer experiences, drive traffic and sales, and improve your reputation and awareness.
Ready to unleash these benefits and start leveraging social media for your business? Check out our guide on how to build a social media marketing strategy. It’ll provide a solid roadmap to help you get started.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.