Social media: 10 reasons why it is added value for companies

Pim Brans
Social media is booming and developing continuously. So it is no wonder that more and more companies are making use of social media within their online marketing strategy. Still, for many companies, a lot is unclear with regard to social media. What exactly does it involve? What makes social media offer so many opportunities for entrepreneurs and what is the best way to exploit these opportunities? In this article, the world around social media is explained.

What is social media?
According to the Dutch definition, social media is a collective term for online platforms on which the user places content, whether or not with the intervention of professional editors. Examples of these platforms are weblogs, forums and social networks like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. Furthermore, social media platforms are characterised by the terms ‘interactive’, ‘transparency’, ‘integration’, ‘exchange’ and ‘dialogue’. In the year 2017, a large number of different types of social media platforms exists. Below is a small impression of these.

Why social media?

A gigantic number of people worldwide makes use of social media. Just looking at Facebook, the size immediately becomes clear. According to Facebook’s statistics, they have an average of 1.23 billion(!) active users on a daily basis.

But also in The Netherlands, the market is at least as impressive. A study of Newcom shows that in 2017, WhatsApp had the best scores again, with no less than 10.9 million users, of which 7.8 million send a message on a daily basis. A neck-and-neck race together with Facebook, which currently has 10.4 million users, 7.5 million of which scroll the timeline every day.

These figures are obviously impressive, but why use social media business-wise? With the emergence of Web 2.0. around the year 2001, the ‘voice’ of consumers was given an enormous reach. This is what we call ‘user-generated content’. This form of content arises within the so-called ‘online consumer communities’ and sometimes, it is surprisingly influential. It is a way for social media channels and influencers to severely influence the behaviour and choices of your (potential) customers. That is why, for companies, it is so important to be present right there and participate in discussion.

Due to social media, the reach of the consumer has become much larger. 

10 reasons for using social media

  1. Building brand awareness:
    By using social media, you increase the online presence of your company. By increasing the reach of your brand or product, consumers are likely to sooner recognise your brand or product name, which means the name remains top-of-mind.
  2. Online reputation management:
    With the emergence of Web 2.0., it has become rather easy for enterprises to monitor customers’ opinion of your brand, via the Internet. Several tools can be found to do this. This part is highly important regarding reputation management. By monitoring social media, you, as an entrepreneur, can quickly respond to reactions of (potential) customers and follow up on negative feedback. Also, it is recommended to monitor competitors in the sector and learn from what you see.
  3. No change, no progress:
    In many industries, the saying ‘no change, no progress’ applies. The entry of social media has changed marketing permanently. The Internet is subject to continuous change. So it is important for your company to keep up with this. Meanwhile, social media is maturing, due to which you, as an (innovative) enterprise, cannot ignore it. Not to mention the massive presence of your (potential) target group.
  4. Manipulation of purchasing behaviour:
    The social media network of consumers significantly influences the purchasing behaviour. Consumers monitoring brands on social media will buy these products more often and they frequently recommend them within their own network.
  5. Expert status:
    Your company profile/weblog is an excellent opportunity to become branded as an expert by the consumer. Via a profile, you can inform consumers of the latest news in your company, but also of industry-related news. When relevant news articles are shared on a regular basis, consumers will start to view your company as an expert company.
  6. Generate website traffic:
    It is a good idea to place links to your website, in posts, when possible. When you regularly place updates, with a link on, for instance Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, you can generate additional traffic on the corporate website via ‘clicks’. Incoming links additionally are a highly important factor in search engine marketing.
  7. Influence on search engine rankings:
    Many social media websites make use of no-follow tags. This means that they are not tracked by search engines. Nevertheless, social media websites often score high in search engines. Tests show that websites with a social section in the link profile (these are the no-follow links) rank better than websites without no-follow links. This stresses the importance of a so-called ‘natural’ link profile. When people discuss your website (and link it via social media), this is a natural process. Search engines attach great value to websites with a natural link profile.
  8. Niche & local marketing:
    With the rise of social media, niche marketing has become even easier. Via social platforms, companies can specifically search for, for instance, demographic characteristics and interests. Social media is also excellent for location-based services. These are particularly suitable for companies that wish to inform their customers about the specific possibilities at the present location of the customer.
  9. Recruitment of new talent:
    Recent study by MrWork shows that a majority of companies already use at least 3 different social media for recruitment. More than 80% of the respondents uses social media for ‘employer branding’ and ‘direct sourcing’. For this reason, 58% of the respondents, for instance, places vacancies on LinkedIn and/or have built a ‘social talent pool’.
  10. Input product development:
    By monitoring social media channels, you also gain insight in the wishes of the customer. This input can excellently be used for innovation of your products. Although many social media platforms are free, it does take time and effort to set up a successful plan to formulate target groups, find out where this target group is located and analyse the feedback.

But then in which ways do you make use of social media?
OK, so social media offers plenty of opportunities. So now what? The first step is to create a considered social media strategy. In this strategy you should determine what you want to achieve and adjust the objectives and KPI’s to it. Also find out which exact channels present the opportunities to operate purposefully. Haphazard actions are often a waste of time and hardly effective. So, ensure a good plan and you will find that social media has a lot to offer for your company as well!

Do you want to know more about social media and the opportunities for your organisation? Then contact one of our social specialists about our service.