Social media icons – 5 Reasons to Use Social Media to Promote Your BusinessSocial media marketing is no longer a nice-to-have additional skill. In 2016 and beyond, the mastery of the world’s most popular networks is essential for even the most basic promotions of even the smallest businesses.

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Google+. Instagram. YouTube. Pinterest. These are the networks where you need to gain a presence and maintain it, for this is where your customers are.

Indeed, it doesn’t matter if you are in the B2B or B2C realm, social media marketing is not the next big thing any longer, it is today’s thing, tomorrow’s, next year’s, and the thing most certainly for the next 3 to 5 years (after this, something else might come along – but if it doesn’t, then social media marketing will be the big marketing thing for an indefinite period).

But it’s all well and good me being sat here reeling off conjecture – what you really need in order to be convinced are some proper, tangible reasons to get on board with social media marketing.

Well, we’ve got 5 of them ready for you right now. Let’s take a look at what they are…

5 Reasons to Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

1.     The Social Media Population Is Huge and Growing All the Time

Take a look at this chart from Statista.

statista – social media networks

(Most famous social network sites worldwide as of September 2016, ranked by number of active users (in millions))

Today, we’ve got 1.71 billion users on Facebook, half a billion on Instagram, 313 million on Twitter, and another 100 million Pinterest.

What does this tell us?

Well, simply enough, that there are literally billions of people on social media, all of whom are primed and ready to receive your marketing messages. Indeed, if your customers are out there, then they’re out there on social media.

2.     Brand Awareness

Need a brand lift?

Of course you do – even the largest companies in the world can never rest on their laurels. As soon as you stop promoting yourself and your services, then you’re leaving the door wide open for any number of competitors to come piling in and picking up the slack that you leave for them.

Social media, thankfully, is one great way to raise brand awareness.

The big 6 networks (see above) provide the perfect platforms on which to sell yourself, your service and your products in no uncertain terms.

The people who are on social media are already interested in your industry. All you’ve got to do is find them and ensure that your brand is associated with that industry in their collective minds.

3.     It’s Free

Why spend money on outbound marketing when good old inbound across social media is absolutely free?

Any business can set up a free account on any of the most important social networks listed above. And from here, you can then use these free platforms to both market and indeed sell your goods, not to mention drive a load of free traffic to your website.

Put simply, if you’re looking for a good ROI, then paying out nothing to begin with puts you 100% in the black as soon as business starts pouring in. Indeed, the only thing that you truly need to invest with social media marketing is your time.

4.     Position Yourself as a Thought Leader

Being thought of as a thought leader is an incredibly powerful reputation-driver. When your fans, followers, and your industry at large begins to view you as a credible and authoritative expert in your niche, then you can be sure that the phones will start ringing off their hooks in no time at all.

Positioning yourself as a thought leader, however, means getting down and writing some powerful material on your blog. From here, it’s simply a case of promoting your output across your social networks and engaging with your followers as they respond.

5.     Building Better Customer Relationships

If there’s one thing you need to remember about social networks is that they’re inherently social platforms.

This means that not only do you get to market your wares and your services to potentially billions of people, but you also get the chance to build meaningful relationships with them as well.

By doing so, you will begin to understand exactly what it is that your customers crave and care about, which will lead you towards creating better content that matches these needs and addresses any discovered pain-points. It also means that you can begin to tailor your services towards more specific goals and outcomes as well.

In short, by embracing the social aspects of social media and listening to your following, you will be able to build a better and more profitable business for yourself – and that, after all, is the ultimate name of the game.

What are the other big reasons for brands to be utilising social media? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.