Social media matters and has done for a long time, but do we stop to ask why? For some, the reason is clear. After taking a closer look at their acquisition channels, they find social media to be an incredibly valuable and direct source of customers. The link between social media, sales and growth is easy to connect.
However, for many of us, we’re faced with a realisation that’s hard to swallow. After all of our efforts to produce engaging content and grow our following, social media is bringing us less traffic and conversions than we expected. It’s hard to not question why we ever put resources into social media in the first place.
It’s a common situation but before you throw yourself into fixing it there’s one thing you should know: even though followers may not become customers, they are still important and here’s why.
- Brand awareness
Have you heard the phrase “if a tree falls in a forest and no one sees it, did it really fall at all?”. We can apply that same thinking to brand awareness. If your startup is doing great things but you fail to tell anyone about it, people are not likely to notice. Social media provides the perfect platform to get people interested in what you’re doing. It is also an unrivalled space when it comes to developing your brand’s story and voice. Fail to get noticed, and you may see yourself loose out to those who are.
2. Competitiveness, brand maturity and trust
This leads me onto the next point. Perhaps your customers don’t find you through social media, but you can almost guarantee they’ll be using it as a point of reference before they make a purchase. The same goes for potential partners, employees… the list goes on. If your social media channels are active with strong followings, content and engagement, it’s a lot easier for potential customers to get excited about your brand.
A good social media following and community also goes hand-in-hand with brand maturity and trust. If you can position your startup as a thought-leader in whatever area it operates in, potential customers are more likely to trust your mission, product and identity. Because of this, in many cases, a strong social media following is part of building a mature and competitive brand.
3. SEO and organic traffic
Having a large following may also be useful when it comes to the more technical part of content. This is because search engines actually take into account shares when ranking your content. The more engaged followers you have, the more likely you are to get shares and consequently rank higher for organic searches. Since a good organic positioning can take a while to achieve, social media can be a really useful tool to help the process along.
4. Follower personas
So your followers aren’t necessarily all customers (yet) but they can give you useful insights, nevertheless. The more followers you have, the more opportunity you have to developing an understanding of who is interested in your brand and how they interact with your content. For example, perhaps after researching into your followers you begin to see an increase in a certain demographic you had never imagined would relate to your brand. You can use and test this information in a few ways including considering this new demographic when making potential changes to your product or marketing strategy.
5. Followers have followers
The final note is that followers have followers… have more followers, you get the point. By growing your following you extend your reach and enter into new spaces full of new potential customers and partners. This of course, takes us full circle back to brand awareness.
So, if you’re following is growing but you’re not seeing the direct effect on sales you expected, take a moment to consider the other benefits you’re gaining. Embrace your new social community and find efficient ways of producing content to keep increasing numbers.