Social Media: Not Just For Sales; Another Area of Big Value

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for any business. Business and marketing professionals are particularly drawn to the extensive reach of social media and its potential for driving droves of new customers through their virtual doors. However—and this may surprise you—social media marketers shouldn’t be focused exclusively on bringing in new business.

A recent article on the American Marketing Association (AMA) website by Lawrence Crosby looked at the effectiveness of social media marketing on another important measure of marketing success—brand loyalty. A common statistic used by marketers is that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. While that number may vary, depending on industry, the basic principle applies universally.

Not only do existing customers require less investment, they are typically more beneficial to your business in terms of revenue as well, as Larry Myler writes for Forbes: “a long-term customer is of more value than a single-deal customer…[because]…we build on a revenue foundation that is more profitable and predictable.”

If we accept the premise that existing customers need to be catered to as much as, if not more than, potential new customers, let’s look at how we can use social media to accomplish this. Crosby and the AMA look at brand engagement as a key element in achieving this goal. “Perhaps the first step toward brand engagement via social media is engagement with brand-related content (consumer- or company-generated), which can be assessed by a variety of metrics: shares, comments, followers, subscribers, impressions, click-throughs and links,” says Crosby.

As we’ve noted many, many times before, this brand-related content should be brand-related, not blatantly brand-promoting. Engagement is a two-way street, and nobody wants to engage with a company that is only trying to sell to them. Your online audience wants to feel like they are getting something in return. So, if you’re an outdoor clothing company, content related to the best campgrounds in the United States or tips for packing efficiently for a canoe trip will be relevant to your audience and brand-related, keeping your audience engaged and coming back to your platforms.

Crosby also notes that a goal of engagement should be to increase engagement by spreading it across multiple channels, both virtual and physical. “Ideally, social media marketing can also broaden brand engagement by stimulating interactions in other touch points, both online and offline. This might involve driving prospects to the company’s website, encouraging telephone contact or inspiring a store visit,” he writes.

Social media is often thought of as a great way to speak to a broad audience of potential customers – and it is. But given the importance of maintaining your existing customer base, don’t overlook the very real power of social media in terms of brand engagement and the resulting brand loyalty.

What are you doing the harness the power of your social media marketing efforts?

Recommended Reading

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement


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