September 15, 2023

Why you should use social media for marketing

Why you should use social media for marketing

Leveraging social media for marketing is no longer an option—it's a necessity. With billions of users actively participating across platforms, businesses and marketers have an unparalleled opportunity to reach diverse audiences and achieve their marketing goals. We explain why implementing social media for marketing is essential for any modern business, and provide actionable steps to grow your brand's online presence.

Huge, global reach

The first crucial reason to use social media for marketing is its incredible reach. Imagine a bustling marketplace where billions of people from all corners of the world gather to talk, shop, and share their lives. That's what social media platforms are—a global stage for you to introduce your brand. Whether you're a local flower shop or a software company that serves larger businesses, social media lets you connect directly with consumers and other businesses alike. It's like having a megaphone that can be heard anywhere from your local neighborhood to countries miles away, all without stepping out of your office or home.

Source: We Are Social

On top of that, social media platforms know a lot about their users, from age and gender to what kinds of products they like. This helps you to target your message so you're not shouting into the void but talking directly to potential customers who are likely to be interested in what you're selling.

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn collectively host billions of users. In practical terms, this means that no matter how niche your product or service is, there's a very high chance that your target audience is on social media. The trick is to find them and make sure your message reaches them, which is possible with the right strategy.

Two-way conversation

The second compelling reason to use social media for marketing is the unparalleled ability to build meaningful relationships with your audience. Unlike traditional advertising methods, which are usually a one-way broadcast, social media is interactive. You can talk to people directly, answer their questions, solve their problems, and even entertain them. This two-way interaction creates a bond that's not possible through a billboard or a TV commercial.

By providing value—whether that's informative articles, how-to videos, or quick tips—you're not just selling a product or service; you're building a community around your brand. This can make people more loyal and likely to choose you over your competitors.

What makes this even more potent is the fact that happy customers often share their good experiences online. These digital "word-of-mouth" recommendations can be gold for your business. When someone tags your brand in a positive post or leaves a glowing review, their entire network sees it, leading to more potential customers becoming aware of—and trusting—your business. So, the key is to be consistent, authentic, and interactive on your chosen platforms. The ripple effect of building these relationships can mean exponential growth and long-lasting loyalty.

Build brand awareness

Imagine your brand as a personality. Just like you would introduce yourself to new people and tell them about your interests, you want your brand to be introduced to new audiences and tell them what makes you special. This goes beyond just showcasing products or services. It's about creating a vibe or an atmosphere that surrounds your brand, making it easily recognizable even in a crowded market.

When you consistently present your brand’s core message, colours, and logos across various social platforms, people start to recognize and remember you. That's brand awareness.

Source: Facebook

If someone already knows about your brand and trusts it, they're more likely to make a purchase from you instead of from a competitor they've never heard of.  Once people are aware of your brand, they're also more likely to share content or even recommend your products to their friends, giving you free advertising. This continues to snowball—the more people know you, the more they'll talk about you, and the more new people will get to know you.

For example, a small B2B company specialising in cybersecurity solutions could consistently share videos on YouTube about cybersecurity, tips for businesses to protect their data, and industry news. This content adds value and is likely to generate high views from their target audience and potentially be shared by some users to their network. This builds awareness of their brand, increases their channel's subscribers, and positions them as an expert in cybersecurity.

Targeting and Retargeting Capabilities

One of the most powerful social media marketing tools you have at your disposal is the ability to pinpoint your exact target audience. You can show your ads only to people who are most likely to be interested in your brand, product or service, based on age, gender, location, demographics, interests, or behaviours.

Similarly, you can choose to show retargeting ads to people who have already visited your website but didn't make a purchase or take any other desired action. You're giving them a gentle nudge, reminding them to return to your site if they're still interested.

For example, a small B2C business selling eco-friendly home decor items online could initially target their social media ads to  environmentally-conscious adults aged 30-50, generating some initial web traffic and sales. Then, to increase conversion rates further, retargeting ads could be implemented to people who visited their website but didn't make a purchase. These campaigns could feature a limited-time discount offer on the products the person had initially viewed.

Community Building and Consumer Engagement

A social media community is like having a group of friends you regularly hang out with, share news with, and support. It's also a virtual location where people can get to know your brand on a more personal level. By sharing behind-the-scenes looks at your business, responding to comments, and actively participating in discussions on your posts, you can make your audience feel special and valued.

Unlike a one-time ad, a strong social media community offers long-lasting value. The more people feel engaged and valued, the more likely they are to stick around, share your content, and ultimately become loyal customers.

So how do you build this sort of community? Start by knowing what your audience cares about and tailoring your posts to those interests. Use fun and interactive features like polls, quizzes, and giveaways to keep people interested and coming back for more. This is not just about pushing your products or services; it's about creating a dynamic space where information, help, and advice are shared freely.

Consider an activewear business that knows their target audience highly values both fitness and sustainability. They could create a community where they share content about workout plans, fitness challenges, as well as information about how sustainable materials make a difference. They could take it a step further by creating a monthly "EcoHero Challenge," where they invite their followers to share their own sustainability tips or ways they stay active using the #EcoHeroChallenge hashtag. Community members are incentivised to share content by offering a gift card prize each month. This type of strategy will drive engagement and has a good chance of going viral, most likely leading to more web traffic and sales.

Content Strategies for Various Platforms

Each social media platform, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), or LinkedIn, serves a unique purpose and attracts a distinct audience. You can't just post the same content across all platforms and expect to achieve maximum engagement.

For example, Facebook may be ideal for long-form content and community building, while Instagram thrives on visually appealing images and short videos. X is perfect for quick updates, whereas LinkedIn is tailored for a professional audience interested in industry insights.

Therefore, you need to tailor your content to match the nature and users of each platform. Consider the format, tone, and subject matter to resonate with the particular audience you are targeting on each platform. Posting platform-specific content not only amplifies your message but also elevates your brand, making it more relatable and accessible to a broad spectrum of people.

Real-time Feedback and Customer Service

Social media offers you the ability to know exactly what your customers think when they interact with your brand, product or service. It allows you to listen in on customer conversations, respond to queries instantly, and even resolve issues on the spot. Every comment, review, or direct message provides insights into what your customers like or dislike, helping you improve customer satisfaction.

Source: Hootsuite

For example, a chain of bakery stores could assign one team member to monitor social media and promptly reply to all comments and direct messages, positive or negative, within 1 hour. They could also start a 'Bread of the Week' poll, asking their Instagram and TikTok followers to vote for their favorite flavors. This would not only make their customers feel involved but also provided the business with valuable data on consumer preferences.

By incorporating real-time feedback and customer service into your social media strategy, you turn your platforms into a dynamic ecosystem that does more than just marketing. It becomes a virtual customer service desk, a focus group, and a community center, all rolled into one.

Metrics and ROI

Metrics and ROI (Return on Investment) are the report cards for your business on social media, telling you whether strategy is working. Are people liking your posts? Are they sharing your content? Are they clicking on the links to buy your products or use your services?

Source: Google Marketing Platform

By keeping an eye on metrics like engagement rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate, you can understand what’s working and what’s not. It's a continual process or measurement and optimisation until you're able to achieve a strong ROI.

But numbers alone aren't enough; you need to translate them into actions. For example, if your engagement rate is high but your conversion rate is low, that might mean people love your content but don't see enough reason to make a purchase. You can tweak your strategy based on this feedback, perhaps by including more direct calls to action or special offers.


In wrapping up, it's evident that effective social media for marketing can be a game-changer for your business. By following these key principles, and equipped with the right tools and knowledge, you'll be able to master social media marketing – leading to increased sales, better customer engagement, and a stronger brand.

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner

Co-CEO and Co-Founder

Co-CEO and Co-Founder of SMC, earned Social Media Educator of the Year from SMMI. With vast experience in social media strategy and content marketing, he's also a co-founder of other businesses. Specialising in growth strategy, Jon has a background in management consulting specialising in M&A.

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