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Although social media networks were a novelty five years ago, their importance in today’s internet marketing cannot be overstated. The latest statistics indicate that 72% of online adults visit social networking sites, providing plenty of potentials to connect with a diverse audience.

YouTube is now more significant than the cable network, reaching more adults aged 18-34 in the U.S. than any cable TV. It’s also the second-largest search engine in the world, registering over 1,500 searches per second. Facebook has about1.28 billion monthly active users and boasts of a very highly-developed search engine. Twitter is also a vast search engine.

Google+ is probably the most important social media platform for online marketing activities. It’s growing rapidly and already wields an enormous impact upon results ranking as well as the Click Through Rate (CTR) of these results.
With that kind of online marketing potential, it’s not surprising that marketers are now utilizing these networking sites to connect with customers. The latest data from Social Media Examiner shows that 97% of marketers currently have social media accounts. But, many of these users don’t know how to utilize social media to interact with customers effectively or aren’t sure what tools are the best to use.
An effective social media marketing strategy directly impacts your business’s search engine optimization efforts, boosting your exposure, traffic, and sales. By interacting with prospects and existing customers, you’ll be able to get marketplace
insight, generate leads, grow beneficial business partnerships, and develop loyal fans. Here’s a look at just some of the benefits that you can get from social media marketing.

A Definite Increase in Traffic
Social media marketing offers a definite way to maximize your online efforts. By continually syndicating quality content on your social media accounts, you’ll be able to generate more traffic – which translates to more leads and more conversions. It will give you results (not immediately but rather quickly), and as soon as you start your social media marketing efforts, traffic will increase at a steady rate.

Higher Conversion Rates
Social media marketing allows you to build a vast following, giving you direct access to potential customers, new customers, and old customers that you can simultaneously interact with. All these customers will have a chance to react every time you share content on your social media profiles, resulting in high click-through rates and more opportunities to convert. Also, by interacting with customers directly and making them like or follow you, you’ll humanize your brand – which in turn increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion. Studies have shown that users are more likely to buy from a brand that they interact with on social media.

Increased Brand Visibility
Social media platforms allow you to create and syndicate original, quality content to increase visibility. When your content is shared across social media networks by your followers, many potential customers on these platforms will become better acquainted with your brand, and it’ll also enable you to build credible and legitimate links to increase your visibility in search engines.

Reduced Marketing Expenses
Social media marketing is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website while increasing conversions. The higher conversion rate is probably the main benefit of social media marketing and allows you to enjoy a better return on investment. Social media searches get people who searched for your website. These people are genuinely interested in your product and, therefore, more likely to buy.

Provides Marketplace Insight
With social media networks, you can directly interact with your prospects and existing customers and learn about what they’re interested in as well as how they behave. You could also gain valuable information about what your customers and other people think of your brand.

Increased Brand Loyalty
Research has shown that businesses that engage on social media platforms have more loyal customers compared to those with little or no social media presence. This is probably because these brands are better able to connect with their audience. By implementing a good social marketing strategy, you can morph your customers into being brand loyal.

Higher Brand Credibility
Having a large number of social media followers will improve trust and credibility in your brand. This is because people trust that the most followed business on social media is a reputable brand. By doing social media marketing, you’ll become the brand name that everyone wants to beat. But if you are not active on social media, prospective customers will be skeptical about your brand.

Increased Search Engine Rankings
Major search engines interpret more social shares as a sign of credibility. When you create a piece of content that is then shared many times across the web, you’ll gain higher visibility and rankings since search engines will deem your website to be a quality source of information. The number of quality connections, friends, and followers will also be taken into consideration by search engines when determining whether you’re a reputable source.

Better Customer Experiences
Social media is essentially a communication channel that allows you to get up close and personal with your prospects and customers so you can enhance your relationship with them. You can use social media networks to provide customer service and support, where you could respond to customer complaints immediately or get feedback regarding your products or services. This personal experience will allow your customers to see that you care about them, further improving your sales and brand image.