5 Benefits Of Social Media For Businesses Beyond Sales Numbers

A lot of business leaders ask the same question over and over again: What is social media really doing for us? Is it bringing in new customers? Social media handlers – especially those in large organizations – often have trouble answering these questions. They are tasked with the arduous challenge of constantly justifying social media efforts in sales-like numbers when that’s not really that best gauge of effectiveness. There’s more value to social media for businesses than simply hard sales figures. A lot more value.

Here are five valued-added advantages of social media for businesses and organizations:

1. Creating Connections – Social media isn’t just about increasing sales. It’s about something more personal – developing individual connections. That’s something brands have struggled mightily to understand. By engaging and tightening customer relationships through social media, you are adding value to your business. You are enhancing the long-term value of existing customers in ways sales figures just can’t reflect.

2. Increasing Exposure – All your social media efforts – from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Pinterest – are putting your company name out there more. They’re giving you another stage to exhibit your brand for customers and potential customers. And that’s definitely not a bad thing. Another result sales figures don’t show is that an individual may have never heard of your business until they were introduced to it through social media.

3. Developing Partnerships – While leadership wants to focus on the increase in customers or sales triggered by social media, they usually forget about the increase in partnerships. Social media provides the opportunity for your organization to connect with a whole new audience of businesses and professionals. That can lead to new connections and strategic partnerships that ultimately send a lot of new business your way.

4. Enhancing SEO – Social media has done a great service to businesses in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). Whereas previously the top search results for your organization came from your website alone, with social media you have multiple sites with information about your business. Now a search for an organization will turn up the company website, along with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest pages. That means your entire first page of search results can be filled with sites run by your organization. And more search results means more ways people can find your business.

5. Fostering Leads – All the above-mentioned benefits work to raise awareness of your organization and open more minds to the benefits of your brand. Once those tracks are laid, it increases the likelihood individuals will jump on the sales train in the future. Unfortunately, your immediate social media sales figures will never reflect that marketing influence. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Moving into the future, organizations with active social media efforts will receive thousands of new leads because of your social reach.

Bottom line: Don’t let a deficit of hard numbers discourage your organization’s investment in social media. The benefits of your efforts are abundant in far more ways than simple sales number. Social media – like PR – has become a necessary and fundamental marketing communication tool every organization should value and continue to advance.