While social media may have emerged initially as a fun way for people to connect with friends and family online, it has clearly evolved beyond its initial appeal and purposes. While fun and socializing are still certainly part of the appeal of using social media, it’s clear that businesses worldwide – marketing agencies and professionals included – are using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Threads to grow audiences and careers.
But how exactly does social media play a crucial part in supporting business growth – and why is it now such a vital asset for marketers all over the world? Below, we take a closer look at the benefits that social media can bring to corporate marketing and why it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Social Media and Marketing Careers: A Match Made in Heaven?
While there has been some public concern about how data is shared on social media – and how healthy it may be for us all in the long run – it’s safe to say that millions of us are still scrolling, sharing, and liking. In fact, it’s where a huge number of people first find out about brands.
Statistics show that consumers – who are, of course, the targets of marketers everywhere – see social media as hugely beneficial in building interactions with brands. While marketers may previously have relied upon cold outreach and unsolicited contact to try to build relationships with consumers, this has now been simplified massively.
Social media allows marketers to tap into the needs of the consumer and to meet them in their own homes, on their own time, and when they are otherwise browsing the internet in their spare time. Platforms such as Facebook revolutionized traditional advertising, immediately making concepts such as pop-up ads and website banners seem dated.
Marketers, or those looking for a career change into marketing (via St. Bonaventure University online, for example), cannot safely ignore the influence of social media on all our lives. In fact, it now plays a significant part in St. Bonaventure’s curriculum – as you would expect!
While not everyone is active on social media, and certainly not everyone interacts directly with brands and companies, marketers must be confident in using various platforms and building advertising campaigns around some of the most popular channels.
It’s all about business growth, brand awareness, and improving turnover – which is why learning how social media outreach can transform corporate fortunes is all the more important in the modern age.
Business Growth and Social Media: Ideas to Keep in Mind
Whether you are growing your own business or working as a marketer on behalf of a brand, it’s wise to know what you can do through social media if you intend to grow your clients to the next level, build your customer base, and increase awareness.
Let’s look at how you could hypothetically start harnessing the power of social media for your business of choice, regardless of the industry and audience.
It’s an Incredible Opportunity for Brand Awareness
While businesses can still build audiences through print media and traditional advertising, social media now reportedly accounts for anywhere between 50% and 60% of brand discovery.
This means that the people you reach through platforms such as Facebook may be seeing you for the first time. It’s an incredible opportunity to create a great first impression. Through social media, this doesn’t have to be stuffy or impersonal, either.
In fact, due to the way that most social media platforms work, you can have a bit of fun while building brand awareness. For example, if you are a highly visual marketer, you can use Instagram to create stunning visuals and infographics to entice people to your cause.
There is, of course, the opportunity to hop into meme culture – but this should only ever be undertaken carefully. There’s a risk that you’ll come across as ‘too pushy’ or even ‘desperate’ to land customers and clients. You don’t want to appear completely tone-deaf to your audience’s needs!
You Can Learn More About Your Audience
Market research still exists in its primary form, but thanks to social media, we all know much more about each other by default. This is largely thanks to the basic data that platforms hold on us, and how we interact with specific advertising and posts.
While many people have clamped down on the data they share and how it’s used with advertisers, data sharing with businesses has become the norm. App users can easily see and keep track of what data is used and how.
For businesses and their marketers, this wealth of data available is hugely important. Demographic information such as age, occupation and location can all help to sway tailored advertising for more precise marketing returns. It’s a fantastic way to ensure that your ad campaigns reach the right people with a laser focus.
The data that we can now claim from people online (with their consent) is staggering compared to that which was available only a decade plus ago. Social media is now a vital facet of marketing for businesses purely on this basis – it’s crucial data that we can all do well to make use of!
You Can Find Out What People Like
Beyond finding out more about the basic demographics you’re appealing to, you can also use social media to find out how people interact with their favorite topics and brands elsewhere.
For example, it’s easy to see through marketing backends provided by Meta, for example, who ‘likes’ specific pages and accounts, and who watches certain video ads. You can then use this information to pitch a specific campaign to certain people and expect a bigger return on your investment.
Again, not all people use social media in this way. However, there are millions who do – it’s a near-endless well of marketing and advertising opportunities that businesses miss out on by glossing over it too quickly.
It’s Great for Making Your Business More Authentic
Social media has grown to the extent that people actively use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to find legitimate, authoritative answers to their questions.
Consumers can simply head straight to an official account and ask for support or look through data made available to dive deep into a business’s ethos and values.
Essentially, a well-run social media account – not just one or two campaigns – can make a business seem savvy and authoritative. The business’s accounts appear informative and engaging, and, with the right social media marketers behind the scenes, it can fine-tune its outreach so that content doesn’t ever miss the mark with its audiences.
For example, for the longest time, Twitter used a ‘blue tick’ system to ensure that users could find ‘official’ tweets by authentic brands. Over the past years, this has changed significantly due to a change in leadership and policy. However, the fact remains that an official social media account with authoritative on-brand messaging is perfect for building authority online.
It Makes a Business Seem More Human
This point is perhaps the most important for consumers everywhere. As mentioned, social media began as a purely fun, human experiment where people interact with one another without the need for stuffy emails. As such, the ‘human’ aspect of social media remained its core strength for many years.
Businesses naturally took advantage. Social media marketers can now reach out to individual commenters and fans online, respond to complaints, and show off their ‘human’ side.
Social media marketing continues to have a positive impact on young consumers’ attitudes toward brands and products. However, Millennials and Generation Z consumers are among the most savvy buyers. Unlike their parents and grandparents, they may not respond so willingly to blatantly obvious advertising.
Therefore, there’s a continuing need for business marketers to ensure that their brands appear as human as possible through their social media accounts. This may not always be easy depending on the demographics and the projects at stake.
It’s therefore a case of learning how to evolve with changing tastes and attitudes. What worked as a ‘human’ social media campaign in 2015, for example, won’t cut it in 2025. It’s down to the individual business, and their marketers, to carefully consider the needs and perceptions of their audience so that they can continue to resonate without appearing too false or ingratiating.
There are Millions of People to Reach Out To
As much as social media marketing is tailored to individual people and tastes, it’s also very much a ‘numbers game’. This means that the more users there are, the more chances you have of connecting with the right people – and that there should, statistically, always be someone with whom you can build a new customer journey.
Take a look at the figures for some of the biggest social media platforms worldwide. Facebook is close to breaching three billion monthly active users, globally, at the time of writing. YouTube isn’t too far behind, and Instagram has more than two billion users on its own.
For Facebook, this accounts for over a third of the globe’s population. For Instagram, it’s around 25%. These are staggering numbers, especially considering that both platforms, under the Meta umbrella, have soared into mainstream use over just the past two decades.
This means that marketers and business owners have more access to more people than ever before. There are more exciting opportunities to build client relationships and cultivate customer journeys.
Compare this marketing potential to just 30 years ago, in the mid-1990s. At that point, as the internet was still slowly sliding into mainstream appeal, businesses continued to rely on traditional outreach, through cold calling and printed advertising, for example. Of course, at this point, TV and radio advertising took up the biggest sections of the pie, and internet banner ads were just around the corner.
Three decades ago, it would have seemed incredible (nigh impossible) for small to medium-sized businesses to reach out to a third of the globe’s population. What’s more, these numbers are only likely to increase as social media interest is not ebbing away.
Therefore, while it’s still important for social media marketers to fine-tune their strategies so that they are hyper-relevant to the people they are targeting, there are more people out there to reach than ever.
You’ll Get Seen More Often Online
Finally, let’s consider some of the technical aspects and benefits of using social media for business growth. Not only is it a great resource for reaching out to people directly on their favorite apps, but it’s also a proven way of boosting your brand’s search engine optimization (SEO).
This means that Google, the biggest search engine and web gateway on the planet, can help to promote your firm through its search listings. With a healthy, authentic social media presence, Google is more confident in giving you the ‘higher slots’ in search results based on specific keywords and phrases.
It’s all about showing people, and Google’s web crawlers, that you are authentic, and that you are actively building your brand. Doing so will only increase your outreach potential – that’s more than the three billion or so people using social media platforms, for example!
All Business Marketers Need Social Media
Disconnecting social media from modern marketing campaigns is never a good idea. It’s the primary channel for reaching modern consumers. As a marketer, while you’ll likely spend some time planning communications with various teams, it will also fall on your shoulders to keep a business’s brand image and reputation shining with the right people.
For all that, there seems to be some shifting away from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in recent years, alternatives such as Threads continue to pop up and court new users. The way that we interact with each other and consumer brands has changed irreversibly – and, as many people will agree, it’s likely for the better.