These days, it isn’t enough to have a website for your business.  Your digital presence has to extend to social media marketing sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.  It’s time to start taking advantage of the extensive and free opportunities to advertise your business online. At this point, it doesn’t matter if you “want” to get into social media, you just plain “have” to, or risk falling behind your competition.

According to www.contentfac.com, here are 8 reasons why it’s imperative you get on the Social Media bandwagon:

  1. You get to see your target market, up close and personal. Part of what makes marketing with Facebook and Twitter so cool is the interaction you get to have with your customer base – you can read their tweets and status updates to get insights into their daily lives (and maybe adjust your marketing strategy as a result).
  2. You can respond to problems immediately. If there’s a problem with your product or service, you want to know about it immediately. With the feedback you get in the process of social media marketing, you’ll be the first to know when there are issues – and you can take steps to resolve them right away.
  3. Your competition is Tweeting and Facebooking like crazy. The early bird gets the worm, and the sooner you start up Facebook and Twitter pages, the sooner you can start amassing a ton of fans and followers. This isn’t something you want to fall behind the competition on, because it’s much harder (and more expensive) to play catch up than it is to get in on the game early. Truth be told, your competition is probably already marketing with Facebook, and maybe even Twitter and LinkedIn, too.
  4. People are receptive to your messages. People view Twitter and Facebook as social networks, not marketing machines. As a result, they’re less likely to see what you post as an advertisement and will be more likely to hear what you have to say.
  5. It will get you more sales. Not surprisingly, when you stay in front of your customer base, they’re more likely to buy from you when they need the products you sell. Social media marketing doesn’t just keep your company’s name in front of potential buyers, but it also gives you the opportunity to constantly give them incentives to buy. Try Tweeting or posting coupon codes, good only to those who are your Facebook fans or Twitter followers. You’ll be surprised at how many people make purchases using the code!
  6. You will find customers you didn’t know existed. If you follow specific keywords in Twitter, you can find people who are looking for the products you sell (and then direct them to your site).  In the process of marketing with Facebook, you’ll probably join a ton of groups related to your products, industry and customer base. By posting links in these groups, you’ll help influence customers to check out your site.
  7. It’s free. How can you argue with that? If you handle your own social media management, running a social networking campaign is as cheap as it gets. If you hire a social media management or online PR agency, it will cost around $3,000-$7,000 per month, but it’ll be an investment that you’ll be likely to see a return on.
  8. The social media marketing arena is a fairly level playing field. Unlike the brick and mortar world where you need to have millions of dollars to run traditional ad campaigns, all companies start off on pretty equal footing when it comes to social media marketing. The people who thrive and go viral in cyberspace are the people with the most clever, attention grabbing tactics and the most useful, link worthy content.