Social media has become an integral part of our lives. From sharing pictures and videos of our daily activities to staying up-to-date with friends and family, social media platforms have revolutionized the way we communicate. However, the value of social media goes beyond just personal use. In fact, it’s now an essential tool for businesses and organizations to reach their target audiences. Since social media is here to stay, perhaps it’s time we recognize the necessary role it can—and maybe should—play in your digital marketing efforts.

Way back in January, in “Six Digital Marketing Actions to Take in the New Year,” we said:

…even the most skeptical of executives should now be convinced of the value of social media marketing and its return on investment. It’s best to take an informed approach and focus on the platforms your audiences actually use. With growing investment comes a higher degree of scrutiny, however, so hunker down and get strategic about your social media outreach. Most people spend nearly 2.5 hours a day browsing and messaging on social media, so if your business has been less than consistent with its social media marketing, now is the time to get back on track.

Here are five more reasons why your company should develop a more focused social media marketing effort.

Connect with Customers

Social media offers one significant advantage: the ability for businesses to establish personal connections with customers. Fostering strong relationships of this kind can result in increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s makeup brand, serves as a compelling example of an effective social media strategy perfectly executed. By communicating with their followers in a friendly, colloquial manner—using a language and tone that is familiar to their audience—actively engaging customers with questions and responses, and choosing not to rely on gimmicks or giveaways, Fenty has cultivated an authentic community that plays a vital role in the company’s success.

Personalize the Approach

By creating engaging content and speaking to their customers in a more personal way, businesses can increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction, which is one path to marketing success in the digital age. With billions of users across the various platforms, social media offers the chance to reach a wider audience. Businesses that engage with customers through social media are essentially building real-time brand awareness. 

Showcase Products and Services

Social media can also provide an opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services through content such as blog posts, videos, and photos. By creating engaging content, businesses can increase their organic reach and engagement rates, but businesses can also choose to target specific demographics and interests through paid advertising efforts, making it easier to connect with a broader customer base, as well. And, with the help of analytics tools, those businesses gain access to valuable insights about the target audience so they can better tailor future marketing strategies.

Incorporate Customer Feedback

Social media provides a valuable platform for customer feedback, and the businesses that are equipped to handle communication via social media are better positioned to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Businesses can also ask for feedback from their customers using social media to gain insights into areas where they need to improve. When done right, customer service that is managed through social media—which is often public-facing, and thus seen by current or potential customers—can strengthen a company’s reputation, too.

For just one example, the digital music service Spotify uses a dedicated Twitter account, @SpotifyCares, solely to address customer concerns and provide support to their users. Spotify’s team responds quickly to customer inquiries and provides specific instructions to customers looking for help. The way in which Spotify uses the platform demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellent customer service, which of course builds customer loyalty and enhances its reputation in the music-streaming marketplace.

Stay Informed

Finally, as a relatively low-risk endeavor, social media marketing also helps companies stay informed about industry trends—and there’s always the chance that an organic post or video could go viral, potentially bringing a company’s product or service to the attention of millions of customers. 

Overall, the enduring presence of social media—it’s not going away—makes it a critical component of any company’s digital marketing strategy. In a world where connections, engagement, and insights matter more than ever, recognizing and harnessing the value of social media is a necessity for most businesses. Our marketing team would love to talk with you about how we can help with such an effort. (We think often about this sort of thing.)