Clearly social media is important. But unless you know why social media is important, then you will fail to maximize its potential as an effective sales tool.
1. It properly reflects your business/brand
Your company's social media is a reflection of the company itself. Thus, you want to make certain that your social media accurately portrays your company and the brand. All too many businesses fail to develop a social media marketing strategy, or hand over their social media to unqualified employees/interns (for the record, having a lot of Facebook friends or really liking Instagram does not qualify someone as capable of designing and executing a social media marketing strategy). Instead, a professional tone is best created through a well thought out and executed social media marketing plan. This includes knowing what you will post ahead of time, and the creation of professional looking content. Nothing screams unprofessional like a horribly sized, unbranded image that you found on Google.
"You wouldn't create an ad campaign without a plan, would you? Your social media should be no different."
2. It keeps your business and brand fresh in the minds of you fans
New, consistent, high-quality content keeps your company fresh in the minds of your current customers and potential customers. Advertising is about repetition. Use social media as a way to increase the amount of times potential and current customers are exposed to your brand, as advertisements are most successful through repetition. Use this information when considering social media advertising. Unless you plan to run your ad over an extended period of time, you are likely just wasting your money by boosting your post only once.
"No one sees an ad once and creates the emotional connection necessary to associate the ad's message with the brand. It takes several exposures to achieve a strong association."
3. Cultivate loyalty between your brand and your current fans
A strong social media presence promotes customer loyalty. Through the posting of engaging content, current fans become more passionate about your company and the brand. When they engage with your content, it increases the changes that potential customers will see these loyal customers interacting with your pages. Further, this increased loyalty means increased word-of-mouth, both on and offline.
"Use social media to create brand advocates, and they will do more selling for your business than you could ever hope to do without them."
4. It positions you as an industry expert
The social media presence you develop places you as an easily accessible industry expert. Sharing your expertise with your fans positions you as a cutting edge leader in your field. Additionally, it establishes trust between you and your fans/followers. By freely sharing your relevant expertise, fans will look to you when they need questions answered, or the products/services your business provides. The more information you share with your fans, the more you will be thought of as a thought leader in your field.
"Do not tell your fans that you are an expert; use your content to prove to your fans that you are an expert."
5. Social media humanizes your company
People want to do business with other people. Humanizing your brand gets potential customers interested, engaged, and connected with a brand that goes the extra mile. Be authentic. Be real. Be you. People are not cognitively designed to interact with technology or brands. We certainly can, but we use the same cognitive mechanisms that are designed to communicate with other humans. That means people, by default, are going to treat your business and brand like they do other people. Understand how people interact face-to-face, and you will understand how they interact with your company's social media entities.
"If people like you offline, then they will probably like you online. Conversely, if people do not like you offline, then they will probably not like you online either."