Whether you’re the intern who’s tasked with managing the company Facebook account or the Director of Communications trying to expand your reach, there’s likely someone above you who needs to understand why it’s not wasting time when you’re retweeting posts on Twitter and commenting on Facebook.

1. Social media is a lead generation machine

Social media isn’t a kid’s toy or an online experiment. It’s used by millions of businesses to interact with potential customers. Long gone are they days when your ad budget was best spent on outdoor advertising, direct mail, and TV.

People are too busy texting and driving to read billboards.

Consumers hate spam. Direct mail is spam.

Commercials? What are those? I have a DVR and Netflix.

So, how can you still advertise to consumers when it seems like all their attention is sucked up by other things? Go where their attention is. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Snapchat. And the list goes on and will continue to grow.

Using social media channels for your business is the most effective way to get your brand and message in front of people. You can control what you publish, when, and how often. Not to mention advertising on social media.

Any leader or boss who doesn’t see the value and opportunity in paid social media advertising and is still doing traditional advertising isn’t going to be a leader for long. Their business will be overtaken by a competitor who eats up the market share using social media and paid ads to dominate.

Let your boss know you can create buyer personas (a demographic/psychographic profile) of people you want to market to, create ads written and targeted specifically for those audiences, and then track them all the way through your sales funnel. If your boss still wants to do direct mail and billboards, go ahead. The wall is right there. Bang away.

2. Facebook is a community built around your brand

People love to share their experiences with others. They really love to share their opinions. And consumers absolutely love to be the one to introduce an idea, brand, or product to their friends. Does that sound like Facebook to you, by chance?

When your company taps into the Facebook community and finds a few brand advocates who are willing to share your content, you’ll see a ripple effect in terms of likes, shares, and comments. Those all translate to new leads. New leads translate to sales.

3. Twitter is an extension of your customer service department

Similar to #2, people love to complain. How many times have you seen a story about an airline completely ruining an opportunity to solve a customer complaint on Twitter? For each one of those stories, there are hundreds of similar but opposite examples of businesses using Twitter to engage a disgruntled customer in real-time, all the while engaging with 13 other people from the same account. Instead of one person on one phone line dealing with one customer at a time, Twitter opens the gate to unparalleled customer communication.

You can also use it to advertise your business, build brand advocacy, and spread your message, too. On top of that, you can monitor brand, industry, and competitor keywords and leverage those opportunities to engage leads and prospects, converting them into your customer before the competition has the chance. Not so worthless, huh?

4. Instagram gives authenticity to your company

If Facebook is your marketing department on social and Twitter is your customer service, that makes Instagram a great fit for showing the personality and behind-the-scenes operations of your business.

Instagram is a built around sharing visual content in the form of photos and videos. You can showcase special offerings, employees of the month, a sneak peek at an upcoming feature release, and a lot more.

By using each platform in a focused and intentional manner, you’re ensuring a good diversity in the way you approach your marketing and communications. A lot of businesses just go with a shotgun approach and call it a day. Truly successful businesses using social media will have a specific strategy to each of their channels, just as they would have 30 years ago with TV, radio, outdoor, and direct mail.


5. It’s only becoming more vital to successful business

Look at the most successful businesses out there today. Regardless of industry, there’s an extremely high likelihood a lot of their brand awareness and advocacy is due to their activity on social media.

Your company is no different. In fact, you have more of an opportunity as a small business to beat your competitors out using these free tools all your prospective customers are already using.