What does social media marketing actually achieve?

For many people, social media channels have become an increasingly important part of their daily lives over the past decade or so. They still offer a way for people to interact socially, but therapy businesses have also gradually realised the potential value of a social media presence.

In 2015 digital ad spend in the UK grew by 16.4% [https://www.iabuk.net/about/press/archive/digital-adspend-grows-at-fastest-rate-for-seven-years] to more than £8.6 billion. Within this amount, ad spend on social media grew by 45% to reach £1.25 billion. This is more than 40% of the total spend on banner and video display ads, but social media offers more than just a platform for displaying adverts.

Some of the benefits of a holistic social media marketing campaign or ongoing social media presence can be harder to quantify in terms of ROI than a straight ahead advertising campaign, but they can still be incredibly valuable. A good social presence can help you build brand awareness for your therapy company and loyalty as you reach out to potential customers and interact with new ones.

By allowing you to communicate directly with the people who actually use your products or services, it can give you a direct line to your customers that goes beyond focus groups and traditional forms of market research. This may be in the form of unprompted comments on the therapies you offer or you might go out of your way to gather opinions, perhaps by offering incentives to fill out an online questionnaire. You should expect the bad as well as the good, but social media channels can also help you to monitor the online conversation about your business and manage any reputational issues in real time as they arise.

For many businesses, their social media profiles are only a part of their wider online presence. The main company website can act as a hub with other channels linked to it like spokes on a wheel. In this respect, social media marketing can be highly effective in improving your SEO and directing more traffic towards your website, and therefore in giving you more customers who require your therapy services.

A good social media strategy can also be used to make direct sales. But social media marketing should ultimately be about building and maintaining an ongoing relationship with your customers.

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