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Social media marketing is one of the hottest things in SEO right now. But it’s not hot simply because SEO experts are trying to sell a service. Social media marketing is hot because it works.

To be clear, social media marketing involves a number of different practices in which social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are used to reach customers with a marketing message. It can involve everything from daily posts to video and graphic content.

Here are the top five benefits of social media marketing for business:

1. Increased Brand Awareness and Loyalty

Success in the highly competitive digital arena requires a strong brand that people recognise and remain loyal to. Social media marketing is one of the most important things business owners can do to increase brand awareness. When coupled with quality products and services, that brand awareness translates to brand loyalty.

2. Increased Customer Engagement

Customers in this day and age don’t want to feel like mere numbers in a customer database. Rather, they want to feel like they are actually part of those organisations with which they do business. Social media makes it possible to engage customers in a way that answers that desire. Remember, social media is all about conversation.

3. Better Conversion Rates

Conversion is a term used by SEO experts to describe a website visitor being encouraged to become a paying customer. Social media can improve conversion rates through word-of-mouth. In other words, the greatest promotion any product or service can get is the recommendation of a satisfied customer. Social media channels are the perfect outlet for those recommendations because people share what they like with their friends.

4. Increased Site Traffic

In order to improve conversion rates, business owners need to increase their traffic as well. Social media helps in that endeavour inasmuch as the major search engines take social media into account when ranking websites. The higher your social media traffic, the higher your website traffic tends to be.

5. Improved Online Reputation

Lastly, social media marketing can be used to more tightly control a company’s online reputation. Customers are more likely to trust what they read on social media than comments left on review sites or following blog posts and articles. A company with a positive social media presence tends to have a good overall online reputation.