12 Benefits of Social Media

benefits of social mediaEarlier this week I was discussing with some other folks ideas for how to use social media more effectively. It occurred to me that before you can figure out how to get better at something, you’ve got to know why you’re doing it, what you hope to gain from it.

So, why use social media?  What are the benefits?

I started listing them and came up with 12:

  1. Branding. Sharing by you and your connections gets your organization in front of people and gives it personality.
  2. Networking/subscribers. Once you connect with someone, it gives you the opportunity to interact with them and provide more news and information on a regular basis. May eventually lead to future sales/support/action.
  3. Collaboration. Social media connections can lead to partnerships and new ventures.
  4. Social proof. Likes/comments/shares imply content has quality and the author has authority.
  5. Search rankings. Shares and likes improve search rankings.
  6. Sales. Social media can lead to direct sales.
  7. Learning. Connect with wise people who can help you get better.
  8. Content. Connect with people who produce great content you can share with your connections and elaborate on.
  9. Customer service. Opportunities to help and listen to customers.
  10. Customer loyalty. Ongoing communication strengthens the relationship and keeps customers coming back.
  11. Serving others. You can help others by encouraging, answering questions, providing advice, meeting needs.
  12. Leading change. Social media can enable a person to build or join a tribe of people who share a passion. Together they can brainstorm, plan, coordinate and act to accomplish more than they could individually.

Personal Bonus: The 12 benefits above all apply to organizations using social media. One additional set of benefits I want to mention stand out because they’re personal (and because nobody wants a list with 13 items on it). Those benefits include friendships, encouragement, fun and laughs that come through social media.

Did I miss any?

Which of these reasons are you and your organization using social media?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

10 Responses to “12 Benefits of Social Media”

  1. michellegilstrap Nov 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    This is great information Paul and something that many organizations need to consider when using social media.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Nov 21, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Michelle. It's not as if every organization has to pursue all 12 benefits either, but it's good to be specific about why you're using social media so that you tailor your strategy to reach those goals.

  2. 3dimensionallife Nov 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I don't think you meant this to be in chronological order, but I would start with #11 first. Great post Paul!

    • PaulSteinbrueck Nov 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Hey Ken, you're right. I just listed them in the order I thought of them. #11 is a good place to start and so is #7 learning. And of course you can do many of them at the same time too.

  3. And the no.1 reason not to use social media 'peer pressure – because everyone else is' :)

    Your right Paul, there are loads of good reasons to get on social media but dont ever do it because you feel like you have to!

    • PaulSteinbrueck Dec 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      I agree Rowan. In reality not much good comes out of anything – social media or otherwise – if we do it out of a sense of obligation.

  4. I think those are great tips, Paul. I think we have such a great opportunity to use social media for the good, to really make a difference. Thanks!

  5. Thanks Paul, Great information to share! I am working with a Christian social media company called ChristTube.com It has not launched as of yet. Scheduled to launch soon. Take a peek, very interesting!

    • PaulSteinbrueck Jan 18, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Hey Melvin, sounds interesting. I think you're going to get a lot of people who hear ChristTube and think GodTube. IMO, it'll take some effort on your part to help people understand you're not trying to be a Christian YouTube.