Sometimes social media marketing is mildly unpleasant. Okay sometimes it’s a downright pain in the ass. But it’s undeniable that it’s more than worth the time and effort and statistics have consistently shown that it becomes a more and more essential part of marketing every day.

The next time you’re in the social media dumps and can’t seem to muster the energy, try to remember these seven ways social media marketing can help you achieve your business goals:

1. Generate Awareness of Your Brand

You know you are the best at what you do. But does anybody else? You could have the perfect solution to your prospects’ problems but if they don’t know you exist, there’s no way they’ll come to you for it.

Awareness is the first step in the process of creating happy customers. And social media is an easy and effective medium for achieving this goal.

2. Protect and Build Your Reputation

Online, people truly speak their minds. Social networks are great places to monitor what folks are saying about you and your company online.

In the event the chatter is negative, this can of course help you improve your processes and provide you a valuable opportunity to solve the problem. In the event that mentions of you are positive, you can amplify the sentiment and bask in the glory.

3. Connect with Key Influencers

The most valuable marketing you could ever ask for is the kind that’s free. Imagine what it’d do for your business if a major player in your industry mentioned your name to their followers.

Social media is a great way to make that initial connection with key players happen and a great platform for building the relationship.

4. Extend Your Customer Service

Because social media is public, opening the door to customer service here is a brilliant way to achieve the transparency your customers crave.

Welcome inquiries from prospects with open arms and make problem solving of your customers’ issues clear for all to see.

5. Mobilize Your Fan Base

The #1 goal of your company is to generate raving fans, right? Well social media is the ultimate platform for mobilizing your happy customers and rewarding their praise of your products and services.

It’s fun to share what a positive experience you’ve had with a company. Give your fans the opportunity to cheer you on!

6. Perform Market Research

You don’t have to spend billions on R&D to gain a solid understanding of your target market. Because your market is sharing invaluable information about their wants and needs right here online with their social networks. And you can get your hands on this data for free.

7. Drive Leads and Sales

Without leads, you can’t sell a thing. And without sales, you can’t make a cent. Social media marketing is an incredibly powerful way to drive both.

The chances are, your ideal prospects use at least one social platform every single day. Why not open up a line of communication with them through a medium they already know and love?