Many companies take the step into social media with the hope that they will see a huge influx of new customers, an instant rise in profits and a quick return on investment; this, however, rarely happens. The problem with social media is that it can take time to build a presence and the gains from it aren’t always clear.

For companies doubtful about their social media presence, there are several indicators to consider that may prove it is more effective than is immediately apparent.

A key area for social media usage is in marketing a company’s brand. With strategic management of social media platforms, marketing executives are able to manipulate what customers know about their company’s products and services. With regular management of the channel, marketers can increase brand awareness and reputation through social media.

Another area in which social media can make gains is in creating a community. As a company gains ‘likes’ and followers, the marketers have immediate access to them. This allows businesses to obtain information about their audience and potential customers that is more relevant than most forms of market research.

Through social media sites, marketers can drive traffic to their websites. Creative content can be used to attract community members to click through to company’s main website. This traffic can be easily monitored with web analytic services.

As a business builds its social media presence, it becomes more influential. There is an exponential effect created as more people access a company’s social media channel: the more followers or ‘likes’ gained will inevitably lead to more, and thus a larger audience are available from which to garner more customers.

While introducing a social media marketing strategy won’t double profits overnight, a business can effectively boost its profile when enough time and effort is put in.