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You probably already know a lot of things about social media, like this is where selfies live, and hashtags, and where people post pictures of their food.

You may also know that you can run ads on social media – you’ve seen them yourself and wondered, “How did Facebook know I was just talking about getting one of those?”

But do you know why it’s smart to use your marketing budget to create social media accounts for your business? It’s because investing in social media means investing in your community.

Your community. The one you create for your audience, your customers, your people. Social media will grow and cultivate this community. The purpose of social media is to connect people. The purpose of social media for businesses is to establish trust, to humanize, to show your story and to draw people to you.

Social media allows you to build your brand in a way that makes you stand out against your competitors. With thoughtful content, you can curate a space to look and feel like a community people want to be involved in. The foundation of your social community is content. Content, content, content. You can share photos and videos, articles, blogs, events, industry news – the options are limitless. But when it’s authentic, when aesthetics are considered and when it’s targeted at the interests of your customers, your content-rich social media account can establish your brand not only as an expert in your industry but as a trusted friend.

Social media is hands-on; it’s interactive; it’s about direct interaction with your end user before, during and after they’ve made a purchase. After because, when your customer feels like more than a customer, when they feel like they’re a part of something bigger than a sale, they’ll share their positive experiences and organically become brand ambassadors.

Tell your story, show who you are, and people will decide they want to hire you; they want to buy your product or choose your services because they want to support you and the community they feel connected to.

Alison Quinn

Creativity, strategy and sparkles: our Creative Director's Big 3. Alison is a self-professed word nerd and lover of marketing that makes you go "whoa!"