With 2017 at the halfway mark, businesses face new challenges in terms of growth. Social media provides the best opportunities because it allows companies to connect and interact with audiences they want to reach. For greater Business Development and growth, social media data provides the right information to reach these audiences and make sales.

Social media for business development

SmartBrief reported that businesses benefit when they use social intelligence. Understanding customers in the B2C market and understanding businesses in the B2B market make it easier to develop solutions to solve customer problems.

No person or company looks for something to buy. Social intelligence is about finding out about who potential customers are and then using that data to devise solutions. Many companies don't want to do that because it is hard work, and profits don't come immediately because there is no sale. When businesses show customers they understand them and understand their wants and needs, the conversions are higher when the time comes to make the sale. It also allows businesses to build credibility with their customers, especially online.

Best channels for social marketing

Marketing Profs reported that successful social media marketing focused on the top B2B and B2C channels and paid advertising channels.

Based on recent research from Social Media Examiner, many marketers said they used Facebook for marketing their businesses. The survey covered 5,710 marketers from around the world. Ninety-four percent said they used Facebook as part of their marketing efforts. Other social media channels included Twitter, which came in second at 68 percent, Linkedin at 56 percent, Instagram at 45 percent, YouTube at 30 percent, and Pinterest at seven percent.

B2C marketers were more likely to use Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest more than B2B marketers. For the first time, Facebook surpassed Linkedin in B2B marketers even though about one-third of marketers said that Linkedin was the most important in terms of marketing to other businesses.

Video marketing offers a unique opportunity for marketers to capitalize on since almost sixty percent of executives prefer to watch a video rather than read.

Live video allows businesses to build credibility by showing authenticity. Social media specialization is important to small businesses since they often don't have the resources to focus on multiple sites the way big brands do. This means small businesses would do better to focus all their resources on one site. Businesses may want to consider the latest internet marketing trends when creating overall marketing strategies. Small businesses also need to consider the latest small business trends as technology changes, and explore the influencer marketing tools available.