Social media has dramatically changed the marketing landscape in ways never thought possible. We now have a tool that allows us to distribute information all over the world in a matter of seconds.

In this rapidly evolving time, it has now become a must for business owners to harness the many capabilities of social media platforms in order to ensure future success for their businesses.

Here are 5 reasons why social media is important.

Driving Traffic: Want to drive more people to your website? Social networking sites have been ranked the top sites referring consumers to company websites. Something that was once the sole purpose of search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo, has now become a common use for sites such as Facebook and Instagram, which are being increasingly used as main company directories for users.

SEO: Having a larger presence on social media sites will assist your SEO strategies; particularly as search engines are including more and more social media results. Having your name across multiple social media platforms will help to increase the likelihood of customers finding your business.

Engagement: Social media platforms allow for real time two-way conversations between you and your customers. Engaging and interacting with your customers in positive ways can greatly help to improve your business’ reputation and build a quality brand image. Communicating in an online setting will help to build personal and trustworthy relationships with your customers, and help sustain competitive advantage.

Branding: Building a brand online is no longer just about visual aspects, but has become greatly dependent on personality. Social media sites give you the platform to form this personality. How you interact with customers and the type of content you choose to share will help to build a desired brand image and tell your customers what you’re really about.

Mobile: Most Internet activity and social media activity is done through a mobile device. Having a large presence on social media sites puts your business into the hands of potential customers. As any type of content can be shared onto social media via mobile device, you will be able to update and share important content with customers in real time – something that requires much more time-consuming process with a website.