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The impact of social media across every part of your business


Index data reveals consumers’ primary reason for following a brand on social is to stay informed about new products or services (68%). This stat proves social media is where consumers go to discover new brands, which makes it a powerful channel for growing awareness.

Brand awareness is the first step toward generating new leads, edging out the competition and driving sales. Tactics like influencer marketing are especially effective, as influencers continue to wield considerable sway. According to The 2024 Influencer Marketing Report, trust in influencers is holding steady, as nearly half of consumers trust influencers as much as they did six months ago, and another 30% trust them more. With the right influencers (and their loyal followers) on your side, you can amplify your brand significantly.

Social media data also serves as a barometer of your current brand awareness. For example, Sprout’s AI-driven, Social Listening solution surfaces insights that reveal how you stack up to your competition via metrics like share of voice, positive sentiment, total engagements and overall conversation volume. These insights are a source of truth that can influence your company-wide competitive strategy—on social and beyond.

For more tips to distinguish yourself from your competitors on social media, check out our list of 12 proven strategies to increase brand awareness.

3. Maintains (or creates) relevance

Today’s trend cycle moves fast—fueled by Gen Z’s internet behavior—and social media is where trends are born. To stay alert to emerging trends relevant to your audience, you must keep your finger on the pulse of social.

Trends aside, brands that retire or divest from their social media presence are also at risk of irrelevance and being abandoned by their communities. Social media is the key to building a long-term brand strategy that will help you stay top of mind for years (and decades) to come.

In the face of fierce competition for consumer attention, it’s imperative to tune into conversations happening around your brand and industry. Social listening enables you to tap into and analyze what people are saying about your company, even if you aren’t tagged or mentioned. With Sprout’s AI-powered Social Listening solution, it’s easier to create queries and synthesize insights so you can observe trends, uncover patterns and gauge emotional responses to your brand, products, hashtags and industry.

Listening Performance Topic Summary in Sprout's platform. In the image, you can see total volume, engagements, impressions and sentiment analysis.

4. Drives revenue

Social media is ever-present in the sales funnel. From generating awareness through organic campaigns to supporting social commerce through influencer marketing, social plays a key role in acquiring and holding onto customers.

For example, almost half (49%) of consumers make purchases at least once a month inspired by an influencer post, while 86% make a purchase at least once a year, according to The 2024 Influencer Marketing Report.

A call-out card from Sprout's Influencer Marketing Report that reads 86% of consumers make a purchase inspired by an influencer at least once a year

The 2023 State of Social Media Report found that 88% of business leaders agree social insights are critical to customer retention. That’s because social media helps you better understand what your buyers want and need. With their feedback on hand, you can improve and optimize every part of your sales strategy—from social selling to your website to your customer outreach.

Some metrics (like MQLs) simplify attribution and make it easy to define ROI. Others (like engagement) can correlate with revenue gains, but their direct influence is harder to prove.

A tool like Sprout Social’s Tableau BI Connector enables you to analyze data, create custom metrics and merge different data sources. This seamless and customized view gives you a consolidated source of truth for wider business insights and performance, and a clear perception of how social impacts revenue gains.

A Tableau dashboard with data from Sprout Social incorporated.

5. Fosters brand community

Some 41% of marketers agree brands that actively engage and respond to their communities are culturally relevant on social. A brand community is a place for people with an emotional investment in your brand to connect with each other and your company. Remember: There are many people who already love your brand. In fact, your brand community probably already exists on social media—you just need to find it.

A LinkedIn post from the Arboretum by Sprout Social that showcases the community's mentorship network

Establishing relationships with your existing and potential customers makes them feel valued, which increases brand loyalty and evangelism. Brand communities on social media are especially powerful business tools because they allow companies to hear from and engage with their biggest advocates in real time. Within your community on social, you can easily test new product mockups, source requested features, share content and collect feedback that can improve every aspect of your business.

6. Encourages brand advocacy

Satisfied employees want to spread the word about their company by posting on social. With social budgets tightening, your employees are your superpower for expanding your reach without straining your bandwidth or ad budget. It’s a win-win.

According to Sprout’s Employee Advocacy Report, posting company content helps employees accomplish their day-to-day tasks and long-term goals. Employees report that sharing on social can help outside audiences understand their brand’s values, provide new leads and ways to engage with them, expand their potential reach and engagement and communicate important messages internally.

A graphic that reads: Ways employees believe sharing company posts on social media helps their role. The ways include: brand awareness, social selling, market amplification and internal communication. The chart compares engaged user responses (employees who spend average of 60 minutes or more on social media each day) and casual user responses (employees who spend less than 60 minutes a day on social media). Brand awareness and social selling are top reasons for engaged and casual users.

The Advocacy Report also revealed 72% of engaged social media users would post about their company if content was written for them. Sprout’s Employee Advocacy platform enables you to draft message ideas for your employees to share, which makes it easy for them to amplify your content and help you achieve your goals.

A screenshot of Sprout's Employee Advocacy platform that demonstrates how users can curate a new story for their internal team to share.

7. Maximizes recruitment

Prospective candidates rely on social media to find open positions and research companies. According to LinkedIn, 65 million people use the platform to search for jobs each week.

The staggering figure explains why building a strong employer brand with the help of social media is essential to attracting top talent. To stand out in a sea of employers, your content needs to showcase your unique culture and values, and encourage brand advocacy. For example, creating a meet the team social post series is an effective way to humanize your brand and grow your candidate base.

An Instagram Carousel from Sprout Social introducing one of our Product Managers

In addition to having your pick of the talent pool, featuring and celebrating your current employees will boost their satisfaction and reduce turnover, while generating audience engagement. According to a Q4 2023 Pulse Survey, 48% of consumers want to see frontline employees in more brands’ social content.

8. Informs customer and competitor research

For marketers, social media data is worth more than gold, as it reveals invaluable information about customers and competitors alike. According to The 2023 State of Social Media Report, 88% of business leaders expect to use data more in the next two years. Another 93% agree social insights will be a primary source of business intelligence.

When shared effectively, insights from social data can enrich an entire organization’s understanding of their customers and competition. For example, as the demographic information from Sprout’s Listening solution illustrates, AI analysis makes quick work of determining the age and gender breakdown of your audience and which topics, issues and trends matter most to them.

Insights from Sprout’s Listening tool showcasing audience demographics like age and gender.

9. Refines product development

People are talking about your products on social media right now. They’re sharing what they love about them, and the exact ways they want you to improve them. Building the right social listening queries can surface the feedback and prioritize product development needs.

An Instagram Reel from Sprout Social about the power of using sentiment analysis

Building long-term partnerships with influencers can also enrich R&D. According to The Influencer Marketing Report, 62% of all consumers who make daily or weekly purchases based on influencer recommendations are likely to share product feedback directly with influencers. The influencers you partner with have an even more direct view into your customers’ sentiment and feedback—insights that can help your brand pivot in real-time and grow long-term.

When you can turn feedback into meaningful insights and share them with your product and development team, you will strengthen your go-to-market strategy. For example, with the help of Sprout, Grammarly regularly shares feedback from social with their product and user experience teams to keep them up to date on trends and opportunities.

How social media impacts different business types

While social media positively impacts all business types, there are a few distinct benefits for companies of different sizes.


For small and medium businesses, social media is an accessible way to access a wide audience and should be an essential part of your marketing playbook. Even with a small social team (or maybe even a team of one), you can design, execute and manage a presence that reaches and engages your target audience.

Read more: How Orkney Library uses social media to grow a global fanbase.


For enterprise brands, social is business critical. Through social, you have access to valuable, global customer data that is essential to creating and maintaining a business advantage. Plus, social data makes it easier to measure and attribute the success of campaigns at scale, which can have a large impact on an organization’s big picture. In fact, 82% of enterprise marketers say their social strategy impacts their business’ bottom line, and 85% say social enables them to create new products and services.

Read more: How Vizient uses brand advocacy to triple social engagements.


B2C brands depend on social to increase their discoverability and create customers for life. By leveraging influencer marketing and developing communities of loyal fans, B2C companies tap into the power of social proof. Authentic engagement builds audience trust, driving long-term growth and brand affinity.

Read more: How Casey’s improved their overall guest satisfaction score with Sprout’s customer care capabilities.


When B2B brands harness social media, they significantly boost their market presence—making it easier to drive steady revenue growth. Like B2C, B2B companies rely on brand advocacy (from their employees, customers and community) to increase share of voice and visibility.

Read more: How Salesforce saved 12,000 hours and increased community engagement efficiency tenfold with Sprout.


For nonprofit organizations, social is a prime channel for securing donations, increasing awareness of their mission, influencing public discourse and providing a community for those advocating for their cause. Unlike traditional media, social offers a direct line to the public, making it easier to encourage time-sensitive action and shape the narrative.

Read more: How the Innocence Project uses social to save lives.

How will social media impact your business this year?

The future is bright for companies that recognize the power of social insights. Make the most of the business intel gleaned from social by bringing social data to the forefront of your business conversations. To get started, you’ll need the right tools. Use our social media management buyer’s guide to evaluate and select a platform that will have the largest impact on your business.

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