It feels like only a couple of years ago that social media made its first appearance and we were all busy customizing our Myspace pages. Today, however, 96% of businesses are using social media as part of their marketing strategy. Of these, over 64% of businesses are dedicating 6 or more hours of their time per week to managing their social media. That’s a rather huge leap from the days of Myspace!
Here at Bravo, we’re no exception. With both our own social media and with our clients’ accounts, we’re constantly busy planning and executing various components of our social media marketing strategy. In fact, I could easily say that half my days here have involved dealing with some portion of social media.
So why spend all this time and money on social media?
Social media increases your exposure. There are over 1 billion people on Facebook, over 800 million on YouTube, over 200 million on both LinkedIn and Twitter, and the list goes on. Social media marketing gives you access to all of those people, plus the ability to interact with them quickly and easily. Having active social media accounts shows your consumers that you’re a real, functioning business with a voice that consumers can recognize both on and off social media. Still skeptical? In 2015, over 90% of marketers said that their social media efforts increased exposure.
Social media increases traffic. The great thing about social media is that not only do you have access to the billions of people on these sites, but they have the ability to interact with your content. A post on Facebook can drive hundreds of people to your site who otherwise would never have been there. In addition, someone who shares your post with their friends gives your post legitimacy which will then drive even more people to your site. In addition, posting on social media makes your company easier to find, which can then increase your SEO results. All this is probably why, in 2015, over 75% of marketers said that their social media increased traffic.
Social media increases your knowledge of your consumers. Figuring out what resonates with your consumers is important for all aspects of marketing. Thankfully, social media can actually help you to figure this out. Facebook, WordPress, and Google Analytics all have fantastic tracking capabilities that can help you discern what interested your consumers, what they spent more time on, what platforms they’re using and more. In fact, 71% of social media marketers are likely to gain marketplace insight through their social media activities. Getting this information without social media would be much more difficult and much less effective.
Social media helps you target consumers. Marketers have always tried to tailor messages to specific types of consumers, but never before has it been so easy to do so. Since each social media site has a clear demographic, it’s easy to target specific types of users. For example, LinkedIn serves primarily white collar professionals, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking to target high income, highly educated users. Instagram, on the other hand, has over 90% of its users under 35 years old. So it might be a good place to go if you’re looking for younger users. Not only can social media help you find the demographic you’re looking for, but it can also tell you what kind of posts you should make to each site. For example, 83% of users go to Twitter for their news. So your company should probably use Twitter to post about upcoming events and changes within the company.
So moral of the story: social media marketing is growing, and rightly so! With 96% of businesses dedicating large amounts of time to their social media strategy, it’s critical that every business uses social media to their advantage to avoid being left behind.
Catharine Gaylord || Wayne Office