The recurring question I’ve been hearing more and more is – Does Social media help? I can assure you when it comes to marketing and SEO, consultants have pondered, discussed, regurgitated this very topic at least once a month. Now it’s a matter of figuring out which social network makes sense and why should our clients use them?
A few years ago, I would have answered that question with an automatic no. I even wrote about it. But now, I have to rethink the choices I’m making for clients. Given the versatility in communications and the evolution in mediums. I have to retract my previous statement. Therefore, I’m tossing caution to the wind and stating every business needs a presence on social media. Actually, I was reading a great article over at Fast Company and noticed some pretty amazing statistics. No, I did not fast check their credibility, but hello this is Fast Company, so go with me on this one.
Boils down to, if you have an online business today, then you need social media. There I said it. This might seem like a bold statement, (given I have advised against using social networks for the sake of following the pack) especially for those whose services are not specifically catered to the age group that traditionally use social media. I get it, I hear you. Yet, I’ve seen how social media can impact the success of a business and, it’s absolutely staggering. Businesses need to see and understand their relationship with social media in order adapt it to a world increasingly reliant on this method of communication. Below are some facts about social media.
Did you know YouTube is Able to Reach More Adults between 18 and 34 than any Cable News Network?
Allow this statistic to sink in. Maybe a mojito will help…More adults aged 18 to 34 watch YouTube than they watch any sort of cable network. This is a rapid departure from even five years ago. So let’s break it down, shall we? In order for a business to appeal to a younger audience or even get their target audience to see the ad, they need to take to YouTube, vine, etc.
Therefore, creating viral videos and making sure that appropriate social media coverage is utilized is the only way to effectively reach this age group. Fun right? Let me give you a word of advice. If you’re going to go this route, then spend the money on getting a professional video created. Look that’s not to say you can’t use fiverr for a short minute to 3-minute video. With that said make sure you have an amazing script ready to go. You can create a great video for under $100, yes on fiver but you have to become a director that knows how to communicate. At the end of the day companies that can read/understand their audience are richly rewarded.
Social Media is Now Bigger than Porn on the Internet – Yup that’s right
Porn used to be the biggest thing on the Internet. I’m not ashamed to admit this, but the porn industry in general were my number one clients back in the late 80’s early 90’s. That industry had found the mother lode on the Internet. Actually back in the day, it was the entire point of the Internet. This means the vast majority of Internet users, and the majority of the audience for practically any product or service, can be reached by using this communication method. I cannot stress enough how ignoring social media will leave a huge portion of your potential customers untapped. I’m not saying dive into any social network. No, au contraire, I’m saying do some research and create a roadmap for your companies needs. Work locally and think globally my friends. The fruits of your labor will be ripe for the picking as it were and with it, you learn patience. A word of caution, don’t bother with creating a social presence unless you’re going to be active for a minimum of 6months before you can actually see the needle move.
Social Media Demographics are Changing
Another interesting tidbit I’ve been masticating is, how fast the demographic aged (55-64) on Twitter is growing. Sure, I’m one of those statistics, and I’ve always considered Twitter like a big cocktail party. Think about it? You have a room full of people, new ones, old ones, and so many conversations going on. All you have to do is navigate your way into the hearts of your followers, entice new conversations and enjoy the conversations. But, that’s another post, which I’ve also written about but, I’m sure could use an update.
Let me continue, US adults between the ages of 45 and 54 are the fastest growing demographics on Facebook and Google+. There’s an eye opener. I didn’t know that did you? For Facebook, this demographic has jumped by 46%. For Google+, it’s by 56%. So here’s your homework for the week, figure out who your target is and start thinking of a plan. The pan will/must involve finding the people that need to be targeted in order for your company to see any value. Using social media to spread a company’s brand can hit every segment of the population, as long as the content is targeted for multiple demographics. Another article is in the works but this should be enough for you to start the process.
Most Cost Effective Option Available
This is a slippery slope. How much does it cost for a community manger to handle your social media needs? I would say, it depends. Don’t you love that answer? Well, when you figure the decisions being made to allow someone to represent you or your brand, how much is that worth?
Can you train someone? Sure, but more often than not, the people in charge of social networks for a company are wearing different hats in the company. Therefore, please think this through.
My suggestion is either get your VP of marketing to find someone internally that can do this, or hire a PR/Social media company that will become a partner in your success. At the end of the day what are we using in social networks? Content, and a warm body that can respond, engage, and build authority for your product and your brand. Therefore paying someone to spend 20- to 40 hours a week to build your credibility online may well be worth the investment.
When done correctly that one extra salary can pay for millions of connections across the Internet, as opposed to salaries and materials required for a standard commercial to be produced. Because social media is so cost effective, it is often one of the best ways for a smaller business or start-up to actually reach a wider customer base.
Increases Communication Between the Company and the Customers
I have to admit this is my favorite reason to put on my warrior hat for social networks. I can reach anyone and everyone in a matter of minutes. Whether it’s a complaint, compliment, or question. The advantages of social media are the increase in overall communication between the company and the customers. Companies have a much higher customer satisfaction score when adequate communication is not only available, but also encouraged. Customers are more likely to talk to others about their experiences with a company in a positive light if the company goes the extra step to address concerns and complaints. Social media is an extremely effective strategy to foster this communication and ensure that customers get their needs met. This is your chance to be the social butterfly you have always wanted to be but were to shy to embark on. Yes, the world is your oyster; it’s a matter of you working it.
189 Million of Facebook’s Users Only Use a Smartphone for the Site
This stat had me re-thinking using Facebook. Honestly, I can only think of a few verticals where Facebook is a no brainer, but B2B not so much, unless of course they’ve opened the floodgates to the consumer. Therefore when you consider 189 million Facebook users only ever use Facebook on their phones. Who are these young buccaneers? Certainly not my age group, we can barely see the text on the small screen. This is huge, if you really think about it and take advantage of the opportunities. Today, a person’s phone is practically attached to their hip therefore; a company that uses Facebook effectively has more access to engaging directly than ever before. This can improve a company’s bottom dollar. I’ve seen it over and over again. Take a look at how Facebook is selling ads. Let me add in full disclosure I don’t work for Facebook nor am I getting a slice of anything for saying this, but take a look at their advertising model. For very little you can reach a wide audience. Now, imagine writing the correct message to drive that new source of revenue stream into your company. Nuff said, moving right along.
93% of Marketers Use Social Media for Business
Only 7% of all marketers don’t use social media. Now that’s a very small number of absenteeism. This statistic, above any other information in this article, should prove to a business that using social media is important. Social media is now part of practically every major marketing strategy because it works. It attracts customers. It increases traffic on a company’s website and increases the chance that potential customers will be converted into actual customers.
93% of marketers have figured out that social media can help their businesses and many have developed methods that use social media to its fullest capacity. There is a growing cluster of services that are designed to help a business jump-start its social media presence to help these marketers ensure their success.
Because of the huge audience that social media is able to reach, and an overall increase in access to the lives of those in the audience, social media marketing can truly be your answer.
At Level343 we love talking about your social outreach. We can help you create and implement a social footprint that will garner authority, engagement, and community.