Social Media Day
This Sunday is Social Media Day. For many years now businesses have incorporated social media into their marketing mix as another means of engaging with prospective customers. It's an extremely effective communication tool that has become widespread across many industries. Gone are the days where companies rely solely on direct, email, and other traditional methods of marketing to showcase their products. These days, an organisation's social media presence is their shop window and its capabilities should not be underestimated. Here are four reasons why your business should be investing more time in social media marketing, if you aren't already.
1. Your customers will likely be using social media
Whether you're B2B or B2C, it is highly likely your customers and your prospects will be on social media. To give you more of an idea, there are now 3.484 billion active social media users around the world. This represents 45% of the globe's population and has increased by 280 million since January 2018. Of that figure, there are now over 60 million active business pages on Facebook alone, and LinkedIn is home to over 610 million professionals looking to interact with like-minded people.
These figures just go to show that more and more businesses are adopting a social presence as a means of conveying their brand message in order to increase sales. Remember, it's a good thing to follow certain trends in the marketplace, as they will be popular for a reason.
2. Social media helps increase brand awareness
These days your business cannot rely solely on word-of-mouth marketing, direct mail, or an email campaign to make people aware of your brand. Can you honestly say you always open marketing emails? Look at the aforementioned statistics and think about the millions of people you could be engaging with on a daily basis by incorporating social media into your strategy.
By having an online presence you have a much higher chance of reaching a larger audience. Brand awareness is key when promoting a business, and because 95% of adults are more likely to follow a brand via social media, this suggests social media is a prime way of maximising outreach. Being active on social media means your followers will likely see your content, they then may be prompted to follow your company if you offer a product or service that could fulfil their needs. This ultimately increases your brand awareness.
3. Social media marketing is largely free
As a business you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. Social media is very much that gift horse in that the majority of its features are free of charge. Of course there is the option to pay for advertising, which in turn will help you refine your target audience for a more focused outreach. However, for those who wish to grow their presence organically, then it's there for the taking. For example, including trending hashtags in your posts to reach a larger audience will not only increase your brand awareness, but also engagement if the content resonates with the viewers. Sprout Social suggests using 1-2 hashtags on Twitter, 2-3 on LinkedIn, and up to 30 on Instagram.
4. Traffic to your website will likely increase
Another major digital shop window for your business is your website, and your social media channels should work in conjunction with your website in order to generate more traffic and convert that traffic into sales. After all, social media accounts for 31% of all referral traffic, which is a significant proportion of your website's visitors. Considering your site is where prospects find out detailed information about your products and services before making a purchasing decision, can you really afford to lose 31% of your traffic from not marketing via social media?
Using social media platforms as a pre-sales tool will enable your business to attract the attention of your audience by showcasing the benefits of your products, before prompting them to head over to your website to give them a full overview of what you offer.
A note from the expert
We spoke to our local social media guru, Alex McCann at Altrincham HQ, whose knowledge and expertise has frequently graced the marketing strategy at Hopewiser:
Social media is often the first impression people have of your business. 99.9% of businesses that have opened in my home town in the past few years I've heard about from social media first, and then traditional media/marketing second. Every networking meeting I walk into I meet new business owners that have joined Twitter, followed us on Twitter first and then subsequently networked.
It doesn't matter whether you are a B2C or B2B business, social media is the first and often only impression people have of your business. All we are doing as marketers is marketing into people's spare moments. The chances are you are reading this blog because you were scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn when you had a spare 10 minutes.
The average person in the UK picks up their phone 150 times a day - those moments on public transport, those moments on a lunch break, those moments when your colleagues are running 10 minutes late for a meeting, the TV ad breaks, when you're out with friends and family members. Even on the toilet!
As marketers that's what we're marketing into - the space, the quiet, and the spare moments too. What that can mean is customers get to spend time with you rather than the competition. One post can literally mean cash in tills, whether it be £5 or £10,000.