Social media is everywhere – we use it to communicate with friends and family, find the latest news and even look for products to buy. It has quickly become a core part of life for many billions of people around the world. That means that social media marketing should be a core part of any business’ marketing strategy.
Currently, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest of the gang have around 2.8 billion global users. And while there’s a lot of those users who just follow a few friends and family or use it to play casual games, 95% of adults between 18 and 34 use social media to follow brands. That means if you want these people to notice your company and its products or services, you need to have a social media presence.
Word of mouth has gone social too. Once people would have bought a new product and told a few friends about it, one or two of whom might buy that product themselves. These days, people share it on social media. They share the brand, they leave customer reviews and tell their friends in their status updates. This is known as social proof and 71% of consumers who have a good experience with a company are likely to recommend it to others – mostly on social media.
Power of Facebook
There’s no doubting the power of Facebook but also that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to make a mark there, especially without paid advertising. There are over 50 million small business Pages on Facebook but only around 4 million of these actually use paid advertising. Sadly, organic reach (where you reach people without paying) continues to drop, meaning businesses face rising costs to reach potential clients.
Facebook isn’t the best driver of traffic to the brand’s website because the site wants to keep everyone on it. However, it is a good platform for brand awareness, creating a following of people who are interested in what you do and will then recognise the company elsewhere online. Graphics and particularly video content work best.
Other social media sites
There’s a lot of doom about Twitter but there’s still a strong case for using the site for social media marketing. 92% of all interactions on the site have links in them and the site doesn’t have the same hang-up about sending traffic off-platform that Facebook has. It is also a big place for customer service with users expecting quick responses to tweets about problems or queries.
Instagram doesn’t suit every business but for those with a big visual component, it can be a good option. It sees a higher engagement rate than Facebook, although this is slowly changing as Facebook-style algorithms are employed. 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35 so this can be a good area for those with a younger demographic target audience.
Pinterest isn’t a social media site but is often grouped into the category. It is an excellent place to market your business as long as you learn to use great graphics, strong headlines and have time to invest in the platform. People go to the site to research and to buy and this results in a different mindset to the other platforms.
Author Bio: David Elliott is the owner of Instant Print,a marketing and print company based in Northern Ireland.