Think about the amount of time each day you spend on social media sites, or the number of ways you use social media to connect with people and make decisions. Why would it be any different for your customers? Any business that chooses not to incorporate social media marketing as part of its strategy is missing out on an opportunity to scale up and pair potentially exponential revenue growth with only incremental increases in cost.
Consider the following data about Facebook alone:
- 79% of all American adults are on Facebook, and it remains the social media site that spans generations, from today’s teenagers to Baby Boomers.
- In 2016, 76% of Facebook users logged into the site daily, compared with 70% of users in 2015.
- More than 2 million businesses use Facebook for advertising, and 50 million businesses use Facebook pages.
- In 2016, Facebook’s revenue grew 56%, and its advertising revenue grew 59%.
1. Know your target audience.
It’s clear from the statistics above that it’s a good idea for your business to have a Facebook presence. But what about other social media sites, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Snapchat?
Think about your existing customer base, and its potential expansion. Which social media sites do they use? If your business markets to Millennials, it’s worth using Instagram: 59% of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Instagram. Each platform has its benefits and drawbacks. Snapchat is the fastest-growing social network, but will your customers use it? Keep your audience in mind when choosing which social media sites will work best for your marketing efforts. And don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to use them all.
2. Use social media to build consumer trust.
Social media is the public face of your brand and creates the opportunity to directly interact with your customers. For example, 59% of Americans who use social media stated that businesses with social media accounts made customer service easier and more efficient. This means that it’s your responsibility to create content that is relevant to your consumers. Don’t waste their time, or turn them off with irrelevant information.
3. Go for video.
The video trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2017. Google gives top priority to websites with video content, and ranks sites with video higher than those that are text-only. By 2018, video is predicted to make up 79% of all internet traffic. Incorporating video into your social media marketing strategy is another great way to build consumer trust: 73% of participants in a recent survey stated they were more likely to purchase a product or sign up for a service if they watched a video about the business first. While it’s a good idea to make an explainer video to introduce your business or brand, live video—such as Facebook Live—is also an increasingly popular way to connect with your target audience.
4. Consider paid advertising.
Depending on your business’s budget, it may be worth it to pay for social media advertising (87% marketers surveyed use Facebook ads, followed by Google ads at 39%)
5. Measure your progress.
There’s no sense in putting effort into social media marketing without monitoring your results. It’s easy to use Google Analytics to measure whether your social media efforts are driving traffic to your site, and to identify which marketing tactics are successful. Check your progress on a regular basis, and make adjustments where needed.
6. Consult the experts.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media marketing, wondering how to get started, or wishing someone else could make that video for you—you’re in luck. These days, it’s easy and affordable to outsource your social media needs.
By the end of 2016, 2.34 billion people used social media, compared to 1.91 billion people in 2014 and 2.14 billion in 2015. This figure is only expected to grow in 2017 and beyond. Social media marketing is becoming increasingly important, so it’s imperative that your business adapts its marketing strategy to these times.
How do you use social media marketing to your advantage? Tell us in the comments below!