Social Media Marketing: Utilizing it as an Effective Tool
The average person uses social media websites for approximately 136 minutes a day, and as the number of social platforms increase so does the time being spent on them. Time spent on social media is greater than time devoted to grooming, eating and drinking, or even in-person social interactions. Using social media as a marketing tool is the most cost effective and resourceful way for a small business to grow their audience, which is why 97% of marketers are using it.
Why social media? Simply put, your customers are there and consuming colossal amounts of content daily. It’s estimated that 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social media profile, and that there are more than 2.5 billion social media users worldwide. With the boundless number of consumers using social media platforms each day, small businesses are presented an unparalleled marketing avenue. It is necessary to be present and active on the channels that your target audience is using most often. Refusal to affiliate your business with social media pages neglects potential engagements that you could be having with your current and new customers.
Social media is a place where we connect to the world, expand our network, and keep in touch with our friends and family. The users of these platforms aren’t necessarily there with the purpose of being marketed to, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t following the brands they find valuable. Social media outlets allow you to unmask a more personal side of your business, demonstrating your voice on an intimate level, and supports authentic connections. Consumers are overwhelmingly more responsive on social media than they are to traditional, direct marketing messages. Brand recognition and visibility are increased as your content presents your business’ true voice and nature. While the consumer may have never heard of your company before, they are more likely to explore and become better acquainted with your business after noticing you across various social networks.
Another benefit of social media is that it allows you to more specifically target your audience, rather than broadly putting a message out for anyone to see. Targeting your audience will generate higher quality leads, and eventually boost your conversion rates. While not only being a more objective advertising avenue, it’s also more financially worthwhile than conventional advertising. Social media is estimated to be at least 3 times less expensive for paid advertisements than traditional media, but you also have the option of using it entirely free.
By being more active on social media, your search engine exposure increases. Search engine algorithms are alerted by links to social content, shares, likes and comments. The livelier these engagements the better your organic growth and visibility on search engine sites. Your competition can also be found on social media and search engines, so this engagement favors the diligent.
Consumers also use social networking to find recommendations. A survey found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations! Use customer feedback, positive or negative, to thank them for their support, expose necessary areas of growth, and to boost your glowing reputation! Ask your current customers to leave reviews of their experiences, because 90% of future buyers rely on positive reviews to influence their purchasing decisions!
When executed correctly, social media is an unbeatable device. To feel like you aren’t getting the reciprocation deserved when investing your valuable time and effort is defeating to say the least. Before giving up on social media, ask yourself these questions: Are you posting the right content for your market? Are you posting enough? Are you simply posting at the wrong times? Research the various social media outlets to find the optimal times and days of the week that each platforms’ users are most active! Know your audience, be persistent, and share content of value regularly! Best of luck in your social media endeavors!
Asano, E. “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?” Social Media Today, January 2017. Retrieved from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic
Smith, K. “15 Reasons Why Marketing Through Social Media is a Must For Every Small Business.” LYFE Marketing, January 2018. Retrieved from https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/marketing-through-social-media/
Bhat, U. “4 Reasons Why Your Social Media Posts are Not getting Engagement.” Cloohawk Blog, July 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cloohawk.com/blog/4-reasons-why-your-social-media-posts-are-not-getting-engagement