Many of us love paper because of its physical nature. We can work it, quantify it and share it in ways that appeal to our senses. Conversely, paper people can be cautious about getting into the social media game because it seems directly opposite to paper. It lacks tangibility, it’s constantly adapting to new trends and it’s easy to ask “What’s real about social media?” Well, it doesn’t get much realer than its impact on your marketing strategy. If you haven’t yet, then it’s time to enter the social media game and we can tell you why and how you should get started.
The rise of social media has changed the way consumers find products and services—when potential customers learn about a new company, their first stop is often that business’s social media profile. This is especially true in a world still dealing with a pandemic; consumers are ever more used to vetting a company online before they even consider walking through its doors, making now the time to update your forms of digital communication. Social media, like other forms of communication, is a method to a means and let’s face it—consumers have never been so tuned in and connected to brands, so we must meet them where they are. Today, a loyal customer is more than just someone who returns for more products, they have become advocates and bring with them a network of prospects. How you engage and retain their loyalty is through authentic and genuine conversations in their everyday lives and that’s where social can help your business.
Many consumers themselves have large online presences and social media is a great way to stay up to date with customer information and industry trends while sharing. These platforms are your chance to communicate what you do in a way that matters to the people you want to reach. If you’re still not convinced or need a little help to make a case, here are a few facts to persuade you:
- First and most important, your competitors are still doing it
- 28% of users turn to social networks to do product research before purchasing
- 40% of users are following their favorite brands on social media
- In 2019, 1 in 4 users were following brands on social media from which they might make a purchase. As of May 2020, 9 out of 10 people reported making purchases from brands they follow.
- In 2019, 7 out of 10 Americans used social media to share, engage, entertain and communicate with one another. Since then, social media usage has increased by 3% to an estimated 233 Million users in the US alone.
- In 2019, 76% of users report that they visit Facebook regularly and 56% report that they visit several times per day
- When we previously published this article, we reported that Facebook hit 1.57 Billion users during their 3rd quarter, more than the population in China. Five years later, they have over 2.8 Billion monthly users.
- LinkedIn is the 3rd most used social network for business owners
And Here’s How
Now that you’ve decided to up your social media strategy, it’s time to learn how. The best approach is an integrated approach, linking your social, print, direct mail, web, radio and/or television marketing to weave your story and engage your target audience. Here are a few ways you can begin;
- Research what your competitors or partners are doing in your industry.
While general practices are great, learning what works best for companies like your own is important.
- Set up a LinkedIn or Instagram profile.
Those two platforms are relatively straightforward and easier to get the hang of than others. Once you have a profile, you can share pictures and business updates, keeping you front of mind and ensuring that others know that you’re active.
- Follow pages that operate in ways you’d like to emulate.
Keeping an eye on pages that inspire you or set an example that you’d like to follow can prevent you from stumbling over a creative block.
- Utilize short videos and creative photography
Both options are good content pieces that can be shared on both a website and social media. Don’t worry about purchasing expensive photo equipment or finding a studio, just take clear, well-lit photos that show off your product in a positive way.
Social media is here to stay and, for better or worse, it’s not going away. The platforms may change and one will fade while another rises, but social media as a tool will continue to value, as long you use it to connect with your audience and research news and information.
This article is an update to our 2019 blog on social media trends.