There are a lot of companies that still fail to see the advantage of investing in social media within their current marketing strategy. For many big company execs, marketing managers and small business owners, social media is still considered a fad; an outpost for slackers, hipsters and “OMG” teeny boppers.
For many business decision makers, social media is considered to be a time waster. The perception of sites like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram is they are only good for sharing videos of kittens and small children, and likewise, Twitter is only good for getting you in trouble, just look at (Chelsea Handler or Courtney Love), and Google + is irrelevant.
Thinking this way is a big mistake!
Being a successful entrepreneur requires the ability to develop potential customers by using any means necessary. If you are not currently active on social media marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you can bet your competitors are and they are producing significant results. Here are some statistics to chew on:
- 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form.
- 83% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.
- The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75%.
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
(Statistics: Courtesy of Hubspot)
Still think social media is a fad? Here are some usage stats for you.
- The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket. This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
- The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
- For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
- For Google+, 56%.
- YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network.
- Every second two new users join LinkedIn.
(Statistics: Courtesy of Fast Company)
If you are still unconvinced, consider these trends.
Some recent statistics from Forrester Research Analyst Zachary Reiss Davis show the trends: “according to Forrester’s newest B2B Social Technographics® numbers, fully 100% of business decision-makers use social media for work purposes. Other stunningly high numbers: 98% of business decision-makers are Spectators (they read blogs, watch videos, or listen to podcasts), 79% are Joiners (they maintain a profile on social networking sites), and 75% are Critics (they comment on blogs and post ratings and reviews), all in the context of their business activities.” (Source: Forrester Research)
This means that business leaders are spending more time on social media sites and using the information found there to aid in their decision making process.
That’s the Good News!
Even more exciting is that people across the globe are spending increasing amounts of time on social media sites, leading to opportunities to expand into new markets, create targeted micro-content aimed at very specific buying demographics and allow you to receive feedback about your products and services in very diverse business environments.
Social media can also be used to help you find more details about your business than you ever imagined possible. An example of the power of social media is the use of hashtags and trending topics, which allow you to find specific information about your company, what people may be saying about it, or even find insights regarding the market in which you are involved.
Social media is a vital tool that is readily available and will help your business reach new customers and grow in ways – and at speeds – that more traditional marketing can’t accomplish. As the statistics above show, social media usage has gone mainstream. Because people are spending significantly more time on social media sites, the battle for the attention of all of these eyeballs has also intensified.
In order to engage all of those prospects, what was once a free, effective and a relatively painless way to market now comes at a cost. Many of these social media companies have gone public in well publicized I.P.O.’s. This means that behemoths like Facebook and Twitter have to answer to shareholders and figure out how to make a buck or two, and they have. In order to reach your desired target audiences, you now have to pay to play in the form of boosted posts on Facebook, and Twitter and LinkedIn Ads.
It is becoming a challenge for companies to get the attention of potential customers for their products and services. As a result, companies must be strategic about their social media strategies, assuming you have one in the first place. Time, attention and most of all resources must be allocated to social media as the marketing medium moves out of its infancy into adulthood.
Marketing budgets either need to expand OR dollars should be redirected from lower performing marketing strategies to develop effective social media campaigns. The free lunch is over, and social media marketing is now becoming a necessity for most businesses.
Companies MUST move in this direction by allocating resources to sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. While costs have increased, the rewards are significant. Social media has quickly become the best way to develop social influence and increase brand awareness on the web.
Be sure to implement social media into your marketing campaign today, as it will be the best way to keep up with those around you.
So What Are You Waiting For?
David, a HubSpot Certified Inbound Marketer is the Chief Content Creator for InTouch Marketing and its clients.