Social media is cost-friendly, ubiquitous, and effective. So why aren’t you using it?
Many old-school business owners make claims that their audience isn’t on social media. Why? Because those business owners aren’t on social media, and assume that their target audience is just like them. The idea that at least part of your target audience isn’t using social media is high unlikely, considering that nearly 70% of U.S. adults use Facebook alone.
This is a frequent issue in homegrown or bootstrapped businesses. At some point, either because of business growth or the passage of time, business owners diverge from their target audience. There are several huge advantages of using social media for your business.
11 Social Media Stats for Business
Here are 11 benefits of using social media for business backed up with several statistics that show why you should be taking advantage of social media marketing starting yesterday.
1. Receive High Return for Low Effort
79% of marketers participating in a study reported increased traffic using social media marketing.
Spending as little as 6 hours a week on social media marketing, 92% of the same marketers reported that social media also increased exposure for their business. Simply having a Facebook or Twitter page that posts once in a while puts your business on the digital map and adds legitimacy to your operation.
SEO vs. social media marketing are very different in this respect, as SEO has a reputation for using a significant amount of marketing resources.
2. Your Business Can’t Afford to Miss Out
Digital ad spend will account for nearly 50% of total media ad spending by 2020.
Reports predict around $357.3 billion will be spent on digital media advertising, a significant portion of which will be invested into social media. More than half of marketers participating in a study reported reduced marketing expenses due to social media. Using social media to advertise your business is extremely cost-effective, and you can’t afford to miss out on this trend that clearly won’t stop anytime soon.
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3. Use Existing Consumers to Gain New Ones
1 in 3 consumers would mention a brand when sharing a social media post about a life milestone.
79% of the same consumers said they have shared a life milestone on social media. Consumers primarily mention brands in the hopes of interaction with the business, whether it be acknowledgment or a discount. An easy way to interact with consumers is to share their post on your business’s social media. Considering that people tend to trust family, friends, and even acquaintances more than they trust businesses, this is a great way to convert more potential customers.
4. Reach a Diverse Audience Easily
52% of millennials credit social media advertising as influences when deciding to purchase a product.
Social media plays a big part in the younger generations’ shopping habits but the same study shows that baby boomers are not as digitally illiterate as you might think. 32% of baby boomers also credit social media advertising as influences when shopping. Your small business marketing strategy can reach different demographics online if you keep these statistics in mind.
5. Establish Your Brand’s Presence
30% of Gen X and millennials interact with brands at least monthly.
Make your business a part of the conversation to increase visibility. If your business has no social media presence, they might as well not exist in the eyes of digitally-savvy generations.
71% of customers stated that they were more likely to buy from a company after having a positive social media experience. This can be as easy as acknowledging the customer- 77% of Twitter users felt more positively about a brand when the brand responded to their tweet.
6. LinkedIn Is Necessary for B2B Marketing
50% of social traffic to B2B websites are from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is king in the land of B2B. 94% of B2B marketers rely on LinkedIn to market and distribute content.
If your business primarily uses B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a necessity. It generates 277% more lead generation than Facebook and Twitter combined. With over 562 million users, this professional platform can help build a quality reputation and is an effective way to generate leads for your business. Your business can’t afford to miss out on this trend that clearly won’t stop anytime soon.
7. Take Advantage of Other Businesses’ Missed Opportunities
Only 5 out of 65 million businesses on Facebook actually advertise on Facebook.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms with over 2 billion active users. With such a small fraction of businesses actually using Facebook advertising, it can be easier for your small business to cut through the noise and gain more visibility than your competition. Just using this one platform can easily put you a step ahead of another business that doesn’t.
8. Chatbots Are Cheap and Available 24/7
Facebook has over 300,000 active chatbots and growing.
Chatbots can be another way your small business can cut expenses while still delivering quick customer service. With automatic replies to frequently asked questions and concerns, chatbots can provide on-demand information without hiring someone to be monitoring messages 24/7. If you or your customers prefer an actual human being, a chatbot can still be an excellent way to let them know when they can expect to be in contact with a live person.
Internet users have 7.6 social media accounts on average. With over 4.2 billion and growing internet users (more than half the world’s population of 7.6 billion people), social media is an incredibly powerful tool to reach a wide audience. Establishing a space of your own in the social media landscape allows your business to dictate public perception of your brand. Over time (when utilized effectively) social media marketing can also increase engagement and help you win new consumers.
9. Higher Brand Loyalty
Studies show that 53 percent of all Americans and 66 percent of Americans age 18 to 24 who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.
So yes, social media marketing IS a key piece in building brand loyalty. We’ve all heard the statistic: It’s five times more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. In today’s market, where customers are bombarded with a variety of options, this adage has never been truer.
Back in the good old days, brand loyalty blossomed when a customer loved a product. Present day, things are not so black and white.
Customers today hold all of the buying power, and they know it. Now, brand loyalty is a two-way street, with customers expecting brands to provide them with something in return for their dedication. And this, my friends, is where social media lends a helping hand.
10. Humanize your company
Global PR firm Cohn & Wolf conducted a study of more than 12,000 people and found that the top qualities customers want to see from a brand are “communicating honestly about products and services” and “acting with integrity at all times.”
In addition, a separate study found that more than half of adults don’t trust a brand until they have seen “real-world proof” that the brand is keeping its promises.
Done correctly, social media can help humanize your brand and make it more authentic in the minds of consumers. And as it turns out, today’s consumers place a high value on authentic and honest brands.
So how are you to prove to wary consumers that your brand is trustworthy? Use social media to show the human side of your brand!
Pull back the curtain and allow users to see what your brand is really about. Show your audience how you are adhering to your brand’s mission and values, show the people behind your brand, show your regular day-to-day. This is one of the key advantages of using social media for business.
Social also helps humanize your brand by allowing you to form real relationships with users by engaging with them, starting conversations, and responding to their concerns.
11. Establish credibility
When it comes down to it, having established and active social media accounts is a huge part of creating a brand, and makes your company look more professional, legit and in the know.
It’s not uncommon for prospects to look your company up on social media to see how active you are. They use your social profiles as a way of validating your authority—Because let’s be honest, a company with 5,000 followers seems a lot more credible than a company with only 50 followers.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if you’re selling hamburgers or multi-million-dollar equipment—Your brand belongs on at least one, if not more, social platforms.