Before, we get started, here are some facts about the world of Social Media that you’ll find quite interesting:
- Every minute, 700 YouTube videos are shared on twitter every minute (Source). Every minute!
- By 2013, approx. 13% of revenue from the mobile web will be accounted for by Flow20 (Source)
- Google+ is catching up to Facebook with already claiming about a 50% penetration of the Social Media platform worldwide (Source). [However, whether it’s as effective as Facebook to communicate with your customers is a different matter.
- Approx. 20% of Facebook users are mobile only (Source).[See related infographic and article)
According to Steve Nicholls in his book, Social Media in Business, “any company ignoring it (social media) is already behind.” That’s a powerful statement, and it can easily be shown to be true as well. A business social media presence has become an essential feature for large and small businesses everywhere, if they are to succeed in today’s world.
Social media may have started out as something trendy and nice to have, but those who viewed it as a passing fad are now wishing they had developed a strong social media strategy early on, instead of playing catch-up now. Just as traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses were getting comfortable with having a simple website presence, along came a whole slew of social media platforms that are now essential supplements to the traditional website, which is no longer good enough on its own.
The big three (and the others …)
The combination of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are usually referred to as the big three. These are arguably the most important social media tools that every business should utilise, though Google+ is also fast becoming another of the essential social media platforms for companies.[Hubspot has a useful presentation on this)
Other tools and networks used in marketing include company blogs and YouTube. The company blog has become a must for every business. It allows the company to develop content marketing through regularly posting highly targeted articles. This strategy, when used properly, is invariably more cost-effective and successful in the long term than paying for expensive ads in a local newspaper, for example.
YouTube has emerged as an extremely popular social media marketing tool. The platform makes it very easy for companies to put up a video on their website or blog. This is especially relevant when considering that 80% of Internet users say they regularly watch video ads on a website, and 46% of those take the required action, according to the Online Publishers Association (http://www.online-publishers.org/). Any company that includes YouTube in its social media plan is likely to see surprisingly encouraging results.
What can social media do for me?
The question facing any business owner unfamiliar with social media must be what can it do for me? Perhaps the 2012 Social Media Industry Marketing Report, compiled by Michael A Stelzner, can best answer that question.
Generating greater business exposure comes out top in the benefits gained from using social media. A very high total of 85% reported this as their experience. The next reported benefit is a significant increase in traffic, reported by 69% of businesses. This was closely followed by 65% who said that their social media presence provided them with a greater marketplace insight.
Video is the social media strategy to be targeted more intensely in future, according to 76% of marketers surveyed. This is likely to elevate YouTube and the other video sharing platforms in the list of essential social media tools. This makes sense after all. After cinema and television, online video is the natural successor, and as we are being entertained, we accept that promotional ads will be shown occasionally.
Where does it go from here?
A majority of businesses have already accepted that a social media presence is essential for success. They are now asking highly pertinent questions, according to Michael A Stelzner, such as how they can effectively measure the return on investment from a social media marketing campaign.
The other most asked question from business marketers is how to find their target audience online through social media advertising. They don’t want to go through a trial and error process; they want to know exactly which of the social media platforms is ideal for them, and how they can get noticed by their target audience once they are there.
There are as number of effective ways of doing these things, of course, but the fact that companies are seeking these answers shows that they have fully accepted the power of social media campaigns as an effective way to do business, and that is why a social media presence is now a must for any business that wants to stay in the game.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.