Do you want to know the importance of social media in business? Then consider this: "4.66 billion people currently use the Internet, and 4.48 billion people use social media."
If the above statistic hasn't convinced you, it's unlikely the rest of this article will.
But if it has, I will go on to explain not only the importance of social media when it comes to business marketing.
How you can maximise your return and outplay your competition, increasing leads and sales.
The Importance of Social Media Marketing in 2021 and 2022
The average user time on social media marketing platforms has continued to rise in 2021 and will increase again in 2022.
The average user time across all social media channels is 142 minutes per day. This covers the age bracket of 16 to 64, according to "Statista."
Given that 4.48 billion people are using social media at an average time of 142 minutes per day, as businesses, we can identify where our market might be.
With the whole world impacted by COVID, we have continued to become a little bit more digital and a lot less analogue.
Some studies showing we have moved forward digitally some 5-10 years in the last 6 months. There has never been a more critical time to be sharing your content on the digital channels.
While we will return to some form of normality, we have become comfortable doing things remotely and through digital environments.
As businesses, we need to have a deep understanding of digital platforms and social media. We need this so we can maximise our reach, marketing, and brand awareness.
We must market where the market is, and in 2021 and 2022, the market uses social media.
7 Key Statistics on the Importance of Social Media Marketing in Business
- 1 in 3 consumers use social media to discover new brands and companies
- Social media brands and company discovery are now only second to television. With TV and radio advertisements at 58%, but social media now at 55%.
- 43% of people now follow a brand on social media
- 80% of consumers now expect companies to have a social media presence
- On Facebook alone, there were 17 million Australians every month. Our population is 25 million people. This does not account for the other social media platforms, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
- Social media usage has been growing by above 3% in the last two quarters in 2021.
- 97% of Fortune 500 companies are now using social media on at least one platform
Key Benefits of Social Media for Business
One of the primary key benefits of using social media for your business is its data-driven.
Because it is data-driven, that means that you can identify a formula that accelerates your revenue growth.
Identifying the linkage between ad performance and your target persona and conversion.
With social advertising, you will find a formula that works for your business. Provided you test and iterate.
It is a simple philosophy used by the most prominent brands worldwide. It states, "market where the market is."
As mentioned above, the average usage time on social media is now above 2 hours a day; it will soon outpace television.
But it has already outpaced it in terms of attention.
If you think about this for a second, the consumption of television content has shifted! It went to Netflix, Stan, Disney and any other of the paid media services that you may consume without ads. And content marketing across digital has taken its place.
This means reaching your target audience through TV has become difficult, if not impossible.
Social media not only removes this barrier but helps you identify your exact audience and measure this through data.
Reach New Markets
Another essential benefit for a business is to reach new markets. This could come in offshore expansion or even a new persona within the Australian marketplace.
If you have found your advertising formula for your persona as mentioned above, you can use this to branch out to other personas and other markets. You are identifying the same persona in an international market.
When it comes to social media marketing, it allows you to identify new revenue streams at a modest cost. Not only can you test new markets, but you can test different personas to find greenfield revenue.
Test New Offerings or Ideas
If you're looking to test a new idea, product, or service, you can do so without spending research and development.
Social media enables you to test these ideas and service offerings quickly and cheaply.
You will get almost immediate feedback based on your campaign performance. Your audience let you know whether something is worthwhile pursuing or not.
Building up your audience on social media allows you to build brand affinity and create loyal customers. You can do this through Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups with unique offerings to members.
Or even responding to comments on your pages by fans.
It is a beautiful way to engage with your fan base and an easy way to build brand loyalty and trust.
It allows you to build an in-depth bank of customer knowledge.
You can do this by looking into your customer's comments on your social media posts. Or accessing groups within the platforms related to your industry and all services.
Presenting an excellent way to understand your customer's needs as they relate to your business. The positive and negative customer commentary allows you to understand your persona pain points. It also sheds light on their desires.
This can all be done with no more than the time allocated to do the research.
Which is the best social media platform for business?
Rather than tell you which is the best platform for your business. Let's break this down by data and behaviour.
Facebook: Facebook currently has 17 million Australians on the platform and 2.85 billion monthly active users.
You can target:
- Job title
- Company employees
- Your client list and more
And a whole range and combination of Look-a-Like audiences.
This would make Facebook a valuable vehicle for almost any business in the Australian market. Or any Australian company looking to expand offshore.
Instagram: There are currently 1.3 billion users on Instagram worldwide. And just under 11 million Australian users monthly.
Of course, all of the advertising targeting options I've mentioned for Facebook are also available for Instagram.
LinkedIn: There are currently 660 million with a profile, and 303 million of these are active every month. While in Australia, we have 10 million registered users of LinkedIn
YouTube: Guess what, 16 million Australians use this platform every month. And it has over 2 billion monthly worldwide users.
So to put this in perspective, there's no one you could not reach in the Australian market if you use a combination of YouTube and Facebook.
Of course, you need to understand how to do precise targeting per your exact persona.
TikTok: A study conducted by Roy Morgan states there are 2.5 million users on TikTok. So depending on your demographic, this could also be an ideal platform.
Twitter: We know Twitter was so last decade, but hang on a minute, it would seem Jack Dorsey has other plans.
It turns out there are 5.8 million monthly active users on Twitter, and when it comes to a microblogging site, you couldn't find a better one.
Also worth noting is the release of spaces in their audio enabled rooms; Twitter is not going away in a hurry, and if anything, it may grow.
SnapChat: There are 6.3 million Snapchat users in Australia, out of a 238 million global user base. Making Snapchat a popular platform in the Australian market.
The overarching theme here that's important to mention is the aggregation of these numbers. The overlapping capability within these platforms and the potential omnichannel approach.
When we market, we market to people, which is the basis for creating advertising and social media campaigns that convert.
We need to divorce ourselves from the idea the one platform does not suit our needs. That one is more consumer-focused, and another platform is more business-focused.
From experience, our best clients have an open mind to the pursuit of new clients, new markets and leveraging growth. And we're both focused on the outcome rather than the medium!
Social media can play a far more critical role in your business. Your audience is on most platforms, and it comes down to a matter of identifying them and finding new customers.
The Importance of Social Media in Business Extends Beyond Marketing.
Setting the right social media marketing strategy touches all aspects of your business and has benefits beyond advertising.
68% of consumers use social media to interact with the brand. This, of course, improves customer loyalty, provided you have an "active" presence.
Customer Service: You can engage with your customers in real-time through social listening. Not only solving their issues but providing an answer that helps other potential customers.
You can use bot automation that can answer customers questions in the first instance. You can automate service manuals, FAQ's, and in-depth query strings.
55% of consumers now learn about brands through social media.
Think about this for a second and what this means?
Consumers are learning about a new brand or deepening their knowledge about existing brands by using social media and social networking at a rate of 1 in 2.
Businesses are starting to rely more on data and qualitative information. More than 72% of companies are now using social media and the data associated with it to inform business-based decisions.
Learn the Buying Patterns of Your Ideal Customers
Every business has a buying formula for customer acquisition. On almost every digital platform.
Knowing this on social media is the difference between success and failure.
You Get to Tell Your Story
Now more than ever, you must create an emotional connection between you and the consumer or business that you're selling to.
- Why do you exist?
- What is your purpose?
- How do you solve a business problem?
- Come you help a business or individual survive or grow?
- Or remove a pain point?
It does not matter whether you are B2C or B2B. You get to build relationships with your customers. When you build relationships with your ideal customers, you increase customer loyalty.
By increasing loyalty, you can increase the "network effect" of referral-based marketing.
Targeting Your Audience
One of the critical differentials of social media marketing is that you get to target your audience.
And you actually get to build an "audience", not a click!
This is done through tracking and personalisation. Put another way, you are no longer putting up an ad without understanding who's clicking on it and what audience sees your message.
You have created your own media channel.
Learn About Your Competitors
Did you know you can see all of your competitors' ads when it comes to social media advertising. Most of the platforms will have a section where you can view competitors advertising.
Think about the advantage this will give you when you can use it for a growing brand and see how they are doing it?
In many cases, this will answer your question. If you follow their entire sales funnel, you will understand how they are acquiring those customers.
Improve Your ROI
As social media is data-driven, it allows you to improve your ROI by understanding your industry click-through rate and your industry's conversion metrics.
You then understand how you compare.
As in how many people click through but then convert. You can identify where you are in the market. The benchmarks you need to to achieve to grow faster than than your industry.
By analysing these benchmarks against your own performance metrics, you have the minimum baseline.
Once you've reached this benchmark, you want to target the top percentile of your industry and market.
Of course, this will be a smart goal because it's specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. Putting such a framework in place will improve your ROI and conversions.
Humanise Your Brand
People buy from people. It does not matter the brand or the shop we walk into; the experience influences our feeling about a brand.
We humanise our brand with the simple acknowledgement of a tweet, an Instagram comment, and a LinkedIn message.
Not dissimilar to when someone walks into our business or retail outlet, your interaction influences the perception of your brand.
It is often said, we buy emotionally and rationalise these decisions intellectually.
The closer you can get to humanising your brand with your ideal audience, the greater the emotional connection. Also the more sales you will make.
If you build it, they won't come. You need to go and get them!
Social provides a viable option to measurably and materially increase traffic to your website. And next to Google is often the second-largest source of web traffic to any website.
Social Media is Essential for Business
In 2021, you are 95% as likely to be using social media if you're on the Internet.
As the social media platforms continue to integrate the longer tale of the digital environment from:
- E-commerce websites
- To the entire digital customer journey
The relevance to your business is far from optional.
Not understanding this will be terminal! There is also a difference between knowing and executing, and they're always will be.
Throughout 2021, social media has accelerated its capabilities on all fronts. Creating a frictionless purchase path without anyone having to leave a platform.
The biggest mistake you can make is to think you have time.
Since 2013 we have been changing the landscape for customer and lead acquisition.
Most businesses lack the time and expertise to get results from social media. At Digital Stand, we build you a data-driven social media environment that results in more leads and more sales.
You can contact us here.