If the social media numbers and statistics that we are seeing already for 2016 are a glimpse into the future for 2017, you are going to want to get in the game! It’s time to take the Social Media landscape seriously and apply it to your business for maximum growth and exposure.
Check out these numbers from SmallBizTrends.com
General Social Media Use
- 97% of online adults aged 16-64 say they have visited or used a social network within the last month.
- Internet users have average of 7 social media accounts. This is a HUGE jump from 2012 where most people reported having only 3 social media accounts.
- 8 out of 10 internet users visit and/or use social media from their mobile devices.
- Users spend a minimum of an hour on social media per day (I think this number is too low!)
These numbers tell us that Social Media is not only increasing in popularity but it also tells us users are finding tremendous value in it. What does this mean for businesses of any size? It means we need to embrace social media and start using it effectively.
Which Social Media Platform Should Businesses Concentrate On
- Go where your target customer spends their time
- Focus on 1 Social Media platform and get comfortable with it before you add more
While I agree with what other industry professionals advise, I also believe this is one Social Media powerhouse we cannot ignore. Facebook. Have you noticed, slowly but surely Facebook is adding all the most popular features each of the major Social Media players. Here is what I mean:
- Live video was huge when Periscope came on the scene. Facebook saw the value and created Facebook Live for its users.
- Simple, to the point text is what Twitter is all about. Facebook now amplifies short text with a larger font size so it stands out in your news feed.
- Instagram is wildly popular with its highly visual platform. Facebook purchased Instagram. Now Facebook advertisers can promote posts from Facebook to Instagram without even having an Instagram account!
- SnapChat is highly popular with its disappearing posts. Instagram (owned by Facebook) has embraced the same technology through Instagram Stories
Plan Of Action
Over the last 2 years or so, Facebook has added an incredible amount of features and nuances to its platform. For most, it is hard to keep up with all the changes. It seems once you have it down, Facebook amps up its game, forcing you to learn more. Many times, your focus is taken off your business and craft to learn the next Facebook marketing technique. Learning the new features of Facebook is a necessary evil if you are the person in charge of maintaining the social media footprint of your business. While being in charge of executing your business’s social media content seems like a good plan, it can backfire. More often than not, businesses who manage their own social media accounts are:
- Inconsistent with their presence and message
- Tend to be overly pitchy or “sales-y”
- Misuse the functions of the social media platform
- Often post just for the sake of posting in order to have some sort of presence
The best defense to social media marketing is to spend the time to craft an annual social media plan complete with a budget and measurable goals. Once you have the plan designed, outsource the work. The people you outsource your social media plan to can generally do it faster and with better results, freeing you up to do what you originally got into business to do in the first place!
So You Think You Can Get Along In Business Without Social Media
Think again! Before social media hit the scene, to gain credibility in the marketplace, you had to have a website. Today, it is extremely important to have a website PLUS have presence on social media. Here’s why:
- Studies show consumers check out social media first before even going to a company website.
- Consumers engage in “social listening” watching and reading how people react to a company or product
- Social Media gives consumers the opportunity to quickly engage and build a relationship with their favorite brand or product
- Potential customers can get real time, personalized responses from companies through social media
What will your social media plan look like in 2017. It is not too late to start thinking about it now.