It's still not safe to say that we are, as a species, completely taken by social media, but we're surely getting there. Data for 2018 shows that slightly more than half of all living humans use the internet. And more than three out of four internet users are active social media users. Any business that would want to find customers online could do much worse than use social media to reach forty percent of humanity.
Of course, there's much more to using social media for business purposes than just creating pages, publishing content, and reaping the benefits. Even things like reaching an audience are becoming more difficult these days. But that doesn't seem to have turned businesses off from using social media. Let's see why your business should join their ranks.
There's a Social Network for Everyone
The social media market is huge. Two out of every five humans are a part of it. Forecasts put social media global ad spending at more than $92 billion this year, and it's only going to grow. But there's also just enough of variety between social media themselves to make the market worthy of your attention.
There's Facebook, the ubiquitous social network. LinkedIn is the social network professionals use. YouTube is the world's second largest search engine, Twitter is great for newsworthy content and direct communication, and Instagram is where influencers congregate.
Because social networks aren't carbon copies of one another, you can use them to look for different kinds of customers. LinkedIn, for example, is the social network for you if your customers are other businesses. Snapchat is the social media you use when you want to market to the younger audiences. YouTube is the social media you use to host how-to videos to drive conversions. There's a social media outlet for every slice of demographic you can target and type of content you want to use.
What Gets Measured Gets Managed
We live in a time when an incredible share of our activities is monitored, managed, or mediated by tech. Much of what happens on social media, which gives social media companies plenty of opportunities to gather data, store it, and develop tools for analysis.
There are no social media worth its salt that doesn't let you see some form of user-generated data. It can be as simple as showing the time of the day when your followers are most active on Instagram, or how big of a potential reach your tweets have.
Because social media is basically a set of data-grabbing services, you can access data that will help you aim your efforts and see the results. Putting together objectives and key performance indicators are of paramount importance for gauging the results of a campaign. Social media has plenty of data to use as key performance indicators.
Customer Service is still king. Social Media open opportunities for your customers to reach you.
Customers Want to Be Heard
It's sometimes easy to forget that social media allows two-way communication. People get stuck into thinking about content schedules, views, shares, and other engagement numbers. Social media becomes about publishing things and then measuring their impact on the audience.
But social media is, at its core, about communication. The things you post on social media will communicate with your current and future customers alike. But they will want to have their part in this communication, and they will not be happy with just commenting on your posts.
Social media is becoming an increasingly important channel for customer service, with almost a third of customers saying they prefer social media to email, in-store, or phone customer care. So there's a good reason for you to use social media for business: your customers will use social media to reach out to you, giving you a great opportunity to upsell, improve loyalty, or just be helpful.
Your competitors are doing it
If you are a small or medium business owner and you're not already using social media for your business, you're in the minority. Surveys show that seven out of ten businesses use social media, and you can bet your place in your industry that number will continue to grow.
Staying competitive is as good as reason as any to use social media for your business. Every second your business spends away from social media, it suffers damage from not having access to all the opportunities social media offers. At the same time, it's losing the race because some businesses not only know how to take advantage of social media but are getting better at it by the day.
It's also good to know that social media is very useful if you want to keep tabs on your competitors' marketing activities. You might not get the whole picture by tracking only social media activities, but what you see can be invaluable to you. Businesses spend more than 40% of their marketing budgets online, and you can see a good chunk of it put to work on social media.
More Than a Lead Machine, Customer Service Room, or Spying Tool
If there's one thing social media is, it's versatile. We gave you ideas about using social media to get leads, handle customers complaints, and even spy a little bit on your competitors. But if you don't want to do any of that, there's still plenty of things social media can help you do.
The tech behind social media is great, but it's the people who are what makes social media so versatile for business uses. People can be the aim of everything you want to do, and social media can be the place that gets you together with the people you need.
You might need customers, and you can find them on social media. But what if you need people to work with you? You can hire people on LinkedIn. You will check their Facebook profile before hiring them. You can turn to social media to manage your business' reputation, which is another thing that requires people. Building a community around your business is a great use for social media. And the list goes on.
So, what good could social media do for your business? It can give you access to the people, data, and businesses you need. And no matter how much social media change, if people and their data remain in the core of their business models, one thing will be true: You should use social media for your business. Using it is better in every single way than not using it.
Need help with your social media management and marketing? Contact us about our Social Media and Marketing Services and how it can give your business the boost.