Social Media has been the fastest growing and most influential phenomenon on the internet, and for many businesses, it has been as big a factor as the rise of e-commerce. But how important is it to your business and how much of your time and budget should you allocate for it? The answers can vary depending on what you focus on and what you want from it. Let’s take a look at the current trends, best practices, and what you can expect from your social media presence.
Current business trends in Social Media
Platforms rise and fall so targeting the right ones is important. Here are the current trends:
Mark Twain once sent a telegraph stating “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”. This can also apply to FaceBook, social media pundits have been predicting the decline of Facebook for a while, but the social media giant remains one of the biggest and fastest-growing platforms with nearly 2,500 million active users in 2020, a rise of over 7% from 2019.
FaceBook has a robust business platform with demographically targeted and remarketing ads and an analytics dashboard to show business owners how their users are interacting with their page. In addition to maintaining an updated business listing and putting current offers in ads, a personal touch goes a long way on FaceBook. Taking the time to update posts with recent and upcoming events and responding to users’ comments will help build your community and improve the perception of your brand. Local businesses should take the time to post candid photos and topical posts as well.
The #2 platform and the reigning king of internet video, YouTube has 2 billion users, up 5% from 2019. Acquired by Google in 2006, advertising on Youtube has been consolidated into the Google Ads platforms with options for remarketing, demographic targeting and, placements on relevant channels.
Beyond paid placements, Youtube allows you to create a channel and post as often as you like for free. The only real limit on the amount of traffic and interest you can generate is the amount of time and energy you have to create content.
Although Instagram didn’t release their growth numbers this year they are thought to have about billion active users. With their desirable market share of younger people and their focus on bite-sized mobile experiences, they are a great option for marketing to a growing demographic of young consumers.
Instagram offers similar options for targeting users as Facebook, with highly visual video and photo ads. Instagram ads are very similar to user posts and have the potential for branding as well as driving leads.
Other platforms to keep an eye on are Tik Tok (37% growth in the past year), Reddit, and Pinterest.
Purpose of social media in marketing your business
The first question to answer when coming up with a social media strategy and budget is what are you expecting from it. More passive networks like YouTube or Instagram are good options for branding and getting your message to the public. Meanwhile, Facebook is highly interactive and is a great opportunity for building a community that you can market to with upcoming events and offers.
Beyond being a great way to build community and convert viewers into leads being active on YouTube can also help with your business website’s SEO. Regular YouTube updates linked to your website can give a great boost to the site’s traffic and search visibility. Getting your ads at the top of the video search results can be a great benefit with a relatively low monetary cost.
Your goals and expectations vary with what you are trying to achieve, but the reality is that you will get what you put into it, and having a realistic goal and the right resources is the first step to success.
FaceBook is very business oriented with remarketing opportunities, ads, boosted posts, and events. You can target your members as well as branch out to build new business.
Required for success
Social media gives what it receives. Spending the time and money to build and nurture your audience is a requirement. Your competitors are already there. To beat them, you will have to leverage your unique selling proposition. Keep your offers and content updated, and shift to meet new opportunities.
Social media offers many ways of measuring goals and the effectiveness of your campaigns. The marketing funnel can include high and low engagement users, so understanding how to quantify them is very important. Is the purpose of a specific campaign to build community by getting people to subscribe to your page or channel? Or, are you looking for the client to purchase a product?
Clients who opt-in to your content and purchase your product are likely your posts and build your brand by word-of-mouth. These enthusiastic clients are invaluable to your business and it’s future.