You would have heard so many marketing experts telling everyone to use social media as part of their promotional marketing mix. The Internet is flooded with information on using Facebook, Twitter and other social sites. Numerous articles have been written on how using social media can help promote your brand image and how it can generate web traffic for your main business website.
Keep in mind that that social networking is a marketing tool and it is only effective when used properly to promote your business.
The key question for a business is “How is social media harnessed to generate real revenue and customers?” In today’s digitally connected society your customers regardless of their age, gender or economic status will be active on social networking sites.
Here are some of the latest usage statistics on social media use that will make a business take notice:
- 68% of small businesses will increase their social networking marketing efforts in the next year
- 56% of Twitter users say they use the micro blogging site for business or work related purposes
- Over 40% of people have become ‘friends’ with or ‘like’ a brand/company on Facebook or MySpace
- 20% of tweets are about business products
- 46% of Facebook users say they would talk about or recommend a product on Facebook
- 44% of Twitter users have recommended a product
- Social media played a major role in holiday shopping link bio – 28% of shoppers say social media has influenced their purchases
On the Facebook site alone:
- More than 400 million active users
- 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user has 130 friends
- People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
- There are over 160 million pages, groups and events that people interact with
- Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events
- Average user creates 70 pieces of content each month
- Males and females almost equally use social sites (47% vs. 53%)
- 61% of Facebook users are middle aged or older, with the average age being 37
- 18- to 24-year-olds don’t dominate any particular social networking site; they’re spread out all over
- More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month
The participation of your business in social networking should be self-evident, however, many businesses will go on to set-up social media sites and make no effort to participate and engage in the groups that their potential customers use.
To be successful in using social networking your business must find out where your potential customers spend time on these sites so that you can engage with them where they prefer and not where you prefer or are comfortable with. Participation and engagement with their social networks will form a platform from which to build relationships with communities of interest. This in turn will provide a new customer acquisition channel using the share and like capabilities of the social networking world. This “sharing” is the equivalent of word of mouth in traditional marketing.