To be fair, I tend to ask a lot of questions – of you, the reader – but I do this also of myself. Social media has been a controversy for businesses in both love and hate for a few years now and is culminating as we speak.
There are a number of complications over the years which are changing the social media landscape; from Facebook’s Russian hack to being the cause for the increase in suicide rates. But while there are always difficult situations happening in our lives, one thing remains true: We need human connection.
Who’s to say what form that should take?
Some Business Trends
Before the year 2000, businesses were blowing off the internet left and right. These days, it’s an extreme rarity for a business to survive without being online somehow.
Nerding out on 77 social media statistics on social media, I found a few that stick out:
- 53% of users say they bought a product they first saw on Twitter. (WebFX)
- In 2019, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were active social media users. (Emarketer)
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (GlobalWebIndex)
- 50% of consumers say that seeing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media. (Curalate)
While you may know a lot of people are on it, it may help to know what benefits a business by being present on social media as well.
Some Social Media Facts
While my opinion may not necessarily be relevant at all, what IS relevant to you is the validity of the business argument that social media is not going away any time soon. People have a need to be in touch with friends, companies, family, or anyone they need to send a quick message to.
Social media usage reduced in 2018 year compared to 2017; by 4%. What the report shows is an increase in personal/private apps instead, proving the need for community is returning to our lives.
How can your company use this information? Developing a human touch, personalized content, and virtual or physical communities around your brand are important.
Facebook and LinkedIn groups have both jumped in usage as well as native priority for these platforms. They are shown in feeds, notified, and have been utilized more often throughout 2019.
Sprout Social predicts company transparency and groups are on the rise this year which truly go hand-in-hand. Without transparency in a company’s group, you’ll quickly be deemed as unworthy of participating in it by users.
LinkedIn’s research shows that 81% of small to medium-sized Business are using Social Media to grow their reach. It’s also helped generate new leads for those in “hyper growth” mode. The likely culprit of this growth is because they’re sharing the human aspect of their business.
They say “people do business with people.” Showing the human side of your business is done very easily – and can be done very well – on social platforms. Take this opportunity to show the real people behind the brand!
What does this mean for your company? Primarily that building a community is crucial. Not only to the sustainability of your business, but for your customers in general. Providing a service is important, but providing a place, product, or service that encourages people to come together is on the rise.
How you do this depends upon your company, its mission, its services/products, and the goals you want to achieve. Ultimately what this means is that yes, you likely need social media.
Some potential options with the current landscape include:
- Instagram: Post images, comment, hashtag and more.
- Snapchat or TikTok: Target younger demographic with interactive videos or articles.
- IRL: Organize an event “in real life” with your customers and prospects.
- Facebook Group: Encourages people to communicate with each other on insights, challenges, interesting finds, etc.
- Live video: Most platforms now have the option to stream live content and interact with fans. Come up with (or invite questions about) an idea that people want to learn more about.
In short, be present. Personally I believe this should be the case whether in real life or social media with fans/customers/potential clients because it will shine through everything you do. Whatever the case for you and your business, being present should mean truly listening to your audience.
Allow me to listen to your business’ Marketing Strategy and help any way I can!