Long gone are the days where advertisers needed to only target a captive audience in front of the TV, the radio, or via print media.
Today the vast majority of consumers spend a significant amount of their time online and otherwise digitally connected (for example, via SMS).
To succeed in the ever more competitive marketplace, a new and expanded approach must be taken, and the way in which marketers communicate with consumers has to be more conversation-based and less broadcast-based.
The sheer number of people using the internet on a regular if not daily basis, and the vast amount of time people spend online, proves how important digital marketing is for business and brand growth, and social media use represents an enormous proportion of this online investment.
As such, social media marketing is crucial to the success of any business that wishes to grow and evolve.
How do people spend their time online?
It is estimated that at least 30 per cent of the world’s population is online, representing almost 2.1 billion people – and this number is growing very quickly as the internet and technology becomes more widely available and hence more affordable in all but the poorest of third world nations.
The proportion of population online is conservatively estimated at:
- USA – 80%
- Europe – 65%
- Oceania (including Australia) – 59%
- Latin America – 38%
- Asia – 22%
- Africa – 11.5%
The top 10 countries for highest online population are:
- UK (85 per cent of its population online = 53 million people)
- India (8% of its population is online represents almost 90 million people)
Globally, the average internet user spends more than 16 hours per month online, yet in certain countries the rate of use is much, much higher – double this in the USA, for example.
How is this time spent online?
Social networking represents the greatest online use, followed by internet searches, reading content, communicating via email and other channels, visiting multimedia sites, and shopping online.
The most popular activities undertaken online include emailing, searching for health and medical information (aka “Dr Google”), searching maps and directions, checking weather forecasts, reading news, participating in hobbies, and purchasing products, as well as engaging with others personally and for business via social media.
Which websites are globally most visited?
Google has by far the most unique visitors on a monthly basis, followed by Facebook, yet much more time is spent per person on Facebook than on Google. This is followed by Yahoo, Bing, and YouTube.
Did you know?
- There are more than 1 billion daily search queries on Google every single day.
- YouTube experiences more than 1 billion views per day.
- 250 million tweets are sent on Twitter every day.
- There are more than 800 million Facebook updates posted daily.
- More than half of all social media users have visited social networking sites to “spy” on their partner.
- On social media, Brazilian users average the highest number of online “friends”, while Japanese users have on average the fewest online “friends”.
- Chinese internet users spend an average of five hours shopping online every week.
Location-based services and internet banking are the highest growing online trends overall.
Why use social media for marketing?
It’s easy to see from these statistics that to ignore online consumers is to ignore your business, and that internet marketing is the key to growing your brand and your customer base.
In fact, with a truly global audience, and particularly with social media, the potential reach of your marketing messages is almost infinite.
So how do I achieve results with social media?
There are a number of ways brands have been proven to succeed with social media marketing.
Following the below tips will help you to expand your reach, engage with a targeted audience, build relationships, generate leads with little effort, build interest and loyalty in your brand, and convert interested consumers into paying customers – all with the clever use of social media.
- Build a branded community by offering on-site incentives to followers and curating conversations that are of interest to your target audience.
- Use relevant hashtags – create a short and relevant hashtag for your brand to make your posts instantly recognisable to your followers, and also use a couple of related hashtags to your post.
- Keep hashtags in Facebook to a minimum – they work better on Instagram and Twitter.
- Promote events with your Facebook cover photo – it will be seen by all and is the perfect landscape to showcase your events, promotions, and seasonal specials.
- Provide timely customer service – respond to comments both positive and negative in a polite, calm, and positive way.
- Keep track of activity on your profile and answer questions promptly. Thank your audience for their participation in your posts.
- Generate interest with captivating high quality images. Instagram is booming in popularity and currently enjoys fifteen times the engagement of Facebook. It is the fastest growing mobile app.
- Tweet links to your Instagram posts from Twitter and send appropriate Instagram photos to Facebook for greater reach.
- Be concise and comply with the generally low attention span of online social media users. Keep posts short in number of characters and link to longer content (blogs etc) using short links and a short preview.
- Showcase new products and promote them via social media for maximum shareability. Remember images and short descriptions!
- Invite feedback – invite your audience to participate in the conversation – ask them fun questions and make it easy and appealing for them to answer. Surveys, polls, and opinion requests do very well when it comes to social media user engagement.
- Link to blogs and landing pages to funnel your target audience to your website and to showcase your expertise. Give them high value when they click through and give them a reason to visit again.
- Remember calls to action! Make it clear what you want your audience to do – and make it very easy for them to do it. Be short and sweet and make your offers time sensitive where appropriate – a sense of urgency will elicit action.
Invest time and effort into social media marketing and your business will, in time, see the benefits in a tangible way. With so many people spending time online and with social media being such a big part of this, you can’t afford not to.
(Statistics Source: SocialMediaPortal)
Also on the blog … have you caught up from last month?
Our focus in our blog articles is almost always on providing tips, advice, and guidelines that you should be following to help build your business’s social profile to generate leads, convert customers, build relationships, and find success in social media marketing for the promotion and growth of your business.
Today we’ll instead look in depth at what you should NOT be doing when it comes to using social media to promote your business.
There are some very common social media mistakes that business owners make which are not only annoying to consumers; they can (and do) actually drive customers away from your brand.
Using social media for business marketing and branding is incredibly effective, BUT… it won’t be worthwhile unless there is a high rate of engagement for your posts from social audiences and consumers.
Engagement and interaction with your social media offerings is the key to success, and you need to know how to engage audiences in a positive way otherwise you will either be completely wasting your time, or worse yet, annoying your audience.
There is a myriad of information available online offering tips and social media engagement ideas. To make life easier for you, we’re collating the best of these here. You can consider this your one-stop-shop for social media tactics to boost engagement!
What is social media engagement?
Find out here >>
Social media marketing and its value for branding require you as a marketer or business owner to be well apprised of the various tactics for boosting engagement over this medium.
Following on from last week’s post, here are more clever social media engagement ideas: tips and tactics that you can use to maximise the effectiveness of your social marketing campaign and encourage more shares as well as higher rates of conversion.
Read more here >>
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