When is the last time you visited Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? For most of us, the answer to at least one of those is probably, recently. The growth of social media over the last decade has been huge. Social media as a whole is becoming one of if not the most diverse pools of human interest and attention in history.
Experts aren’t quite settled on what this means for businesses yet. There’s a lot of debate still on how exactly to parse the data and even what data is worth parsing. More than 80% of businesses polled in a recent CMO survey reported that they are unable to quantify social media’s financial impact.
One thing is for certain though (and supported by data). Social media is huge for awareness and engagement. But is it really something that can be a benefit for your WordPress based business? We’ll take a look at some fast stats on social media for perspective and then jump to the ways you can upgrade your business!
Fast Stats on Social Media
This data comes from an aggregate of Pew Research Center polls from 2005-2015.
- 65% of adults report using social media regularly in 2015. That’s almost a 10x or 1,000% increase from 2005.
- It’s not just young people: 77% of folks 30-49 and 51% of those 50-64 report using social media.
- Men and women use social media at about the same rate: 68% of women and 62% of men.
- People with higher education levels are more likely to use social media: 76% of college graduates compared to 54% of those with a high school diploma or less.
- Suburban residents lead the way with 68% of them reporting regular use. That’s compared to 64% of urban residents and 58% or rural residents.
10 Reasons to Start Using Social Media Today
1. Customer service. Social media, especially Twitter, is a really convenient place for people to ask and answer questions about products, use cases, and road bumps. This makes for a great opportunity for you to jump in on the conversation that is already happening about your business. We regularly field a range of pre-sales and support questions on social media that we would be oblivious to otherwise. Part of great customer service is making yourself accessible!
2. Generate new ideas. Having your finger on the pulse of your customers, listening to their needs, you’re bound to get inspiration from them. Listening to your customers can give you ideas about new products, new direction for old ones, optimization, relevance, and even guidance. Social media can be a crowd sourced focus group at times!
3. Brand building. Branding is an important part of any business. It’s your public face to the world, how customers and potential customers see you, and has a great deal to do with the overall perception of your product. Consumers make purchasing decisions based on branding alone every day. Social media can be used to shape the narrative you want to be told about your business and generate buzz for your products.
4. Brand awareness. Branding doesn’t mean a whole lot if you’re not generating buzz. Social media is a great tool for self-promotion. It’s the equivalent of commercial advertising for brick and mortar stores with one huge exception. It’s virtually free. With social media you can reach millions of potential customers, which is something in the offline world would take tons of expensive advertising to do!
5. Reputation management. Not everything said about you on social media will be questions or praise. Monitoring what’s being said about you can help keep the focus on your company and brand a positive one. I’m not talking about just spinning things in a positive light here, but using social media as a proactive way to serve your customers. If people see you actively engaged and putting in the effort to make things right when something goes wrong, complaints can be turned into praise in a very public way.
6. Authenticity. Giving a public face to your business that is happy to engage customers and is sensitive to their needs is a huge boon for any company. It gives your business a sense of public trustworthiness and legitimacy that can make you stand out among competitors. Especially those that don’t use social media!
7. Promote content. Content marketing is an important part of any online business. It builds traffic, attracts new customers, and does great things for your bottom line. People have to be aware that you have content out there if they’re going to consume it, though! Use social media to generate awareness of what’s happening in your company, what you care about, and anything else that offers value that you have to share.
8. SEO. With more exposure to your content, folks are going to start taking notice of your material. Shares and links are great for getting your pages ranked higher by Google. Natural links are a very valuable SEO boost, and this is essentially the only way to get them. Higher traffic to your site overall and the clickthroughs that traffic brings with it certainly doesn’t hurt one bit either!
9. Traffic boost. SEO isn’t the only value of increased traffic, obviously. As your social media activity boosts traffic to your site, you’ll start seeing more shares, buzz, and sales. It’s a matter of exposure.
10. Connect with just the right audience. Traffic doesn’t mean much if it isn’t the right kind of traffic. You want visitors that will be interested in your product. Every business has its niche, and it’s easy to target that niche using social media. Bulk broadcasting to everyone is fine- awareness in general is a good thing. There’s still the need to target just the right segments for your business though.
Email marketing may be the king of communication, but there’s little doubt that social media is on the rise. Social media in fact may never overtake email marketing in the areas that email excels in. It most definitely fills a niche that email does not and cannot, however. Social media is a part of doing business in the 21st century, and it’s time to give it a try!