Why Social Media Is Critical for the Growth of Your Business
May 3rd, 2016 by
If your business is not already harnessing the power of social media to build and retain its customer base, then you may be missing out. According to Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of Americans regularly use social media sites for their personal and commercial needs.
But how exactly do you successfully market your business with social media to find more potential customers?
The key to leveraging the power of social media, when it comes to your business, is to focus on those attributes that make your business unique and to focus on prospective customers who look like your best customers. When I say “look like,” I mean demographically and psychographically. So if your best customers are poodle-loving, Jaguar-driving, octogenarians than that’s who you should try to target first. By focusing on prospects like the customers who already know and love you, your chances are much better of making a connection.
Your Customers Are Using Social Media
When it comes to social media, your customers are already savvy, regular users. Among adults who are online, 76% use social networking sites. You’re likely now wondering exactly which social media sites your customers are using. By an overwhelming amount, it’s probably not a surprise to learn that Facebook is, by and large, the most popular with 72% of online adults as regular users. Following up the lead are LinkedIn with 25%, Pinterest with 31%, Instagram with 28%, and Twitter with 23%. In one of our client’s compelling success stories, a non-profit group wanting to promote its annual fundraising event used Facebook to reach its goal of selling more event and raffle tickets. By using a branded Facebook landing page and targeted Facebook ads focused exclusively on tickets, the group met its goals and generated over $70,000 in online ticket sales.
The Social Media Tipping Point
To understand even more clearly how critical social media use can be for businesses, let’s take a look at what your competitors are doing. According to a recent survey on how small businesses are using social media, 53% are active users. In addition, more small businesses are investing in social media strategies with 25% of marketing budgets expected to be channeled to social media over the next five years. Meanwhile, your customers are increasingly influenced by what they see online with 57% saying they judge a business by the positive (or lack thereof) reviews that they see online.
Where and When You Should Post
Now that you understand the changing landscape of social media and how integral it is to a successful marketing strategy, it’s important to know what sites to focus on and when you should post. Facebook remains the clear winner in terms of the number of users. To break it down further and look at the gender and age preferences of that 72% of online adults who use Facebook, 77% of women online use Facebook versus 66% of men. In addition, 87% of 18 to 29-year-olds use Facebook versus 73% of 30 to 49-year-olds. Knowing who to target and when can be useful. It’s important to know that certain days of the week and certain times of the day can make a big difference. Posting on Facebook on Saturdays and Sundays from 12–1 p.m. can result in 32% higher engagement, with Thursdays and Fridays from 1–4 p.m. resulting in 18% higher engagement. The times to avoid posting are weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
It may seem overwhelming at first glance, but taking the first step and getting your business engaged in social media is not only worth your time; it can also create a ton of new customer opportunities. To help you make the most of this opportunity, and to learn more, check out this handy Social Media “Cheat Sheet.”