Questioning the power of social media is akin to asking the importance of oxygen in our lungs. No longer is social media a want. It is now very much a need. We even need it to manage our online reputation. It is hard to imagine a world where you could not connect with your family, friends, coworkers, and customers from around the world. Remember the days when we would spend countless hundreds of dollars just to connect to our family that lived in another area code? Don’t even get me started on sharing pictures with your family and friends. Not only would you have to make duplicates, but you would also have to pay the shipping involved in showing them all the newest pictures of your latest vacation. If you think we are living in a lonely world with the physical distancing, we are having now; you must not remember life before the internet.
Thankfully, we are able to use online networking to catch up with family, friends, coworkers, and so much more. Additionally, we can connect with our customers. The internet is becoming the go-to way to contact customer service. People are forgoing the chance to sit on hold for hours on end to use an app to deal with their service problems. Last January, it was estimated that there were in the neighbourhood of four billion internet users. In case you are keeping track, that is over 50% of the world’s population. When it comes to social media, it is just over three billion, or approximately 42% of the community. Judging by these numbers, it is safe to say that social media is here to stay. Who knows? It may even flourish.
With this kind of market saturation, it cannot be ignored that social media is significant to the world market. The reach and influence that social media provides is a treasure that no business can ignore. We have to face the fact that print media and radio are pretty much a thing of the past. The new way to get in touch with your customers is social media. It is the leading channel of communication now.
Can Social Media Help My Business?
If you have been pondering this question for some time, you have come to the right place. To help you understand the vast power social media has in the free market, take a look at the following facts and numbers.
Social Media’s Effect on Brand Awareness
Recent polls have indicated that Facebook is the second most visited website in the world. It is followed by YouTube and preceded by Google. Of all the searches that Google does on a given day, Facebook appears at the top of the list virtually every day. The same can be said about YouTube, which is directly behind.
Judging by these numbers, this is proof that social media is what the more than four billion social media users are looking for when they are on the internet.
As customers devote more time to social media, the platforms are also becoming the go-to location for product and brand information. Currently, there are more than 60 million Facebook Pages owned by businesses. These brands are connecting with millions of customers on the platform. Through the use of insights, enterprises report they have a reach of 10.7% more people than currently follow them. The reason for this is that followers that see a post by a company they follow will interact with it just under five percent of the time. Depending on their settings, this means they will be broadcasting that to their friend’s list.
Facebook is not the only platform that shows these results, however. Twitter influencers report the same approximate figures. The reason for the success of Twitter is that more and more businesses are sharing videos to the platform. If we have learned anything from social media, it is that people like images or videos on their news feed. So, while YouTube may be the number one destination for people wanting to watch streaming gamers, Twitter and Facebook are where they go to watch something a little different.
Effects of Social Media on Brand Loyalty
Recent studies show that of the more than 5,500 marketers they interviewed, shy of 70% of them focus on developing their brand using social media. The research indicates that customers between the ages of 18 and 24 are 66% more likely to have brand loyalty to a company they follow. The same can be said for the 25 – 34-year old age group. However, those percentages are slightly lower at 6. Both markets favour businesses they follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Effects of Social Media on Sales
In the same study that explored brand loyalty, they analyzed the effect of sales on social media. They found that strong economies such as the UK, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, and the United States have the highest penetration of online purchases.
What I found interesting is that you would think that the older generations had the buying power. This isn’t the case anymore. Now, the ages that have the buying power are 18 – 34. A study by Neilson revealed that a quarter of all new vehicle purchasers in the United States consulted a social media platform before purchase. I am not talking about review sites; I am talking about platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Conclusion As you can see, if you want to garner the favour of those with buying power, you need to be on social media to boost you online reputation. These platforms will allow you to reach more than just the number of followers. Also, gaining a follower will likely lead to brand loyalty and converted sales. If, for whatever reason, you have not started your social media accounts, now would be as good of a time as any. We are on lockdown, and you have time to make a statement to your customers when they return. Use your time wisely and conduct all the research you can before we return to a normal life.