In the last 5 years we have seen Social Media change and grow. Before they were seen as a novelty for the masses to air their private life and politics, but now their importance is seen by marketers. Businesses have finally realised that Social Media is the new newspaper when it comes to advertising. Just take a look at Digital Insights 2014 statistics and you will see why.
With over 1.28 BILLION active Facebook users and over 50 million active Facebook pages, it is a goldmine of consumers to which some company are missing out on. Obviously, Facebook isn’t for all companies. Some B2B companies obviously feel Facebook is not a means to engage directly with businesses, and this is why Twitter and LinkedIn are important. But, with the majority of business these days in retail or market to consumers you can see how important it is these days to be engaging people on Facebook.
Now, from the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 End of Year Report, 86% of marketers indicate that Social Media is important for their business; this is up from 83% in the previous year, with Facebook and LinkedIn chosen as their most important. Still a sceptic? Well, from these marketers 89% of them stated that increased exposure was the number 1 benefit of social media marketing!
And that’s what Social Media is for businesses, a way to increase exposure and traffic to potential customers. But to do this you need to be interesting with your posts. The most common reason for someone to unlike your page and ultimately your business is uninteresting posts! And this is the same with ALL Social Media platforms.
Now, taking a look at those B2B companies who wish to engage directly with other businesses, Facebook is still behind on this but 2 other platforms have come through the ranks to provide a service where businesses can directly engage one another. The first is Twitter. Now, Twitter is ever increasing, with 255 million active users and 500 million Tweets per day, you can see why Twitter is rife with potential. Where Facebook is limited to peer to peer contact unless an individual likes a page you cannot engage with them, Twitter allows you to follow each other and see what both parties are doing, making it easier for marketers in B2B to follow each other and engage with interesting posts. But this isn’t limited to B2B, there has been a massive increase in B2C contact with Twitter and therefore it is now the middle platform in Social Media catering for all businesses types. You just have to know how to use it. Yes you are limited to 140 characters but all marketers know this isn’t always bad with less being more and those up for the challenge to come out on top.
The final platform in what I see as the BIG 3 is LinkedIn solely used by business professionals to engage with other business professionals, with contact only being able to be made through mutual connections etc. The addition of company pages means you can target these people and engage with them in a more professional manner rather than the traditional social means. It does have its draw backs, like a lot of the time to be able to connect with someone you need to know them in some way or be introduced and the only way around this is to buy the premium packages to be able to us “InMail”. However, if you use your business page well and drive a good following out of the 187 Million active users (and growing by 2 users a second) then LinkedIn is a very good way of engaging the right people for your business needs.
So as you can see Social Media is VERY important that no business no matter how big or small can be without. It is now an Internet Marketers dream. And if used correctly can see a lot of increase in exposure and traffic. PLUS, with consistent use and a live feed on your website (coded in the correct way) it can organically grow your Google ranking. You just have to spend the time doing this. To get the most out of it you need to be spending around 6 hours per week on Social Media, and always plan ahead. This can be seen as a daunting task and some don’t know what to do. UKV Solutions do offer a Social Media Workshop where our Leading Social Media Expert will come in to your company and teach you and your marketing team best practices with Social Media with ongoing support also. Now, if you do not have the time then there are companies out there that accommodate Social Media Marketing as part of their Marketing Package, so outsourcing is also a good option as this can be cost effective and free up your marketing teams time to focus on the reactive side of your business. Take a look at UKV Solutions and what we provide in terms of outsourcing your Social Media.
So, in summary the definite benefits of Social Media Marketing are:
- Increase Exposure
- Increased Traffic
- Developed Loyal following
- Generated Leads
- Improved Search Ranking
- Larger Business Partnerships
- Improved sales
- Provided marketplace insight