The evolution of social media is happening at a rapid rate and consequently, it has become vital for businesses. Research in 2017 by the Statistics Portal has revealed there will be an estimated 2.95 billion social media users by 2020. This is around one-third of the total population on the planet.
Currently, the number of people using social networks, business networks, blogs, forums, social gaming sites and chat apps is around 2.46 billion and growing steadily. Social media use on mobile devices is increasing by 30% every year and the number of over-18s using social media has rocketed from 7% to 69% in a decade.
The number of people who have a smartphone is set to increase to around 2.87 billion in 2020, equating to around one-third of the world’s population – up from 10% of the population in 2011. In January 2018, research showed 39% of the population accessed social media through a mobile device.
The statistics speak for themselves and it soon becomes apparent why businesses can’t afford to get left behind in the social media revolution. Figures prove beyond doubt that social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy today.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the way forward to help businesses keep up with the competition. Facebook Ads were launched in 2005 and reached $9.16 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2017. This confirms social media advertising is here to stay.
Businesses experimenting with digital advertising are finding it makes sense to take the social media advertising route. First, there are lower ad costs when compared with traditional advertising methods, such as television and radio advertising and print media.
In addition, businesses can engage on a number of social media channels free of charge, before scaling with paid ads. This means you can grow at your own pace. Social media enables targeted reach, something you don’t have with traditional advertising. You can reach out to your target audience with social media ads, increasing conversions and getting a higher ROI.
Real-time performance analysis is also possible with social media advertising, so you can discover quickly whether your ads are working – and if not, you can find ways of improving them, while constantly keeping track of performance.
Increasing brand awareness
Follow a few simple tips to increase your brand awareness, such as finding your target audience before you start advertising. Search online for relevant conversations about your industry or product. Never assume anything or follow other brands – you may be surprised to find your audience is on LinkedIn rather than Facebook, for example.
Once you’ve located your target audience, grab their attention with eye-catching visuals. Videos and images play a large part in increasing your brand awareness, improving engagement and boosting shares. Social media is all about starting conversations, so don’t make the mistake of using it for one-way communication, as you’ll be missing out on its full potential.
Find out how well you’re doing by measuring your efforts using tracking tools such as Facebook Page Insights, Google Analytics and URL shorteners to keep a handle on your social media activity. Then, use your insights to discover what’s working and what isn’t to build a stronger brand on social media.
Generate website traffic
Inbound marketing is an important means of generating targeted traffic to your website – the kind of traffic that often converts because it’s particularly relevant. The more effort you put into social media promotion, the better chance you have of drawing in targeted inbound traffic and getting more inbound links.
A good way of doing this is by having an active blog to connect with your audience, using fresh content. When your audience shares the content on Facebook or Twitter, this increases your reach tenfold. Ultimately, you’re reaching a bigger audience, who may follow your brand and become a customer.
There’s also a connection between social media and Search Engine Optimisation, as Google has stated it takes “social signals” into account when ranking a page. Although social shares don’t impact on a website’s ranking, social media profiles tend to dominate the top of the search engine results pages when it comes to brand names.
They work as a gateway to your business’s website, helping prospective customers to become part of your conversations and find out more about your products and services.
Research has shown that applying a social media strategy significantly increases brand recognition. More than 91% of marketers claimed it had greatly increased their brand’s visibility and improved the user experience after a relatively short time.
Customers appreciate receiving a personal reply when they post a comment on a social media page, rather than receiving a computerised message if they send an email, for example. A brand that shows it values its customers, making the effort to respond with a personal message, is perceived in a positive way.
This gives you more brand authority – when customers see you posting on social media, replying personally to comments and posting new, original content, it all helps to build a positive image in people’s minds. This in turn helps to increase your website’s traffic, generating inbound traffic and making conversion opportunities.
Let The Cornwall SEO Co. help you to harness the benefits of social media! Contact us to find out how our social media and SEO expertise can improve your organic search presence on Google and other search engines.