Social media optimization is a marketing strategy that’s simply too important to ignore. Social networks are growing steadily and they are providing small businesses an opportunity to reach out to a bigger audience. In today’s online world, you would need to be thriving socially if you want your business to get more customers and crush your competition. Not convinced with the power of social media? See our Infographic:
Amplification: Beyond Reach, Engagement
Social media is an effective tool for reaching your prospects and engaging them. According to Pew Internet research, 67% of all Internet users also use social networks. Meanwhile, comScore estimates that one in six minutes spent online is on social networks. These statistics simply mean that when people are online, they also connect via social media—giving business owners and marketers an opportunity for customer reach and engagement. But what makes social media powerful is amplification. The more engaged your friends and followers are, the bigger your amplification factor grows. This is turn results in more reach, deeper engagement, and again, bigger amplification. The social cycle goes on and on, and is similar to the buying cycle: awareness, interest, desire, action, loyalty, and advocacy. Amplification, however, makes the difference as it broadcasts the advocacy to a bigger audience, amplifying the number of leads and customers you can reach and engage.
Facebook Leads Social Network Growth
More and more social networks are being created nowadays but some of the crucial ones businesses need to focus on are as follows: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. These are networks that have shown steady growth. These are where most of your prospects share and connect with friends. Facebook, in particular, should be a business necessity. The social network now has 1.11 billion monthly active users, up from 680 million in 2011. Its mobile user base is around 751 million, surging 62% from only 288 million two years ago. A study by HubSpot showed that 74% of all marketers consider Facebook as important in their lead generation efforts. Other social networks are also growing:
LinkedIn has 200 million users, adding 2 new signups per second
Twitter has 288 million MAUs making 1.6 billion queries per day
Google+ MAU base is currently at 359 million, making it the second biggest network
Pinterest growth skyrocketed 88% over the past 12 months
Get Customers, Sales from Social
Their user base growth may be impressive but can social networks help your business grow? The answer: YES. In fact, customer acquisition through social networks has been increasing. In 2012, 62% of businesses using LinkedIn said they acquired a customer through the world’s largest professional network. This is up from 57% in 2011. Customer acquisition through Facebook and Twitter also went up from 48% to 52% and 42% to 44%, respectively. You attract prospects for sure, but do they buy? A study by Nielsen found that 46% of online users depend on social media when making a purchase decision. In a separate report, VisionCritical said 38% of Facebook users have purchased an item after liking or sharing it. Pinterest (29%) and Twitter (22%) also bought an item after conducting some social action involving that product. To get more sales, you need to adjust your approach on the online social realm. The same VisionCritical research recommended that businesses tweak their social content based on the culture of the users within a specific network. They also need to take into consideration the category that content would likely fall under. To make social work, you need to reach and engage your audience with custom content that is in line with the category of your business, as well as with the culture of your prospects.
The Market Leaders and Your Competitors Are Social… Are You?
Market leaders are using social media. For instance, 90% of Inc. 500 companies use at least one major social media platform, according to marketing speaker Heidi Cohen. Majority of marketers (83%) also understand how powerful social is, Social Media Examiner found. Some 59% of marketers use social media for six or more hours a week. Your competitors are conducting some form of social media optimization today, too. E-Strategy Trends found that an overwhelming 92% of small businesses consider social media as an effective marketing tool. Meanwhile, eMarketer found that 21% of small businesses plan to spend more on social media advertising this year. So now, you know market leaders are social online. Your competitors are likely going social, too. They are realizing the power of online social networks and how these can help them acquire more customers and get more sales. In short, they know that social media is essential to business success today. But you know that, too. So what are you going to do? Send us an email or call us at 424-888-0291 now to schedule your free in-depth consultation with us. We can help your business succeed with the power of social media optimization.
Social media optimization is a known business necessity. Owners understand that for their venture to withstand the competition and survive in the current economic environment, they need to be on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. They need to update fan pages, upload photos, and interact with their audience. After all, 67% of all Internet users use social networks, according to Pew Internet research. Indeed no online marketing strategy is ever complete without it. But at the end of the day, its sales—not likes, retweets, or repins—that keep the business going. So the question now is…
“Do businesses actually get sales from social media?”
Social: Vast Network of Networks
Despite doubts clouding social’s power to keep the cash register ringing, business still believe in conducting marketing via social networks. In fact, 83% of marketers surveyed by Social Media Examiner consider social media as important for their business. The same source found that 59% or marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week.
As for which site is considered most critical to business, 42% of marketers asked by HubSpot for the State of Inbound Marketing report voted Facebook as their choice. Some 80% of U.S. social network users prefer to connect to brands through it.
Apart from Facebook, which now has 1.11 billion monthly active users, Twitter and Pinterest were also cited by marketers. According to a study by Edison Research, 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands, or products on social networks. Pinterest, on the other hand, is ranked by Experian as the third most popular social network in the U.S., based on traffic. Google’s very own Google+ is continuously growing with 235 million monthly active users. Then, there’s YouTube, LinkedIn, and other popular sites.
So, Do Social Users Actually Buy?
Some 43% of social users actually do buy. The purchases happened after conducting some form of social action on the item, like sharing and favoriting, says global research provider Vision Critical. Broken down by site, Facebook appears to be the best platform to drive sales as 38% of its users have purchased an item after liking and sharing it. Pinterest ranks second with 29% of users saying they have purchased an item. Twitter was third with 22%. Social sites can drive both online and offline sales, it was found.
What do they buy? Recent social-inspired purchases by users fall mostly under technology and electronics, with the category accounting for 34% of sales driven by Twitter and 25% by Facebook. As for Pinterest, the top category was food and drink (24%).
Which type of retail store or site did they buy from? Facebook users mostly purchased from a discount retailer (43%) and supermarket (18%). Discount retailer also ranked first for Twitter (31%) and Pinterest (26%). Twitter users also bought from a department store (31%) while Pinterest users purchased from a specialty retailer (21%).
The Social Buyer: Dissected & Analyzed
The social buyer exists, and is mostly (51%) between the age of 18 and 34. The 35-54 age group represents 34% of social purchasers while the 55+ age group accounts for the remaining 15% or so. Divided by sex, 56% are male and 44% are female.
The demographics change when mobile comes into the picture. The ratio between males and females further favors males, 69:31. The 18-34 age group grows to 68% of the total number of social purchasers using mobile. Facebook (43%) and Pinterest (38%) purchases are mostly not mobile but 35% of Twitter-driven purchases are purely mobile.
So what’s inside the mind of a social buyer? A whopping 70% of Twitter user-purchasers said they were “vaguely” thinking about purchasing the product at the time they bought it. Facebook (60%) and Pinterest (49%) users had the same mindset when they bought a product, adds Vision Critical. The difference surfaces in buyers who “had not thought about purchasing this product” when they bought it. Only 9% of Twitter user-purchasers fall under this group while the figure is 16% for Facebook. Pinterest appears to be the best site for unplanned purchases as 29% their social buyers weren’t even thinking about buying such item when purchased it.
How to Appeal to Your Social Buyer
Use a Specific Network’s Purchasing Influence – Auto posting the same exact stuff on all your social accounts is not the best way to approach social media. If you want to get social-inspired sales, you must understand how a particular network or social website influences a customer’s purchase decision. For example, 43% of Pinterest purchasers said they were influenced by the “additional information on the product,” according to Vision Critical. This means Pinterest is a great choice when providing product details, reviews and recommendations, different models, etc.
For identifying where prospects can purchase the product, 38% of buyers used Twitter. When alerting to a sale or deal, 37% credited Facebook and 32% Twitter. Some 32% got reminders to purchase through Twitter. But when it comes to providing a coupon code, the battle is tight among Facebook (18%), Pinterest (14%), and Twitter (18%). Product discovery contest is also close: Facebook (31%), Pinterest (35%), and Twitter (35%).
Network Where Your Targets Are – Leading data firm comScore estimates 80% of Pinterest users are female. Repinly, an online pin directory, says the most popular Pinterest categories are as follows: food & drink, DIY and crafts, women’s apparel, and home décor. Head over to Google+ and the world turns upside down. According to SocialStatistics, nearly 87% of Google+ users are male. Students, early adopters, and engineers are some of the biggest groups. Go to LinkedIn and you’ll find a healthy balance of professionals from both sexes.
The idea is to analyze which site best suits your target market’s profile and then start your social media optimization campaign in that network. This strategy not only gives your marketing direction some focus, it also maximizes your resources.
Get Started in Focused Social Media Today – You can use social media optimization not just to get a legion of followers, but also to generate sales. That’s already proven. The best approach right now is to get started—if you haven’t already—and give it focus to ensure you influence social buyers to purchase your products and avail of your services today. We can help you.
Send us an email at email@example.com or call us at 424-888-0291 now so we can provide you free in-depth consultation on social media optimization, and how you can attract social purchasers, better understand your customer, and generate more sales from social networks today.
Did you know that within the social media space, there are conversations happening at this very moment that will define your brand? If you don’t capitalize on this vast and growing landscape, your competitors will, and you won’t like the outcome.
Watch the video:
Business owners may not realize it yet but social media optimization is now a crucial marketing necessity if their venture is to compete in this economy. The emergence of social networks over the past few years has changed the way businesses reach out to their audience. In fact, it is no longer enough to have a website, get backlinks, and rank well on Google. Today, a successful business needs essential elements: networking, awareness, engagement, trust, and loyalty – all of which are achievable through social media.
Social Media Optimization: A Legitimate Business Need
You might still be wondering, just how important is having a Social Media Optimization campaign for your business. Well, let us help you put things in perspective.
1 in 4 people worldwide are social media users (eMarketer)
1 in 6 minutes spent online worldwide is spent on social media platforms (comScore)
It took 13 years for television to reach an audience of 50 million people (United Nations Cyberschoolbus)
It only took Facebook 2 years!
Without a solid social media optimization strategy, it will be difficult for businesses to make the most out of this trend. Even coping with it will be a struggle. Social media is indeed growing and evolving fast. It’s involving more and more people connecting with each other, sharing thoughts and feelings through status messages, likes, tweets, links, photos, videos, and etc.
How connected are you to your target audience? How many people are talking about your business? When a potential customer searches for your business’ name on Google, are they going to find (aside from your website) professionally designed and updated social media profiles?
Social Networks as Marketing Tools
In the “State of the Media: Social Media Report,” global information and measurement company Nielsen reported that social media has changed how consumers are influenced to buy. “Consumer decisions and behaviors are increasingly driven by the opinions, tastes, and preferences of an exponentially larger, global pool of friends, peers, and influencers,” the report said.
The Nielsen study also found that, each month, social media users:
Read about other customer experiences (70%)
Learn more about business products and services (65%)
Compliment brands (53%)
Express how they feel about brands they like or don’t like (50%)
This is both a challenge and a cause for celebration for marketers. While it will be more difficult to control brand messaging, it also opens up new channels for business owners to reach their prospects. If you have a social networking strategy, you can influence how prospects see your brand, and eventually gain their awareness, engagement, trust, and loyalty.
How to Take Advantage of Social
From account setup to maintenance and tracking, there’s a plethora of actions that can benefit the online social presence of your business. Some of the more important actions you can take, and take immediately if possible, are as follows:
Share Updates via Facebook – If you’re going to inform people of your events, updates, and promotions, make sure to include Facebook in the plan. The biggest of them all, the world’s largest social network now has 1.11 billion monthly active users.
Share Updates via Google Plus – Google’s own social network now has 500 million registered members, 359 million of which are active. Apart from its usual social properties, Google+ is crucial for marketing because of its SEO or search engine optimization benefits. A recent correlation study by Internet marketing software developer Moz found that high ranking pages tend to have more +1’s.
Tweet Regularly – Establish your presence by posting regular updates on the micro-blogging site. MediaBistro estimates that 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter. Twitter’s own survey shows that 63% of people follow SMBs to show their support. Some 85% “feel more connected” to the business after following them.
Join LinkedIn Discussions – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 238 million members. It’s a great way to build your credibility and gain customer trust. Feel free to join relevant discussions in over 2.1 million LinkedIn groups.
Create Hype through YouTube – YouTube needs no introduction but to get a glimpse of its power as a web traffic source and social platform, here are some interesting figures. Over 1 billion unique visitors use it every month. Nielsen reports that YouTube has a better reach than any cable network when it comes to the 18-34 U.S. age group. Video is an exciting format and YouTube enables you to take advantage of it.
Social Media Optimization Benefits
The problem with networking through social media is the time and dedication needed to ensure you have a regular presence. Your followers need to see constant updates on your accounts. Unfortunately, business owners cannot afford to spend all their time away from the core business posting status updates or commenting on discussions. Good thing we can help you in this area. It is, after all, our expertise.
We will help you:
Expand your network (acquire friends, fans, followers, connections, join groups)
Increase awareness (through tweets, status messages, posts, etc.)
Promote trust and customer loyalty (with regular updates, promos)
And boost this further with the amplifying power of social media
We can draft a social media strategy that can help you achieve your business goals, and then help you execute the plan… so you can remain focused on your core operations, and push the business from that end.
We’re offering free in-depth consultation on how social media optimization can help grow your business today. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 424-888-0291 now to schedule your free consultation today.
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