By Ayodeji Onibalusi.
It’s getting harder to get anybody’s attention. That’s why you can’t afford to stop trying.
Is social media marketing really dead? That’s one question business owners, marketers and leaders are currently struggling to answer. According to recent reports, social media platforms are losing their momentum, with the likes of Snapchat losing subscribers and Twitter losing the conversation appeal. This, in turn, is affecting the impact social media marketing has on business.
In a study of B2B buyers, only 19 percent of those surveyed said that social media played an important role in their discovery process. This report, among others from industry influencers, has sparked a new concern about the future of social media in business. But don’t be alarmed.
In reality, social media isn’t dead. In fact, it’s not dying anytime soon. It is very much alive and remains an effective tool for marketing your products and services. This is why 78 percent of companies have dedicated entire teams to social media and others have reported more than a 700 percent increase in social media sales from their efforts on social media.
If you are thinking of boycotting social media in your marketing efforts, think again.
1. When used right, social media helps reach a wider audience.
It’s undeniable the way we use social media today isn’t the way we used it a few years ago. Due to the fast advancement of technology, more people are now online, and the amount of information available is enormous. Users, bombarded with a never-ending flow of information on different social platforms, can only read a fraction of it.
As a business owner, you have a challenge to reach your audience in the midst of all this information. To succeed, you need to:
- Know where your readers like to hang out
- Understand the type of content they like
- Strategically plan your content based on that information
It’s the only way you can guarantee readership and an increase in customer base. That’s why a company like TED, known for its TED Talks, is winning on social media. The company has managed to leverage its content by turning those long videos into short, easily shareable viral videos. They found their winning formula because they understood what their users were looking for.
2. It is only a promotional channel, not the end game.
To understand why you shouldn’t give up on social media, you need to understand how it works today. Some time ago, a business could easily go on social media to sell its products and services directly to consumers. Today, the landscape has changed.
People no longer appreciate direct sales on social media. They want to be enticed with interesting information or videos before they decide whether or not to buy what you’re selling. That’s why an informational blog post will be shared more times than an advertisement. By posting easily shareable content like videos, images or posts, you will:
- Achieve better online visibility
- Improve your credibility as an expert
- Increase your customer base
3. Social media provides insights and helps convert leads into customers.
Through the data you are able to gather on different social media platforms, you can better understand the demographics of your followers, their preferences and their thoughts on your brand. This information can help you generate targeted content that will lead to improved readership, an expanded follower base and increased service inquiries — all of which are good for business.
In addition to providing valuable insights, social media is a great tool for converting leads to customers. When you respond to their concerns or make them feel special in some way, they regard your company as more desirable. They also become more loyal to the brand and are more likely to recommend your products or services to friends.
Through personalized customer service and regular interaction on social media, your business can gain new customers and retain existing ones very easily.
4. Social media helps increase website traffic.
In today’s digital era, the importance of website traffic cannot be overstated. More traffic to your website means more subscribers and more potential customers. You can later convert these subscribers into buyers, increasing sales.
While website traffic can come from different sources, including organic search and links from other websites, social media is a great component of it. When you post clickable content, people share it among their circles, and the cycle can be endless.
At a time when more people are online at one particular time, you can expect increased website traffic from increased social media presence.
The reality is social media isn’t dead. I’s just changing and requires businesses to adjust accordingly. You have a shorter time than before to reach your audience, communicate your intention and draw them to whatever service you provide.
According to research, only 16 percent of your Facebook followers are able to see your company posts organically. And on Twitter, only 10 percent of your followers can see your tweet when it’s posted. To reach the right users, you need to make sure your content can be found. You can achieve that by sharing the right content at the right time and on the right platform.
The other reality is you cannot beat your competition without social media. Nearly 75 percent of companies using social selling report an increase in sales in 12 months. You do need social media in your business, and so do your users.
Image credit: erhui1979 | Getty Images