Social media has proven to be the Internet’s “killer app” – the application that drove mass adoption across populations all over planet Earth, making it the world’s most influential invention since the printing press and putting social media marketing on the same pedestal as global relevance and saturation as televised news and public radio.
So, Why is social media important for your business?
This means nearly everyone over the age of 13 with the financial means to own a mobile device or a personal computer, and have access to an internet connection, and has at least one social media account, be it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or elsewhere.
If your business is not officially represented on social media, then it is represented unofficially – through user posts, comments, community pages, Tweets, or private messages. It goes without saying that social media is crucial for businesses – not just online businesses, but nearly all businesses.
Usage Statistics Speak for Themselves
Well over four billion people on the planet regularly use social media platforms. That’s over half of the world’s estimated 8 billion living humans and nearly every single human who uses the Internet.
Suppose your business is not currently part of the global community on social media. In that case, you are missing out on an exceedingly fast, easy, and cheap way to get in contact will hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of potential leads in your local market, all neatly organized and represented online through interlinked communities and social media bubbles.
More Than Funny Memes and Family Gatherings
If you aren’t convinced, you may not be aware of social media’s true use case. Do not think social media is a place for people to catch up with old high school friends or post vacation photos.
Social media platforms are advertising businesses that double as information hubs for people to exchange data, contact businesses, browse product reviews, and search for impartial product and service experiences.
Yes, people also post their cat pictures.
But first and foremost, people use social media nowadays to navigate and explore the world around them – identifying nearby restaurants, places of business, service providers, and contractors, gauging the quality of their work, sharing testimonies with others, and engaging on the new digital public square.
Businesses have been successfully leveraging the likes of Facebook and YouTube for well over fifteen years, taking advantage of an active user base that is growing at an unprecedented rate, and ad space that is much, much cheaper than cable TV spots or roadside billboards, while offering an extreme potential return on investment.
And social media platforms have not stood still since their inception. They have been adapting, evolving, and changing.
Platforms like YouTube and TikTok have molded themselves into user-generated content machines and gave birth to the modern influencer.
Facebook and Twitter are turning towards ecommerce to help brick-and-mortar businesses digitalize while taking a cut from a lucrative industry that saw the rise of Amazon.
And, last but not least, social media platforms continue to leverage their strongest asset: user interaction and advertising space.
Social Media Businesses are Advertising Agencies
Companies like Facebook offer users free membership on their platforms. But they do have a revenue source, and a substantial one at that: advertising. Social media platforms boast an incredibly lucrative ad model, one that leverages their active user base of billions of users (across all platforms) and highly advanced in-house advertising algorithms that match specific ad campaigns to interested users, based on likes, dislikes, interactions, and statistical inferences.
Imagine a billboard on the side of the road that shows a different ad to every person who drives by it, based on what that person is most likely to be interested in. That’s how targeted advertising works and how social media promotes businesses through paid advertising.
Most social media platforms don’t charge solely per impression; they can also charge per click, meaning you can guarantee a much higher likelihood of interest and potential leads.
Social Media for Engagement
We’ve discussed the absurd and growing user base, the evolving use cases, and the potential of paid advertising. But what about social media’s organic potential?
Let’s look at some crucial numbers.
Nearly three-quarters of all internet users aged 16-to-64 use the Internet to find answers to product-related questions. Almost half of all people who ask a business a question on Twitter expect an answer within an hour.
76 percent of social media users are influenced by opinions on their platforms for any given purchase decision.
71 percent of users are more likely to purchase something based on social media referrals. And 90 percent of surveyed businesses claim that social media marketing has increased their business’ exposure.
It’s All Still Growing
Given some social media platforms date back to the early 2000s, you may be worried that if you haven’t gotten in on the game by now, then there won’t be much left for you to get in on. After all, social media must be incredibly competitive, right?
Well, yes and no. Targeted ads can be programmed to focus on locations and niches that are explicitly underrated, and while you might not compete with corporations like Wendy’s, Coca-Cola, or Target when it comes to user interactions, you can still leverage social media platforms like Facebook as a means to grow a smaller, more dedicated local following, or utilize platforms like Twitter to drive engagement between your loyal customers, answer questions, and garner a positive reputation.
Furthermore, we’re far from the top of the hill. More than half of the world’s population is online, and while some markets are more saturated than others – such as the US, China, and most Asian markets – others haven’t reached peak saturation yet, such as Europe and Africa.
There’s still a lot of room for social media to grow, and a lot of potential customers for your business to reach. And there is no better time to start than now. Get in touch with us to find out how your business can benefit from social media, whether it’s through engagement, ad space, or taking charge of your online reputation.