Why Businesses Should Ride the Social Media Wave
Nothing could’ve been more exciting than when social media first entered the scene for small businesses. With the latest social media platforms available on the web, it’s as if the only thing that can limit your company’s potential in connecting with your customers is your own imagination.
Social Media Today recently reported a survey of 600 small business owners located in different areas in the United States, which indicates that social networking has become increasingly valuable for most businesses. At least 90% of the respondents said that their businesses are actively engaged in social networking sites. Whereas 70% see social media as valuable, maybe even more valuable than networking in-person.
In a nutshell, social media marketing is generating leads or gaining website traffic through social networking sites. Social media, which is now among the most popular forms of marketing or advertising, is essentially driven by word-of-mouth and consequently results in earned media rather than paid media.
Social media marketing campaigns aim to create web content that are attractive and encouraging enough for the audience to share it with their social networks or “circle”. Your company’s message effectively resonates, as ad contents spread from one user to another, because it seemingly comes from their trusted sources, as opposed to the company itself—something they can easily brush off as “sheer advertising or PR”.
Recent data from industry experts point out to a single fact: that almost everybody is into social media, from individual users to corporate elites. 2012’s 100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures published in the Huffington Post reveal:
Facebook—now has nearly 850 million monthly active users worldwide and over 488 million users of Facebook Mobile. More than 1 million websites have also integrated with Facebook. Meanwhile, a whopping 77% and 43% of B2C and B2B companies respectively acquire their customers from Facebook. Another 80% of social media users prefer this social networking site when connecting to brands, products or services.
Twitter—registered a total of 163 billion tweets since it began, with an average of 175 million tweets sent every year. The United States belong to the Top 3 countries with 141.8 million Twitter accounts, representing 27.4 % of all Twitter users in the world. And 34% of marketers have generated leads or website traffic using Twitter.
Instagram—the photo-sharing site now has over 80 million users with an average of 7.3 million daily active users. More than 4 billion photos have been shared on Instagram since it started, with over 5 million photos being uploaded every day. Meanwhile, 40% of brands have adopted Instagram for web marketing.
Google+—Google’s social networking site has over 625,000 new users every day and was expected to attract 400 million users worldwide by the end of last year. 40% of marketers are on Google+ while, in particular, 48% of Fortune Global 100 Companies use Google+.
So if everybody’s doing it, that means it takes more than just simple participation for your business to stay ahead and lead the pack. Social media took the web by storm; and so did business phone systems which rely heavily on the Internet or VoIP service. It’s because social media has become a marketing platform easily accessible for those who have Internet access. For businesses that make the most out of it, it has increasingly fostered brand awareness and improved customer service. Best of all, social media comes as an inexpensive platform for businesses’ advertising/marketing campaigns.