Our world is becoming increasingly more social. Social media platforms are ubiquitous, and we live in a society that thrives on personal connections. While you can still have some luck with more traditional advertising methods such as TV/radio ads or direct mail, social media advertising is superior for both brands and consumers and should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
It may be surprising that we say social media is superior with such confidence if you only look at numbers such as the amount of sales made directly from ad clicks. Such numbers often appear low and can make it more difficult to identify social media’s value. In this case, it’s all about the context; a social media user may not purchase directly from an ad, but a strong social media presence goes a long way and can influence future purchasing decisions.
An intriguing dichotomy accompanies social media usage, one that is uniquely social and not found in other methods of advertising. People love the increased ability to connect with others that comes with social media. Further, consumers on social media appreciate curated content and tailored suggestions; who wants to see ads for random things that would never appeal to them? This great level of personalization makes the social experience better for users, but it is only possible through brands collecting a tremendous amount of data. Since some companies who collect such data have abused it, consumers often feel a sense of invaded privacy. Indeed, people today heavily rely on social media for many reasons while simultaneously feeling discomfort with major aspects that accompany its use.
Cognitive dissonance (noun): the discomfort felt by a person who holds conflicting ideas at the same time.
For consumers and brands alike, using social media often creates a sense of cognitive dissonance. While you can’t do much about the psychological dichotomy at play, you can prove your brand is trustworthy over time. The takeaway here is that proper utilization of collected data is immensely important. It may take some time, but once you determine the best way to leverage your social data, your ads on those platforms will reach their pinnacle of success.
A Broad Understanding: The Stats
We will dedicate a later portion (Social Media Statistics by Platform) of this social media overview to exploring the most popular platforms individually; their differences can be hard to pinpoint, but can ultimately make an impact on your success. First, however, it is important to create a solid understanding of the power of social media in general.
- 90% of consumers try to reach out to brands on social media.
- When customers feel connected to brands, 57% of consumers will increase their spending with that brand.
- 76% of consumers will choose one brand over its competitors when they feel connected to said brand.
Such statistics can help illustrate the value of social media, but what can also be incredibly helpful in building this understanding is looking beyond the numbers. Sure, the numbers paint a mental image of scale, but how good is that data without context? Does it matter that you know consumers utilize social media if you don’t understand why?
A Broad Understanding: Consumers’ Motivation
According to Sprout Social these are the top reasons consumers choose to reach out to brands through social media:
40% of consumers said having a bad experience is the top reason they would reach out to a brand on social media. No matter how hard you work, you will inevitably find negative feedback on social media. It is absolutely critical that negative comments be handled with efficiency as well as finesse. Your impulse may be to ignore the criticism and focus on happy customers. In most cases, replying to consumer messages, whether negative or positive, will be the best approach. That is not to say that any response is better than no response, but a smart and thoughtful response can do significant damage control.
A Broad Understanding: Motivation for Brands
Just as an employee working at a brick and mortar store would never ignore a customer right in front of them, you should strive to address everyone attempting to reach your brand through social channels. Why? Failure to respond can decrease customer satisfaction by 43%, but a good reply can increase it 20%. Furthermore, while it may not seem very important to impress one dissatisfied customer, many more people see public exchanges on brand pages and make judgments—it is about so much than the one unhappy person. If a potential customer saw others’ concerns repeatedly ignored, they would likely be discouraged from using your brand.
If you feel intimidated by the potential to upset or lose customers due to social media, there are two reasons not to let that discourage you from using it. Ronin is the first reason; if you want to be on social without maintaining it yourself, we offer marketing services including engaging and relevant brand conversations with customers, which have been proven to reduce churn. Whether you use our services or not, the positive potential outcomes of using social media outweigh the potential negatives.
Statistically speaking, if a brand provides a great experience on social media, they will be rewarded by consumers in at least 4 tangible ways: consumers are more likely to use a brand’s product/service, have brand loyalty, share a good experience with a brand on their own profiles, and actually make a purchase. Beyond improved customer perceptions, going social means you inevitably reach more customers, an improved Net Promoter Score, and better control of paid advertising—social media platforms provide rich data on ads that you could never get with traditional advertising methods.
Social Media Statistics by Platform
Social media platforms can seem interchangeable—in some cases, they truly are—but your business will be more successful with a strategy that embraces the subtle differences. If you want to get an idea or message across on multiple social sites, you should alter the presentation to suit the different platforms. Beautiful photos or eye-catching graphics should always be included in social posts/ads, but they are particularly important on image-driven sites like Instagram. Clear, concise text works best for Twitter due to character limits (don’t forget the accompanying image). If you want to wax poetic, we suggest posting those thoughts on Facebook.
No realistic person today could deny that a large percentage of the world’s population enjoys social media, but just how large are we talking? There are many platforms beyond those listed below, but these are our favorites and typically the most successful for business purposes.
- In December 2019, Facebook had 2.5 billion monthly active users—an 8% increase year-over-year.
- 1.66 billion people use Facebook daily.
- Users spend an average of 58 minutes per day browsing Facebook.
- 37% of adults in the US use Instagram.
- Instagram has approximately 1 billion active users.
- 6 in 10 users log in at least once per day.
- Users spend an average of 53 minutes per day browsing Instagram.
- It is projected that there will be 125.5 million active users in the US by 2023.
- 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform.
- In Q1 2019, Twitter had 330 million monthly active users.
- At the same time, it had 145 million daily active users.
- Twitter users send 500 million tweets per day.
Whether you use this information to create a multi-platform social media strategy or decide which single platform you want to focus on, the context should help you keep perspective along the way.
“On engagement, we’re already seeing that mobile users are more likely to be daily active users than desktop users. They’re more likely to use Facebook six or seven days of the week.”– Mark Zuckerburg, 2011
If you decide to utilize social media advertising, you will want to make sure mobile users have a great experience with your content. An incredible 94% of Facebook Ad revenue comes from mobile ads. 2.26 billion of Facebook’s users are mobile users, a much bigger number than the amount of desktop users. You may make every single ad you post on a desktop computer, but the reality is you will be one of the few to view the content this way.
A related suggestion: create video ads for Facebook, and these, too, must be mobile-friendly to be effective. Note that if you want to use video ads but need help creating them, custom videos are one of the marketing services we offer at Ronin.
There are clearly many approaches a brand can take with social media. Regardless of the approach, however, they all have the same key component for achieving success: authenticity. The brand you build on social media must engage customers and help them understand how your services can enrich and enable their lives—all without being too forceful or intrusive. At this point, you likely realize the importance of having an engaged social media presence. Indeed, maintaining great social media is too important to be a part time job. If you’d like top-tier marketing help, we can provide your brand the authentic, engaging message you seek. Reach out today – firstname.lastname@example.org.