Is Social Media Marketing a Must for Your Business?
Online marketing is undeniably important. A potential client’s ability to find your business online has a direct impact on the likelihood of them choosing your company over your competitors.
Even if your company has embraced things like SEO and online reviews, it’s possible that you’re still not active on social media. Can that hurt you?
At Localnode, our first class hosting provides the ideal platform to support social media and content marketing. In this post, we’ll talk about why social media marketing matters, how social media has evolved, and update you on some of the up-and-coming social media trends.
Why Social Media Marketing Matters
Maybe your company isn’t on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. If you’re getting plenty of traffic to your blog and website, you might think that you can afford to ignore social media.
We think that’s a mistake. Social media usage is high. Among the daily users of social media sites are many potential clients. If you aren’t on social media, you’re missing out on connecting with them.
To get an idea of how much social media marketing can do for your company, let’s look at some statistics for 2019:
- Worldwide, 3.48 billion people use at least one social media site – that’s 45% of the world’s population!
- In 2018, one million new users joined social media every day.
- The average user in the US has 7.1 social media accounts.
- 40% of digital consumers use social media to research new products and services.
- 53% of businesses use social advertising.
- Social media advertising grew by 32% in 2018 and is expected to grow an additional 73% by 2023.
What you can see from these statistics is that social media advertising is a huge business – and companies that aren’t on social media may be falling behind.
How Social Media Has Evolved
You might think of social media as a recent phenomenon – and in the grand scheme of things, it is. That said, it might surprise you to learn that the first social media site was launched more than 20 years ago, in 1997.
Called Six Degrees, the site allowed users to build connections with one another, create profiles, and send messages. At its peak, it had one million users, but it was defunct by 2001.
The next social media sites that made an impact were Friendster, which was founded in 2002, and MySpace, which came online in 2003.
MySpace took off, and in 2009 News Corp (the parent company of Fox News) bought the site. By that time, it had already lost its first-place status to newcomer Facebook.
Facebook is the giant of social media with more than a billion users. While it started as a way for Harvard students to connect, it soon grew into a massive worldwide social network. Facebook Ads was launched in 2007 and paved the way for Facebook to become the marketing and advertising powerhouse it is today.
In addition to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and – for business-to-business marketing – LinkedIn, have all made an impact on marketing. While it can be difficult to measure social media ROI, many brands rely on their social media accounts to help them connect with existing customers and attract new ones.
Social Media Marketing Trends for 2019
As the social media landscape has evolved, so have the ways that companies and brands use their social media accounts to connect with fans and customers. Here are some of the significant trends you should know about for 2019.
Focus on Engagement
The old model of social media marketing was to encourage users to like, comment, or share content to boost engagement rates. The more of this kind of engagement a post got, the more people would see the post organically.
Now, the trend is toward encouraging engagement by posting the kind of content that naturally spurs conversation. Sites like Facebook and Instagram are rewarding brands that try to create a good community for their followers.
More and more companies are integrating their social media with customer service. You may have noticed brands replying to questions when they’re tagged on Twitter and making it easier for clients to get help on LinkedIn.
You can expect to see more of this trend. Increasingly, consumers expect to be able to get answers to questions on social media, and brands that don’t provide them may find themselves falling behind.
One of the most significant trends in social media marketing is the use of customer service chatbots, especially on Facebook Messenger and other messaging apps.
Chatbots can perform simple tasks, such as:
- Tracking orders
- Answering basic questions about products
- Recommending products to customers
- Triaging incoming requests and redirecting them to human agents
Chatbots are surprisingly easy to program and can help you provide customer service around the clock.
Influencer marketing isn’t new. It’s been used by brands for years to leverage built-in audiences and increase sales. The big trend in 2019 is the use of so-called micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers don’t have the same reach as big celebrities. What they offer instead are highly-targeted audiences that are likely to take their recommendations as gospel. For many small and medium-sized businesses, working with micro-influencers provides a simple and effective way to reach new customers.
Live broadcasting is more popular than ever. It offers brands the opportunity to engage directly with customers in real time.
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all have live options. You can use them to do Q & A sessions, conduct interviews, or demonstrate new products.
Social Media Stories
Social media stories are relatively new but growing in popularity. You can create stories using video, images, and words on many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Stories are fleeting, often remaining on the site for only a few days before they disappear. They encourage fans to engage immediately with your content.
Social media marketing on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help your company expand its audience, generate leads, and ultimately, increase sales and profits. The trends we’ve mentioned here are an excellent place to start.
To learn how Localnode’s first class hosting can support your social media marketing campaigns, please click here now.