by Grace Breitenfeld
According to research as recent as March of this year, 3.48 billion people, or approximately 45% of the world’s total population use social media. Social media is no longer just a fun way for people to stay connected to their loved ones, or a convenient way to meet new people- it is also a powerful marketing tool all types of businesses. Whether you own a small novelty shop or a huge multi-national corporation, social media should absolutely be a part of your marketing and PR strategy.
On 30 June 2010, the global media and entertainment platform Mashable launched Social Media Day as a way to acknowledge the monumental impact social media has on our world. This Sunday marks its 10th year of celebration, and during that time, the official hashtag, #SMDay has been used 22.5 thousand times on Instagram alone. During these last 10 years, social media usage has skyrocketed. When this celebration was first established, Facebook was the most popular and successful form of social media, with sites such as Twitter and YouTube steadily rising in popularity as well. However, in that same year, new platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest were launched, tightening social media’s grip on our society. The following year, Snapchat was launched, making social media an even more common place mode of communication.
These days, businesses should not only have a social media presence, but they should be actively striving to improve it. No matter what industry you are in, a large portion of your target audience will be on social media, giving you direct access to these potential customers, and providing a specific avenue get your message across to them. Seeing as 87% of people with social media accounts access them every day, and 72% check social media more than once daily, it is the cheapest, fastest, and most efficient way to connect with consumers. Not only is this an excellent way to market your products and increase visibility and brand recognition, but it is also an ideal way to let consumers know who you are, what you do, and what your brand stands for. You can also be sure that your competition is on social media and with 40% of digital consumers using social media to research new brands or products, you should want to do whatever it takes to make sure your brand is the first one that makes it onto their radar.
When you post new content directly to your website, it can take a while to pick up any traction with Google. Social media brings you a way to allow the public to find this new content and click through to your company’s website immediately after it is posted. The content you post to your social media also creates a narrative about your company. This provides a way for you to authentically bond with your audience, and make them feel like they are a part of the narrative as well. This is also a great way to quickly bring awareness of your brand and your mission statement to the public.
Additionally, when your company has social media accounts, customer service becomes more accessible, but also becomes more demanding. Customers can comment or direct message their questions or complaints 24 hours a day. While at times this can be a negative attribute of social media marketing, it is also an exciting opportunity to up your customer service game and brand yourselves as an organisation that values its customers’ needs above the rest. Having your executive leadership on social media is another way to include your consumers in the life of your company. Industry related content put out by company executives is an effective way to position them as thought leaders in their respective fields.
For some people, this new avenue of digital advertising can be intimidating. However, you don’t have to have a specific number of followers, or any amount of social media training to get started on it! All you need is an internet connection to start engaging with potential customers. If you’ve never experimented with this strategy before, this Social Media Day is the perfect time to join the technological revolution and celebrate all that social media has done for our world!
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