Across generations, everyone is constantly upgrading their use of technology - from 7 year olds comparing flashy, decorated smartphones, to a grandmother playing CandyCrush on a tablet. Most Millennials have access to such technology, Gen X are hot on their tails, and Baby Boomers are increasingly bridging the gap. Statistics from last year show that there are 3.5 billion social media users around the world, with the average person spending 3 hours per day on social media, and that number will only keep rising.
Leaders must now acknowledge that social media is not just a passing trend or a phase - it's here to stay for good, and you must orient your organization toward it or risk losing out. If you employ social media correctly, it can produce in amazing results in engagement, traffic, and leads. Okay, so there might be some skepticism here that needs to be dispelled.
Here are some statistics and facts to help with that:
You may remain uncertain, but creating a social media account is free, and not creating it is just leaving big gaps in your strategy for competitors to take advantage of. You do the math. So why not try it out in 4 simple steps?
There are a number of different social media applications, and the first step is to choose which platform would work best for your particular objective through rigorous research. There's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and more. For example, since its launch in 2004, Facebook has been reigning as king in the social media landscape. Based on the fact that Facebook is currently the biggest social networking service, one might select Facebook as a must-have platform to utilize based on global reach and active users. It also depends on who your intended audience is, and the form in which you want to market your products and services. A B2B business such as a business consultancy might want to focus on LinkedIn with more content heavy information like articles, while a B2C business such as a women's fashion store could focus on Instagram with more visuals and photos.
54% of social media browsers use social media to research products, so the second step is to spruce up and populate your organization's social media pages. If people don't know about your organization, they can't become your customers. Use social media to boost visibility amongst your potential clients. They might stumble upon your organization's page and if there's only a sparse few half-hearted posts, they'll click out immediately. First impressions matter, so make sure you make a great one for when a user types your organization's handle into the search bar!
Once they are on your page, capturing their interest and attention is your third task. Why should they care? How does it benefit them? It's important to keep in mind that it's about them, not you, when thinking about the way you structure your headlines or captions. Capture attention through combination of typography and image, and provide details by telling them information they didn't know before. As you build up your follower base, keep them engaged by responding to their comments or even just liking a comment to acknowledge it. Showcase your brand's personality through hashtag, personal captions, and interactions with others on the platform.
The last step is to measure your efforts to make sure you aren't just throwing out random content and hoping something sticks. By using a business and creator account, you get access to analytics in many platforms. They'll provide you bar charts with an overview of your reach, likes, saves, and more. Using analytics, you can optimize your effort and figure out what works best. For example, by noting the time the large majority of your audience is online, you can choose that time to post because that's when they are paying attention. You can even find the best frequency of posting by tracking the data. Some have found that the more frequently you post, the better, even up to 5 times a day. By having access to this interesting and useful data, you can slowly tweak your strategy to perfection.
So what are you waiting for? Organization have to ride this wave of social media marketing, from influencer marketing to stories and posts sponsored for advertisement. With the advancement of technology and digitalization, organizations can interact with people from halfway across the globe and build on their customer base without ever being in the same country.
All you need to get started is good content, a witty personal caption, hashtags, and a call to action.