Twenty years ago, Fortune 500 companies in the United States wouldn’t have believed you if you told them that someday they could reach millions of customers for free. No hired Madison Avenue advertising professionals or newspaper placement would be necessary. Yet, such an outrageous sentiment has become a reality as social media sites continue to grow. Your company can tailor Facebook posts so that they’re seen by a specific audience, or lure customers in with 140 characters or less on Twitter. For less than the cost of a roll of film, you can reach more customers than you ever would have with a traditional advertisement. Not only are social media outreaches more extensive, but they’re also more convincing.
TV commercials, radio spots, print ads, and subway posters have all become noise in the eyes of the consumer. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep in the United States, we will see more than 5,000 advertisements. It’s hard for companies to stand out among the clutter. For that reason, social media serves as the perfect platform for reaching customers where they least expect it. As they’re browsing their Pinterest for cute pictures or perusing YouTube with friends on a lazy Friday night, they might come upon your social messaging. It’s a casual, two-way form of communication that benefits both the company and its customers.
Unlike a one-sided print ad or TV spot, customers can actually engage with the brand on social media sites and learn more on their own time. Even complaints on your social media pages can work in your favor because you can address them immediately and save face in front of other users. Similarly, customers can share their positive experiences with your brand on their personal social media pages so that you can accrue more interest from potential customers.
Basically, being active on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace is the best thing you can do for business right now. People will look for you on these sites if they are true fans of your brand, so meeting them there should be a top priority. You will become more than just a corporation to these users, and that is something your company needs to take advantage of. If the potential for positive interaction isn’t convincing enough, there are some shocking statistics about the social media landscape that might surprise you and push you to action.
1.) 90% of Companies Use Social Media in their Marketing
This statistic is hard to ignore. The majority of successful companies in the United States are actively reaching out to customers on social media websites. While this is vital in understanding the social media landscape, it really isn’t all that surprising when you consider the endless benefits of social media sites. With something as simple as a Facebook profile, you can gain valuable insight that you’d pay thousands of dollars for otherwise. Looking through your fans on Facebook is like hosting a low-involvement focus group. You’ll get to know your customers well, draw in new ones and save money in the process. Even your customers will benefit, as they’ll be given the opportunity to get close with the company and speak their minds when necessary. If you have a marketing budget at all, it’s silly not to put some of your money towards social media marketing. Yes, many social sites are free. However, it’s highly recommended that you hire a social media professional to lay out your goals and determine the best course of action.
2.) Users are Not Just Millennials
Many of us automatically assume that young adults are dominating the world of social media. The inside jokes and memes of their generation are difficult to understand and their buying power is minimal, so why bother appealing to them? Believe it or not, 55% of people between the ages of 45 and 54 have at least one social networking profile. That means, by playing your cards right, you can reach out to more than half of that specific demographic. This statistic is certainly shocking, and it might give you new ideas about how you’re creating your social media campaign currently. On Facebook, 65% are over the age of 35. While it’s surprising, it actually makes sense when you think of the early days of the site. Originally, only college kids were invited to join.
3.) Facebook Accounts for 20% of All Page Views on the Internet
There are 644 million websites currently active on the Internet. For that reason, it is astonishing that 20% of all Internet page views are on Facebook. That means that, of every five people that log onto the Internet at a given moment, one of them will be checking Facebook. With so many options around the World Wide Web, 20% is a considerable chunk of interest. This statistic simply shows the sheer magnitude of the audience on a purely social website such as Facebook.
4.) More People are Logging into Twitter than Ever
You’ve probably been hearing the benefits of creating a Twitter account for your company for a while now. The funny thing is, the site wasn’t technically doing that well until recently. Yes, it had billions of users and it was growing at an exponential pace. However, many users would create an account, maybe post a Tweet or two, and then forget they had ever even made an account. In 2010, only 47% of Twitter users were active. The rest forgot about their account. Luckily, 76% of users are now active members, so throwing out a Tweet or two to promote yourself couldn’t hurt.
5.) YouTube is the Third Most-Viewed Website on the Internet
According to its Alexa ranking, YouTube is the third most-visited site on the Internet. It only trails Google in the number one spot and Facebook in the number two. Every day, 10% of all web traffic is made up of people going straight for YouTube. Whether people are looking for funny cat videos or a clip from the Presidential debate, YouTube is the go-to site for videos on the Internet. Get creative with your YouTube channel and give your company an interactive and creative way to connect with users.
If you haven’t already created a slew of social media profiles for your company, these statistics should kick you into action. We are experiencing a rare opportunity in the world of marketing where we can reach millions of people for free, and who knows how long it will last. With the right amount of focus and tact, you can get a lot of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and other social supporters to build your brand like never before.