You probably have a gut feeling that your business should be tweeting or maintain an active Facebook presence. You know social media is a means to open up a dialogue with your audience and advertise your brand – and you probably use it personally to connect with friends.
According to Hubspot, 94 percent of marketers agree that social media is important. On the softer side, social media helps business develop one-to-one relationships, boost brand awareness and provide customer service. But where’s the hard evidence that investing the time, money and personnel is worth it?
Here are four reasons – and lots of statistics – that prove social media is worth investing in.
Social media is where your customers are
Yes, all your customers. Social media is not just a youth fad or teenager space anymore – everyone from grandmothers to preteens are logging on daily. Given the decline in traditional media consumption, it’s hard to think of another place to reach such a huge, and yet well-targeted audience.
2.3 billion users are active on social media in 2016. And it’s only going up: that’s an increase of 176 users from last year.
Choosing platforms for your social media strategy is directly related to your audience. Facebook tends to reach a wider audience, LinkedIn for a business audience and Instagram and Snapchat for millennials. What’s more, social media posts and ads can be targeted specifically for who you want to reach.
Social media is a news source
It’s not just where users go to share baby pictures. Most Americans view social media as a news source, and 18 percent get their news on social often.
For your business, that means that social is often the first place customers go to find out new information about products and services, ask questions or file comments.
It’s not a one-way street, either. One-third of users prefer social media to connect with a brand over typing an email or picking up the phone. On Twitter, three-quarters of people who complain about a brand expect a response within the hour.
If you aren’t present, there’s no one to speak on your behalf.
Social media is cheap[er]
Print ads, direct marketing, billboards – the costs can add up quickly. Plus, the increased use of online ad blockers means there’s less of a guarantee that users are actually seeing the digital ads you purchase.
At its core, social media is a free way to connect with a huge audience. One study suggests that the cost of reaching 1,000 people via social media is less than half that of traditional advertising buys. More than half of small business said using social media actually reduced their marketing budget.
Still, doing social media correctly requires two different kinds of investment: proper time and talent. If you’re sending out promotional tweet after tweet, you’re not connecting with your audience – you’re shouting at them.
Social media boosts brand loyalty
Given the ubiquity of social media, merely having a presence can bolster awareness. Sending out targeting Facebook posts or tweets with proper hashtags can mean reaching a new audience in itself.
But gathering followers isn’t just about boosting your clout or getting more likes – it’s about gaining a reputation and earning loyalty. In fact, more than half of Americans who follow brands on social are more loyal to those brands. Fostering these connections is important too: 71 percent of users who had a positive experience with a brand on social media were likely to recommend it to a friend.
Loyalty on social media can translate into customers. Last year, Facebook influenced more than half of all purchasing decisions.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community