If you’re a small or medium-sized business, social media is likely a topic that raises many questions. “What is social media? Isn’t it free? How do I use it? Does my company need it? Where do I begin?” These are all questions that we’ve heard over and over again, and the answers are always simple.
Social media can be used by companies as a free-form of marketing and promotion. It’s a way to communicate messages to the general public and create a dialogue between a business and a consumer base. You can build company pages on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter quite easily, however, getting people to actually listen to your messages is an entirely different animal. Twitter is now averaging roughly 50 million tweets per day. That’s 600 tweets per second. Overwhelming, isn’t it? But if your business isn’t in the social media sphere, you’re probably missing out. Some businesses see incredible results using social media marketing, while others see very little difference at the end of the day. This is due, in part, to the nature of your business AND how effective your social media skills are.
If you’re a business that sells products or services to the public, social media is a great marketing tool that can very easily impact your sales. However, if you’re a B2B company or are selling products or services to retailers or distributors, social media will most likely have little impact on your sales. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be actively involved with social media, because it still serves as a great tool for brand awareness. However, don’t expect bottom-line results.
The other part of this whole debate is the effectiveness of your social media skills. Not only is it important to build a relevant following, but companies must build a network of followers that will listen to your messages and even pass them along to their own followers. The companies that use social media with success find that the less you talk about your own business, the more your followers will take up an interest in you. The best social media strategies offer followers a mix of informative and relevant messages on your industry, links to articles, an occasional message about your company, and of course adding a humor element never hurts. Social networks are also a great launching pad to get the word out on any contests, promotions, or sales that you’re having.
Here are some key statistics provided by iStrategy2010:
- 79% of the Fortune 100 are present and listening, using at least of one of the main social platforms to communicate with their customers.
- 20% of Companies are using all four of the main social technologies (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Blogs)
- 82% of the Fortune 100 update and engage with customers on their Twitter account per week.
- Fortune 100 Companies on average post 3.6 wall posts to their Facebook page per week
- 50% of the Fortune 100 have a YouTube account and upload 10 videos on average a month
At the end of the day, converting your social media followers into customers is not an easy task. It takes time, patience, a blend of excellent and relevant content, and a great social media strategy. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if you have an interesting company or business and utilize your social media efficiently, you’ll see results! If social media is a marketing tool you want to utilize but don’t necessarily have the time or resources for, there are great resources and experts out there who can help you develop a customized social media strategy and launch/manage your campaign.
Good luck with your social media (ad)ventures! Cheers.
– Joe from HSM
Hide & Seek Media is a creative marketing firm with locations in Boston, MA and Park City, UT. If you’re interested in learning more about developing your own creative marketing strategy, shoot us an email and tell us about your business and current marketing goals.