If someone told you that 72% of marketers reported sales because of their social media efforts and that 52% of marketers reported new leads, would you jump on the social media bandwagon? (Social Media Examiner 2011) I think most companies would do a double take. The truth is, out of all marketing venues out there (and we know there are quite a few), social media is the marketing outlet to connect with consumers and do it fast.
Think about these numbers for a moment.
- 70% of social media users are between the ages of 18 to 34 are on Facebook. (Social Media Today 2010)
- 63% of Internet users use social networks in 2011 (emarketer 2011)
- There are 175 million registered users on Twitter in 2011 (Econsultancy 2011)
- In one year (since 2010), LinkedIn has grown by 100% (Econsultancy 2011)
- There are over 750 million users on Facebook (Econsultancy 2011)
Now that you have all these numbers in mind, what does this really mean for your business? For starters, it means that if you’re not using social media already, you’re missing the opportunity to reach new customers on a grand scale.
Now that the general public is aware that brands are on Facebook and/or Twitter, they purposely want to connect with these brands for better deals, solve a problem, research new products or services, etc. So now consumers, all 750 million on Facebook and the 175 million on Twitter are going out of their way to connect with you—the company that provides a valuable service or produces a product they need. The hard truth is that 66% of those registered on Twitter are influenced by a retailer or business feed (Compete Pulse 2011). 60% are influenced by Facebook pages (Biz Report 2011).
And when they can’t find you, they’ll go somewhere else. They’ll use keywords to find another company to provide what they’re looking for, taking potential profits out of your bank and depositing them into your competitor’s.
How you choose to grow your company and make a profit is up to you. But social media should be included in your marketing plan, if not now, then for sure 2012. For most companies, social media is 11.9% of their marketing budget (Mashable 2011).
Within that 11.9%, the best advice is to hire a marketing agency with a proven track record for results. If you’re already outsourcing your SEO, ask about incorporating social media for even more search engine oomph. By combining social media with other forms of online marketing, you’re enhancing your online presence in more ways than you’ll know since search engines are picking up on social media activity. So which ones should you focus on? Start with Twitter and Facebook for now. Depending on your target market, you can even consider LinkedIn.Google+