I am sure you have heard about Social Media Marketing, Social Networks, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc. Everyone says you should be including these in your marketing plan but never fully tell you why. Well, let me be the one to tell you why.
Cone LLC released two studies that showed some very interesting trends amongst consumers.
According to their research, four-out-of-five consumers (81%) will go online to verify recommended products or services regardless if their friends and family are the ones recommending the product to them. This information came from research that Cone LLC published in their 2010 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker.
Cone LLC also released a study back in 2008 that finds that Americans expect companies to have a presence in social media.
According to their research, 60% of Americans use social media and of those, 59% interact with companies on social media web sites. One in four interacts more than once per week.
These numbers should be pretty alarming to businesses that currently are not using social media. The math works out to 35.4% of Americans are interacting with companies via social media websites.
When asked about specific types of interactions, the study showed that Americans who use social media believe:
- Companies should use social media networks to solve my problems (43%)
- Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)
- Companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand (37%)
- Companies should market to consumers (25%)
What Does This Mean?
Now that we have got the facts and studies out of the way, let’s move on to see what this means for your business.
First, let’s look at the study that shows that over 80% of consumers go online to verify recommendations online. They do this through a variety of ways such as their own research, reading reviews posted by others and from social media websites.
By marketing properly on social networks, you can help make sure your company comes up in their research which could ultimately lead to new sales.
With 60% of Americans using social media, you need to try to appeal to that market. When 59% of those Americans expect to see your business on their social network, you do not want to be the one that is not. You may not be on the social networks, but I assure you that your competitors are working their way in and in turn are appealing to those 60% that you are not reaching.
The studies also show that consumers do not want to just become a fan or follow your business on these social networks, but that they want to engage and interact with your business. The studies show that 43% want to have their problems solved using a social network.
What this means to you as a business owner is that you or an employee that represents your business needs to be actively using your social media page to interact with your consumers.
What Makes Social Media So Important to Businesses
Well, there are a few parts to this. The big part is the viral capabilities of a social media. Check out this infographic below that was created by Social Reflexion.
This infographic shows how content that is created can spread and spread like wildfire. If you business creates a simple tweet about something that others want to spread, just look out how many consumers will see that one tweet or hear about it.
This infographic also demonstrates how cost effective social media marketing can be. You can assign this task to your current marketing department, or for a small business, you as an owner can do this yourself. Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon, etc., are free for you to join and free for you to start promoting your business. The only cost is the time you and your employees put into it.
Who Actually is Using Social Media Marketing
Well, the simple answer is pretty much everybody.
Research shows from the Burson-Marsteller Fortune Global 100 Social Media Study that 79% of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 index are using at least one of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs.
Twitter is the biggest platform used by the Fortune Global 100 with over 65% of the companies tweeting. The study goes on to show that 54% have Facebook fan pages, 50% have YouTube channels and 33% have corporate blogs.
These Fortune Global 100 companies are not just distributing content via social networks but are also interacting. The study showed that 38% of the companies are responding to people’s tweets.
Jacob Morgan at Social Media Examiner wrote a great article on how to go from the old CRM style to the new social CRM style. Check out his article, What is Social CRM?
Let’s Hear From You!
Are you a business owner? Do you use social media? Please tell us your success and any horror stories you may have from using social media to market your business.
Just use the comment box below.