By Latisha Catchatoorian
What’s the first thing you do when you are looking to hire a plumber for your leaky kitchen faucet? What do you do when you are applying for a job with a company you know little about? What about when you catch wind of a new restaurant in town?
I’d bet my lunch money that you visit the business’ website. A website provides useful information about a brand or company and can help stimulate interest in the business. And, while a professional website is of paramount importance – it isn’t necessarily enough, because of what users instinctively do next.
If you’re one of the 3.1 billion social media users worldwide, chances are your next move after visiting the website is to check the business’ Facebook page, Instagram account, or its reviews on Google. If a business doesn’t have any of the aforementioned platforms and you’re anything like me, you’re left asking yourself, “Why?”
Social Media is an All-in-One Flier, Testimonial, and Branding Tool
Users are spending more time on social media platforms than ever with social media usage comprising 30% of all online time. Having a digital social media presence has never been more timely or relevant.
The days of paper fliers posted to phone poles have been replaced with digital fliers posted to timelines.
Instead of telling potential customers how good your product or service is, you can show them in real time.
Additionally, businesses have been able to tell their company’s story, elevate their business, or give an unmistakable voice to their brand – all through social media.
(Wendy’s for example, has used Twitter to attract a mass following of millennial customers through its witty banter and unique voice on the platform.)
Social Media Can Drive Revenue For Your Business
At the end of the day, we know that money matters. While Instagram feeds can be beautifully curated and the publicity of your business can be upped through Facebook or Google My Business, it’s of minimal value to busy business owners who want to invest their time elsewhere.
Proving the ROI of branded advertising is something we’ve delved into before and goes hand-in-hand with social media, especially if you’re paying for display ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The nitty gritty of it is explained in a blog post here, but for the sake of simplicity – social media can drive revenue, even if it’s a bit more challenging to directly quantify.
Here are some recent statistics that demonstrate the impact social media is having on advertising and business revenue:
- Social media advertising revenue is forecast at $51.3 billion for 2018 and budgets for this type of advertising are expected to double in the next five years.
- HubSpot reported that marketers found that as little as six hours a week was enough to generate increased traffic.
- Over 70 million businesses currently use Facebook business pages.
- According to Curalate, 76% of U.S. consumers reported having purchased a product they’ve seen in a brand’s post on social media.
- Conversions increase 133% when mobile shoppers see positive reviews before buying. (Yelp, Amazon, and Google know what’s up.)
- AdWeek reported that customers are 6x more likely to purchase a product if the page includes photos from social media.
Other Business Perks of Social Media
Business is also about networking and social media has never made it easier to bump virtual shoulders with competitors, influencers, celebrities, and more. You can view the latest trends, keep up with the Joneses, and see what your competition is up to all from the palm of your hand.
Social media also gives your customers and clients a direct channel by which to access you. This can be beneficial when you are trying to build rapport with existing customers or expand your customer base. It also humanizes your business and facilitates conversations that are crucial to a B2C relationship.
In conclusion, social media is a viable tool that if used properly and intelligently, can become a business asset. #TheTimeIsNow!