In terms of marketing, social is still a relative newcomer when it comes to a company’s arsenal of advertising tools and one that thousands of people still aren’t utilising to its full potential.
Taking into account that by the end of 2016, a huge 2.8 billion people were using social in some way, shape or form, with 77% of the UK having an account. This number increases sizeably every year, in turn meaning so do potential consumers.
To reinforce this importance here’s a few statistics courtesy of Hootsuite…
- 34% of UK adults with social media accounts would rather engage with a brand via social media than visit a store.
- 56% of UK adults with an account agree that customer service across social has made it easier to get problems and queries resolved.
Teens alone spend up to 9 hours a day on social, in fact the time we spend on social, is only topped by the time we spend watching television. Obviously the latter will be the king of advertising for the foreseeable future, but for something we spend so long looking at, it seems crazy that a brand wouldn’t assign a decent amount of budget to. Especially start-up businesses, for who brand awareness is so essential in the early stages.
Cost is a pro for the format. A brand can pump as little or as much as they want into social, depending on their size and objectives. This gives it the edge on most other formats, allowing for campaigns to be turned on and off depending on a client’s business objectives.
Here are a few points that show the importance of the big three platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)…
- 65 billion active monthly users.
- Accounts for 1 in every 6 minutes spent online (1 in 5 minutes on mobile).
- 50 million businesses use the platform.
- Nearly one third of users engage with brands regularly.
- More than 2 million advertisers regularly use Facebook.
- 310 million monthly active users.
- More than 130,000 advertisers market on Twitter.
- 49% of monthly Twitter users follow brands or companies.
- 42% of users learn about products and services.
- 41% provide opinions about products or services.
- 19% seek customer support.
- 400 million monthly active users
- 68% users engage with brands regularly.
- Ad recall from a sponsored post is 2.8x higher than Nielsen’s norms for online ads.
- According to a 2015 user survey, 60% of users say they discover new products. The same survey found that 75% say they’ve taken action after being inspired by a post.
Putting it bluntly people have become lazier, why go to a busy shopping centre or sit on hold for 20 minutes at a time to get an issue resolved? Everything is available within minutes in the palm of a hand. Customers can have questions answered in a matter of minutes, either by other social users or the brand itself.
For household names, a strong reputation online is essential as is engaging with their audience, which in turn will translate into sales, as will targeted ads and promotional posts directly linking to their products or services.
For new brands, it’s even more essential to have a strong online presence, due to a lack of customer base and recognition; this is what potential consumers will turn to. If they see an inactive or poorly run Facebook page, their first opinion is going to be formed from that and it’ll be a negative one, one that may never be recovered.
People are more wary of scams than ever, there’s ads plastered around us telling us to be careful browsing online, we’re in a social media generation and that’s often a brand’s modern day shop window. Much like that dodgy corner shop you always avoid to walk five extra minutes to the Tesco, people are doing the same online.
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All words by Brad Lengden