As we crawl through yet another economically challenging year, it is imperative that as marketing budgets are slashed, businesses find the grossly under-priced marketing channels that have a far greater reach than our traditional ones. It is astonishing to realize the number of brands that are still going through growing pains trying to exploit social media.
Never in the history of mankind, has there been a better time to start a business or be in business, than now. Whereas those before us required deep pockets to achieve significant success in business, social media has opened up great opportunities for us to market and reach audiences at a tiny fraction of a dollar invested. The next revolution has turned the old fashioned way of doing business upside down, whilst turning the creative and imaginative into immortals, who have unlimited opportunities at their feet.
According to www.SocialMediaExaminer.com, globally, marketers are spending significant amounts of time using social media to promote their businesses. A report published by them states that 63% of marketers dedicate 6 hours or more to the use of social media, whilst a further 39% spend 11 or more hours weekly. Shockingly, close to 19% of marketers commit themselves to spending more than 20 hours each week on social media.
These figures are very significant, and when one tries to correlate these numbers to the social media activities locally, it is difficult to really find in all of this, where we actually fit in. Most local business pages on social media are just dormant, yet on some, there is no coherent strategy on how to utilize the social network platforms. As a matter of fact, social media will forever be grossly underpriced, such that businesses simply need to dedicate an hour or two daily, to start creating their own footprints.
It is never easy to quantify the relationship between experience in the use of social media and the weekly time commitment. However, there is a school of thought that believes that a correlation does exist between experience and time commitment, for example, Social Media Examiner reports that for those with less than 12 months experience using social media, 54% of them spend 5 or fewer hours per week. Nonetheless, the hours increase amongst those who have been using social media for 2 years or longer, as 64% of them dedicate 6 hours or more per week for their social media activities.
As a result of failure to embrace social media marketing, companies miss out on increasing their exposure and web traffic. Generally, the most active businesses on social media normally generate significant exposure for their brands and also increase traffic to their websites, as a positive spin-off from the exposure. It is regrettable that companies decide not to become active, for the mere reason that they choose to read too much into the negative headlines published by media houses on the evils of social media.
Besides, social media activity has evolved beyond merely chasing after likes or a following and has morphed into developing loyal fans, who will always allow you to gain marketplace intelligence. To enjoy the benefits of social media, one has to look beyond the Return on Investment and focus on being useful and relevant on the various platforms.
More importantly, become a go-to resource on subject matters that relate to your industry, rather than trying to force your marketing content on the public. Just as traditional marketing has evolved from being a showcase for brand information dissemination into a story-telling art that is not inherently obsessed with disseminating the pricing component of a product, and rather the value of the solution it provides in alleviating a pain point, the same applies to social media marketing content.
It suffices to state that, lead generation and gaining sales on social media doesn’t happen overnight, as anything in life, it takes hard work, dedication and commitment to achieve a level of success. Large numbers of organizations that create captivating social media content eventually find great results.
According to a report published by the Social Media Examiner, more than 50% of marketers who engaged in social media activities consistently for at least 2 years claim that their sales improved greatly as a result. In addition, similar results can be expected for those who spend 11 or more hours per week. Even more intriguing, 74% of those who spend more than 40 hours per week reported earning new business through their efforts.
Nevertheless, there was also a constituent that also felt that social media didn’t improve sales for their organizations, which could be as a result of their lack of the needed tools to track sales. This disgruntled constituency included 49% of all surveyed marketers.
Apart from reducing the marketing expenses, being active on social media platforms improves the search engine rankings for a business. Therefore, investing some time to work on your social media content is worthwhile and has the effect of bearing fruits in the long-run.
In conclusion, businesses should also aspire to have the right tactics for social media. There is so much constant change on many social networks, therefore, the effective tactics that might work best today become obsolete tomorrow and might need to be improved, for them to constantly maintain relevancy. On top of that, engage with customers, this will provide a competitive advantage as there is some uniqueness in engaging them. Most corporates never bother to respond to comments made by customers, which are a good source of feedback.