Social Marketing: How to Tap into the Potential of Social Media to Reach Today’s Consumers
More than 2.2 billion people use social media, making this a channel wealthy with opportunities for marketers who can learn to harness and tap into this marketing channel. According to an April 2016 eMarketer report, social network ad revenue is expected to hit $32.91 billion in 2016, growing 30.9% over 2015. By 2017, social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion, representing 16.0% of all digital ad spending globally.
The Current State of Social Media Marketing
So how are marketers using social media today? Simply Measured recently conducted a survey to discover key trends, successes, and challenges in the world of social media marketing.
Key findings from their “The 2016 State of Social Marketing” report included:
- Social media is a growing focus for marketing teams: The percentage of social media teams that live within the marketing organization has grown from 49% in 2015 to 63.2% in 2016.
- Measuring ROI is a massive problem: 61.1% of marketers identified “Measuring ROI” as their top challenge, and only 9.4% said that they’re able to quantify revenue driven by social.
- Social media marketers don’t have the budget they need for analytics software: 76.5% of marketers say they aren’t getting the budget they need to do their best work, and 43% cite analytics software as their biggest need.
- Instagram adoption is nearing complete penetration among brands: 94% of top brands have profiles, and 86% posted to the network in May (2016).
- 100% of top brands surveyed have Twitter profiles, and 99% posted in the month of May (2016).
The metric used most often to measure success is engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.). The majority of those surveyed (56%) cited engagement as their standard metric, with only 20.7% citing conversion and revenue metrics as being used.
The biggest challenge for social media marketers is measuring ROI with 61.1% citing this as their top challenge.
A study from Clutch, the “Social Media Marketing Survey 2016,” revealed that 78% of enterprises consider social media to be more critical for business success compared to other digital marketing strategies.
According to the study:
· The most commonly used social media platforms for B2B marketers included Facebook (95%), Twitter (74%) and LinkedIn (66%).
· 62% of respondents said Facebook yields the best results with LinkedIn (14%) and Twitter (7%) ranking in the distant second and third slots.
· The best performing type of content on social media is video content (23%) followed closely by images (22%).
Social Media Channels – What’s Hot and What’s Not
While there is any number of social media channels available for exploring, with new ones popping up all the time, the nine largest US social networks used by major Interbrand 100 and Fortune 500 companies include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Facebook is by far the channel with highest share of users at 2.2 billion globally. The second most popular channel is YouTube. However, like any marketing channel, you need to consider where your audience is and which social networks are best to reach and engage with your target audience.
This year, marketers are focusing on video content when it comes to using Facebook as part of their social strategies. Over 8 billion videos are viewed on Facebook every day. Facebook also has a host of new features for advertisers to reach their audience with engaging and unique content. For example, new ad formats such as Instagram video ads, lead ads, DPA carousel ads, local awareness ads, Audience Network for mobile web, Canvas ads and placement optimization.
Facebook is continuously innovating to give brands a set of tools to pinpoint the exact audience they want to reach with content designed to boost engagement. While posting content and engaging in conversations with your followers is still a best practice, marketers must constantly strive to keep up and implement features that will gain your audience’s attention.
Video marketing is continuing to skyrocket and offers a great opportunity for both B2C and B2B marketers to grow.
Some compelling video marketing statistics to be aware of include:
- According to a report published by Forrester, including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate.
- According to ComScore, 45.4 percent of users viewed at least one video online over the course of a month.
- Unbounce reports that including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
- YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.
- According to Rhythm and Insights, combining video with full page ads boost engagement by 22%.
- 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.
- 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video according to Forbes.
When using YouTube, you can increase your success rates with a few carefully considered tips. SEO matters and you can optimize your videos to show up higher in YouTube’s search, as well as in Google searches through a couple of simple techniques. If a video does well enough on YouTube, your video can quickly jump to page one on Google. Title your videos based on what people are searching for, insert keywords in the tag section, and include a well thought-out description of your video. These are all pieces of metadata that YouTube will use for ranking your video.
Twitter is one of the first places many users turn to for up-to-the-second updates on current events, sports, and entertainment. A vast majority of users access Twitter through mobile devices – 83% of active Twitter users are on mobile. Sites with embedded tweets have an impressive 1 billion unique monthly visits and Twitter says 47% of people have bought a product based on an influencer’s recommendation.
A great way to utilize Twitter and increase engagement and followers is through Twitter Chats. Formal Twitter tweet chats are arranged in advance and occur at a specific time. They may include a formal agenda with a specific leader or “speaker”, or they might involve a free flowing discussion between all participants. Twitter chats provide great opportunities to promote your brand, drive more traffic to your blog or site, and strengthen relationships with your followers. In addition, once your Twitter Chat is finished, you have valuable content that can be repurposed into formats such as a blog post, Slideshare presentation, YouTube video, and more.
Each social channel offers its own unique set of advantages. This post looks at three of the most popular social channels but be sure to research each channel to determine the best fit for your brand. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you already have a social media presence on these channels, what may have worked 6 months ago may be completely different today. Simply having a Facebook page was enough at one point. However this quickly evolved into consumers expecting brands to post relevant and engaging content on a frequent basis, which then evolved into consumers expecting to engage in conversations in a quickly and timely manner and today, is now a vibrant channel that does each of these plus offers advanced and unique ad features to draw your audience’s attention.
Social has the potential to be a great tool to engage your customers and customers – but to make it successful, brands need to keep up with the rapidly evolving pace of social consumers.
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