To question the power of social media in society is to question the importance of sunlight on earth. It’s no longer a want, but a need. Just imagine what life would be like without platforms that allow people from all over the world to connect. Imagine having to pay hundreds if not thousands of phone bills just to reach loved ones. Imagine having to email an entire album’s worth of photos so friends can see what you’ve been up to. It would be a very lonely world.
Thankfully, with the dawn of online networking, catching up with loved ones, interacting with friends, learning about the latest updates and connecting with customer service is as easy as the click of a button. As of January 2018, there are 4.02 billion internet users around the globe — that’s 53% of the world’s total population. Active social media users make up 3.2 billion, or 42% of the population. These numbers alone prove that social media is here to stay, if not to flourish further.
With such penetration, its significance to society cannot be ignored — especially in the marketing world. The reach and influence of social media is a treasure in the business and trade industries, where the need to engage and persuade the market is of top priority. With the slow death of print and radio, social media has taken over as one of the leading channels for marketing and advertising.
“But can social media really do any good for my business?”
If you’re still asking this question, then you’ve come to the right place. To help you grasp the immense power social media has in the commerce world, here are some important facts and numbers.
Effects Of Social Media On Brand Presence
According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 Global Overview, Facebook is the second most visited website in the world, followed by YouTube, with Google leading the list. Facebook was also the most searched query on Google, followed again by the video-sharing platform YouTube. These numbers prove that the four billion active internet users turn to social media platforms every single day.
As consumers spend more time on social media, the platforms also become the go-to source for product and brand information. With more than 60 million Facebook Pages, brands are reaching millions on the social media platform. In the same report by We Are Social, it was revealed that posts on a brand’s Facebook Page reach 10.7% more people than its current number of followers. It was also revealed that 4.2% of all Facebook users who see a Facebook Page’s post engage with it — be it by reading a status, liking a post, watching a video or clicking a link.
Twitter also offers similar effects on businesses using the platform. According to Twitter, the top reason people come to Twitter is to “discover something new and interesting.” The platform is also five times more likely to offer new videos to users than any other source. The intent of users to find something new, coupled with the platform’s design to offer new discoveries, allows for higher brand recall and awareness.
Effects Of Social Media On Brand Loyalty
A 2017 survey of 5,700 marketers revealed that 69% are developing loyal fans for their brands via social media marketing. In the same vein, 66% of users between the ages of 18 and 24 years old are more loyal to the brands they follow on social media, while 60% of 25- to 34-year-olds favour the businesses they follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Effects Of Social Media On Sales
We Are Social’s Digital in 2018 Global Overview reported that 17% of the world’s population makes online purchases and pays their bills online. Strong economies like the UK (78%), South Korea (74%), Germany (74%), Sweden (70%) and the U.S. (69%) have the highest e-commerce penetration or percentage of the population that has purchased online.
Interestingly, because the highest percentage of users — ages 18 to 34 years old — has the most buying power, they’re likely to make a purchase with the influence of social media. A Nielsen study commissioned by Twitter revealed that one in four new vehicle purchasers in the U.S. used Twitter to help them make their decision to purchase.
In a survey of more than 600 senior marketers, 39% said they saw a medium return on investment (ROI) from organic social media posts, while 20% said they received the highest ROI from this form of marketing channel. In addition, 36% said paid social media ads brought in medium ROI, while 17% said the channel provided high ROI.
With all these facts, data and statistics, it would be impossible to deny the influence social media has on the consumer. Whether it be through simple brand awareness or brand loyalty that equates to sales, social media has a big impact. If you haven’t given much thought to your social media marketing strategy, now is the best time.
Initially published on Forbes.
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