Game Changers: Social Media and the Web
Buyer habits change daily it seems, so as a business owner hoping for stability now and future growth, you need to have all the facts! One thing is undeniable…social media and the web are going to be a part of life from now on. There’s no stopping this beast, so you might as well learn how to harness its power for the benefit of your business! Social media marketing and web-based referrals are two of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to advertise your business, whether you have a car shop or a coffee shop. Before long, print ads will be a thing of the past and the vast majority of advertising will be done online. Many businesses have already mastered the art of running a business in the digital age, and with a little guidance, so can you! Below, you’ll find some of the latest information about some of the most popular social media and customer referral websites: Twitter A Twitter account is the way to go if you’re looking for fast communication. Speed is its main advantage, with 82% of users accessing Twitter on their phones each day. Twitter ranks among the lowest online methods for ROI, but don’t discount it just yet! Although it isn’t the best place to advertise, Twitter is actually a really good way to boost customer engagement through retweets and comments. Users check Twitter between 1 and 10 times per day on average, so your posts will definitely be seen, and most users will provide some sort of feedback when they have viewed a tweet more than once. Make sure to add photos to your Twitter posts. Tweets with images get retweeted far more often than text-only tweets. Instagram Instagram offers lots of tools – including an updated algorithm, videos, stories, GIFs, and stickers – which make it fun and user-friendly, especially for younger consumers. Females are more likely to use Instagram than males, which generally means more active shoppers. Experts recommend you use hashtags on your Instagram posts. Posts with hashtags get nearly 13% more engagement than those without at least one. You’ll also see quick response times on Instagram, with half the comments a post will get coming within the first 10 hours, so you’ll know quickly how much interest there is in a product or event. As with Twitter, posts with photos advertising your business, services, or products are best. A whopping 91% of IG posts are pictures. Facebook More than 80% of US internet users are active Facebook users. Facebook is still the most popular platform with millennials, generation X, and baby boomers, but not as much with 12-17-year-olds. It’s a good platform for videos if you want to post demonstrations or explanations. Over 60% of internet users in the US went to Facebook for videos in December of 2017, and the trend continues to present. Facebook is gradually cornering the market on advertising, and it’s a trend we don’t see fizzling out anytime soon. The 2018 total for revenue generated by Facebook ads is expected to reach well over $21 billion, and by the end of 2019, spending on Facebook ads is expected to surpass the amount spent on print ads, so it’s definitely a trend you want to get your business in on! LinkedIn As you know, LinkedIn is the only social media platform designated specifically for professionals, so it is used differently than others. However, it can still be a powerful sales tool, as in situations where business-to-business selling is done. LinkedIn users aren’t logging on every day. In fact, about half of Linkedin users only visit the site every two weeks, much less frequently. Although the demographic is different, some things hold true with LinkedIn as with other social media platforms. For example, posts with images receive more comments and vastly more engagement overall engagement than posts without images. Yelp Yelp is a well-known consumer information site. Some business may consider it a blessing to keep their name off such sites, but there are actually benefits for small businesses to create or claim their Yelp profiles. Businesses can add pertinent business information, make their small businesses discoverable, and gain access to reports and business insights. Of course, reviews are the main reason you should want a Yelp profile. Nine out of ten users say a positive Yelp review influences them to choose a business. Customers value online reviews now more than ever. Up to 72% of all consumers will trust an online review as much as they would an in-person recommendation from a friend, co-worker, or family member, so it will do you well to have some positive and even a few negative reviews on your Yelp profile for reliability and credibility. Your Own Website Having your own business website is a no-brainer when it comes to a positive online presence. It’s less expensive than any other online advertising, and you can still create links to and from other web sources and social media profiles. A business website offers improved searchability, especially with search engine optimization and a domain name unique to your business. When consumers need goods or services, 9 out of 10 will turn to the internet to find the perfect business. Almost every Fortune 500 company has a website, and that’s no coincidence since over 80% of consumers perceive a company with a website as credible and profitable. You can also use multiple avenues to make shopping, scheduling, and payments easy for customers. Not every web platform is right for every business. You’ll need to focus on 2 or 3 that best suit your business’s needs. Don’t spread yourself so thin you can’t manage each one properly. Just choose one or two platforms, to begin with, and nurture them to see your business thrive. You will quickly come to realize how beneficial a solid online presence can be!