Consumer social media engagement with businesses has never been stronger, and the trajectory keeps pointing sharply upward. With the right engagement and conversion strategies, businesses can leverage the power of social commerce — converting engagement to sales — to amplify revenue and ROI over other digital forms of marketing.
Consider the growth of social media: (Statistics from Hootsuite)
- 3.48 billion people now use social media, representing an increase of 9% over 2018. As a percentage, 45% of the total world population uses social networks.
- 366 million new users started engaging on social platforms in the past year, representing more than one million new people joining every day.
- Of the 5.11 billion people who have mobile phones, 3.26 billion use these devices to access social media, up 10% from last year.
- Social media users spend nearly 2.5 hours on social networks each day.
Consider the impact of social media in marketing strategies:
- 90% of brands use social media to drive awareness. (Hootsuite)
- 40% of digital consumers use social networks to research new brands or products. (Hootsuite)
- 93% of Americans expect companies to have a social media presence. (Search Engine Watch)
- 78% of people said that companies’ social posts influence their buying decisions. (Social Media Today)
- 77% of brands expect their use of social media to increase. (Hootsuite)
- Most businesses maintain between four and 10 social profiles. (Hootsuite)
How Marketers Drive Revenue Through Social Platforms
This is a brief introduction to a sequence of marketing strategies proven to find the right potential consumers, appeal to them, engage them, help them research and understand your products, and drive their buying and influencing behaviors:
- Locate your target audience: Facebook may be the world’s most popular social platform, but it may not be where your business’s best prospects congregate. Use social media analytics tools like Keyhole to learn where your target audience is engaging with your brand(s) and your competitors’, then prioritize those platforms.
- Attract your target with compelling content: Using social media analytics tools, you can track which formats of content and topics are generating the heaviest engagement. Produce a mix of those content formats including popular videos, “stories” and articles, and track the performance of each piece. You can also use content curation applications like Pocket to leverage existing content relevant to your audience. Tracking what’s trending with your audience will fuel your own content production and help to ensure maximum ROI with your content investments.
- Work with influencers in your sphere: In every industry, podcasters, YouTube video producers, blog writers and other adroit content producers have been gathering attentive audiences. Why? Because unlike the companies whose products they discuss, they are seen as objective and trustworthy. Businesses on average generate $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, according to Media Post. That is more than 600% ROI.
- Run social promotions: Videos, photos and “stories” are especially popular formats for creating social media campaigns that engage visitors, especially Millennials. The content you create for your social promotions can also be leveraged in other channels including paid social ads and email campaigns. Promotions will move you into your subscribers’ feeds while encouraging your current subscribers to use their sharing and influencing power to virally drive new leads.
- Drive consumers to landing pages and collect leads or convert to sales: Depending on the length of your sales cycle, you will either want to immediately convert consumers of your content to buyers or you will want to collect leads. For example, if you are selling a smartwatch through a video, you can drive viewers directly to your e-commerce site for easy ordering. If you have a travel blog with articles on your travel club’s services, you can take readers to a registration page where they can enter their email and other contact information for future marketing communications. There are many applications that automate lead capture, making it easier than ever.
Social media is rapidly evolving into one of the most powerful marketing tools in business, and there has never been a better time to make this area a career focus. Invest your time and your resources into learning more about social marketing through postgraduate education and continued professional development.