Social media is one of the most powerful tools in the world. It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pintrest or any other social media account. In fact, you’d probably have to look deep into the tribal communities of the Amazon to find someone who doesn’t know what a retweet is! On average, most people now have accounts set up with 6 social media sites.
It would be crazy for companies & marketing teams to ignore the power of social media. In 2021, it is now regarded as a significant component of the marketing mix. Social channels are utilised by businesses in lots of different ways these days, not just for communication. The most significant benefit of Social Media marketing will always be controlling ‘brand voice’ and boosting brand awareness. Having a company presence across myriad social channels gives you the ability to control your brand voice and give your consumers a sense of the values and ethos behind the company. The fact that ‘sharing’ has become such a phenomenon, means that you can distribute your fantastic content and products at the click of a button. The very nature of gaining followers gives you a pool of hyper-relevant consumers who have chosen to join your community. How nice.
With the rapid development in B2B marketing, social media sites such as LinkedIn have also sprouted other incredibly useful functions for businesses. LinkedIn can be a fantastic vehicle for lead sourcing, as well as an avenue to define and redefine your target audiences, hire wonderful staff members, and to pinpoint key members of the business community you want to partner with.
Social media accounts are free but their potential to influence is priceless.
They’ve changed the game. With an effective social media strategy, startups with minimal funding can digitally get in front of their prospective audiences. It has changed the way we interact with brands and the way brands interact with us. Twitter is a common vehicle for company complaints. I love to refer to the McDonald’s Twitter account to exemplify how brands can create a new voice online, and change their interaction with consumers:
What do Fries do when they haven’t hung out in a long time?
— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) July 20, 2021
Who knew that Maccies were funny? They are a genuine delight to follow on Twitter and they give their 237,000 UK followers a different perception of themselves. Great work Maccies.
We’ve collated some seriously mind-boggling stats about social media, and why it is such an important arrow in the quiver of any business in 2021.
The Global Social media stats
There are now a whopping 4.2 billion people estimated to be using social media. The pandemic had lead to an acceleration in account creation, with 420 million new users taking to social since January 2020.
A massive 98.8% of actions taken on social media websites are performed on mobile. It is so important in 2021 for your website and digital real estate to be optimised for mobile. Google is now actually ranking websites based on a mobile-first basis.
Facebook is the most-used social site
That’s right, Mark Zuckerberg’s seemingly omnipotent Facebook tops the charts for most users around the world shortly followed by YouTube.
Time flies when you’re scrolling!
On average, people spend a total of 144 minutes per day on social media.
Brands Are Important
Nearly 30% of consumers who use social media platforms for more than three-hours a day said that interacting, engaging and showing support for their favourite companies and brands are important.
Advertising on Instagram
Instagram has stated that that they can reach roughly 53% of the entire UK population through advertising. The gender split of Insta users is 54:46 in favour of female users.
Social Media is Informative For Users
About 47 percent of all consumers said they use social media to find out about products and services, while about 32 percent use social media to receive exclusive offers, coupons, or other discounts from brands.
Purchases Linked To Social Media
At least three-quarters of U.S. social media users made an online purchase within the last year, but only 46 percent of non-social media users made an online purchase during the same timeframe.
LinkedIn continues to grow
In 2019, there were 610 million active accounts on LinkedIn globally. That number is now approximately 727 million active users in 2021.
Twitter user numbers have decreased
Surprisingly, there are only 16.5 million Twitter users in the UK – a decrease of 1.2% since Jan 2020. This is not to say that the social media site is any less of a useful platform. Corporates, businesses & notable figures seem more accessible to their millions of followers on Twitter, which was one of their main focuses during the site’s conception.
Around 500 million tweets are sent per day. There are approximately 6000 tweets sent per second.
The power of social media continues to grow. So what can you and your business do to leverage this digital space to your own benefit? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Use video, graphics and GIFs
61% of marketers see video as a “very important or extremely important” part of their marketing strategy. People respond to images and videos far more than they do to text. A good image can add context to your words. It can also be a great way to cement your brand visually.
Hashtags are a great way to reach people outside of your digital communities. Use a hashtag when posting about your topics and products and most social sites will then collate a feed of everything to do with that specific topic. It is #great.
The best thing to remember when managing a social media account is consistency. If people visit your company page and they see that you have been inactive for a week or a month, it can give the impression that your business may no longer be operational. Build out a social content calendar, post regularly and strategically build your brand voice.
Practice soft content
Nobody wants to be bombarded with sales messages every time they come across a company page. It’s boring. It’s is a quick-fire way to discourage engagement on your page. Try and vary your social posts with fun and engaging messages between your product pushes. Also, it pays to remember that people love people. Convey a personality on your business social channels to gain further engagement. I draw your attention once again to McDonald’s:
5 minutes on Twitter and guess which song is *already* stuck in my head…
While you're here, don't forget we have 16% off EVERYTHING until midnight tonight on the My McDonald's App 🙌
— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) June 29, 2021
I can tell that the admin was as excited about England’s progression through the Euros 2020 campaign as the rest of the country was, just from his or her tone.
The take-home: Social media is still massive, and its power is growing even more in 2021. Be fun, be engaging, and use social to support your other marketing activities.