According to a study, the number of social media users equals 42% of the world’s total population. Another research shows that users spend about 2.5 hours a day on social media. 73% of online marketers agree that implementing a social media marketing strategy for their businesses has been effective.
These are some of the statistics illustrating the rise of social media and its effectiveness in sales. Social media can help in every part of the sales process, right from understanding the customer and lead generation to closing the sales and sales follow-up. Growing businesses can leverage social media by reaching out to their prospective customer segment through appropriate online platforms.
Choosing the Platform
First of all, a marketer should answer:
Who are your target customers?
How could you reach them?
What are your goals?
The answer to the above three questions would help determine which social media platforms would be the right choice to reach potential customers. For instance, while Instagram would be a good choice for targeting youngsters, LinkedIn would be a better choice for targeting professionals.
Another way to know the appropriate social media platforms for the business could be by making Buyer Personas. Developing just 3-4 Buyer Personas would help better understand the geography, age, interests and online behaviour of the potential customers. They would help determine the best suited social media platforms to reach the probable consumers.
An initial step for building an online presence could be creating profiles for the business on the different social media platforms and networking and building connections with customers. Another possible way could be giving online advertisements on the various social media platforms. Companies spend about 11-12% of their marketing budget on social media. However, it may also vary depending on the size of the company.
Effectiveness of Social Media
Social media can turn out to be a new platform for closing sales for growing businesses. It can enhance the sales performance by helping to understand consumers better, easy communication and feedback from customers and access to such a large audience. To give an idea of the extent of reach through the various social media platforms, the monthly active users for some of them are: Facebook has 2.6 billion users, YouTube has 2 billion users, Instagram has 1 billion users and LinkedIn has 660 million users.
Creating a social media page for a growing business could benefit it by attracting a wide audience for the business within no time. It is the most profitable digital marketing platform to increase business visibility and brand awareness. Social media is also the most cost-effective way to promote products, as creating an account is free for most social media platforms. The paid social media advertising can cost roughly between $200 and $50,000 per month. By investing a small amount of money, the growing businesses can increase their conversion rates and get a high return on investment.
With 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a great advertising channel for any growing business. The average monthly expenditure on Facebook advertising varies between $200 and $1500. The minimum budget required for advertising on Facebook is approximately $1 per day for impressions, $5 per day for clicks, likes or views and $40 per day for conversions. Facebook advertising is becoming more competitive as more businesses invest in it.
With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram provides a higher engagement rate than Facebook users. The average monthly spend on advertising on Instagram is similar to that of Facebook.
YouTube users watch more than one billion hours of video in a day, on average. It offers an excellent platform for growing businesses to reach youngsters. The average monthly spend on YouTube advertising varies between $200 and $1500. The minimum budget required for advertising on YouTube is approximately $10 per day.
With 660 million monthly active users, LinkedIn is the leading professional social media platform. It is a useful lead generation platform, especially for Business-to-Business (B2B) organisations. The average monthly spend on LinkedIn advertising varies between $200 and $1500. The minimum budget required for advertising on LinkedIn is approximately $2 per click and $10 per day. Advertising on LinkedIn can help growing businesses reach valuable leads as well as hire the best candidates.
Measuring its Performance
With social media platforms gaining more importance, marketers also need to quantify their contribution to revenues. According to a study, 44% of the Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) agree that they have not been able to measure the impact of social media advertising for their businesses. 28% of the marketing agencies say that they struggle to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their social media expenditure. Even though many may not be able to quantify the impact, most marketers still agree that social media advertising helps their businesses. Also, there are some key metrics that serve as performance indicators of the businesses’ social media pages and advertisements.
Some of the key metrics to measure the performance of growing businesses’ social media pages could be the number of likes, comments, shares on the different posts shared, giving an idea of potential customers’ engagement. Its reach could be checked through the number of followers and profile visits for the business’ account. The number of times the brand is mentioned in any post on social media would also serve as a performance metric. Moreover, a growing business may also keep track of the number of social media referrals received.
The metrics used to check the performance of social media advertisements are Click-Through-Rate (CTR), Engagement rate, Amplification rate, Social Media Referrals, Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate and Cost per Conversion. Most of these metrics are available when publishing an advertisement. These metrics provide a holistic view of the performance of the advertisements. The social media advertisements that perform well on these metrics should be continued further and the rest may be removed.
The presence of the growing businesses on social media is now more important than ever before and it can be understood only when the businesses start using it. It is cost-effective, gives real-time performance measurement, can be changed quickly and provides significant conversion rates. It can give a significant push to the growth of businesses. Lastly, given the competitors might already use social media marketing, the growing businesses should start using it before their competitors take away their potential customers.