Why Social Should Be Part of Your Brand’s Online Presence

October 21, 2016
 
"There is no such thing as digital marketing. There is marketing – most of which happens to be digital.” - Brad Jakeman, PepsiCo

The realm of digital marketing often feels like a moving target, as there seem to be endless media opportunities and usage trends that constantly shift.

But is this necessarily the case? Trends are not shifting as fast as you think. Research shows that users are firmly parked in a few key areas and that their presence there continues to grow.

First Off, Social is Not Dying

Numerous articles have decried the “death” of social media. However, usage numbers suggest a different story. Perhaps free social media engagement for brands is less available, but below are a few facts that show social networks usage is certainly not dead. In fact, data from the Pew Research Center indicates that 76% of online adults use social network sites. Compare that to the 84% of adults in America who use the internet, and you can see there is a high correlation between internet users and those who are on social media.

Basically, if you want to market online, social is a great place to be as nearly everyone who is online belongs to at least one social network. But marketing to people using social networks is easier said than done, as first, you have to determine where your audience is before you can market to them.

So, Where Are the People?

Simply put, they are on Facebook. Yes, platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others have a strong user base and presence, but Facebook still reigns supreme as the social media king. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 72% of online adults use Facebook. The percentage dwarfs the competition, with the next highest being Pinterest at 31%, Instagram (a Facebook entity) at 28%, LinkedIn at 25%, and Twitter at 23%.

Based on this localization of online users on Facebook alone, online marketing activities at a minimum need to have a strategic focus on how best to reach an audience on Facebook.

Facebook Users Are Engaged

Not only are nearly three-quarters of internet-using adults in possession of a Facebook account, these users tend to be some of the most engaged on social media. The Pew Research Center reports 70% of Facebook users report using the site on a daily basis, with 45% indicating they do several times a day.

Not only are the majority of Facebook users engaged on a daily basis, they are also spending a significant amount of time on the site. As reported in The New York Times, Facebook says users on average spend 50 minutes PER DAY on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger platforms – about 1/16 of people's waking hours. Time spent on Facebook is surpassing most other leisure activities surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the exception of watching television programs and movies (an average per day of 2.8 hours).

Statistics such as this frame Facebook as a digital medium with high market penetration and audience engagement – a marketer’s dream.

What Content Do They Want?

So, the secret is out. Nearly everyone has Facebook, and when they are on the platform they are spending copious amounts of time on the site. But what are they viewing on the site?

Recent data suggests that video is the medium of choice. In 2015, videos posted by U.S. based users increased 94%, providing a strong indication that users enjoy sharing and consuming video. Furthermore, research also shows that video posts have a 135% greater organic reach when compared to photo posts.

Facebook itself has doubled-down on the medium with the launch of Facebook Live, an on-demand service that allows you to broadcast directly to an engaged audience. In support of their own technology, changes to the algorithm feed by Facebook have given preference to these types of videos, and data shows people spend 3x longer watching video which is live compared to video which is no longer live.

However, these are blanket statistics from Facebook that represent the user base as a whole. While the power of video, especially live video, shows strong potential, you must carefully evaluate your user base and make data-driven decisions. As we reported in our top takeaways from the SocialPro 2016 conference, follow industry trends and hop on the bandwagon only if it makes sense for your brand. 

Don’t Forget About the Next Step

According to Facebook’s own statistics, 50% of U.S. users are mobile only. Why is this important to you, the marketer? As long as you are reaching the consumers on their devices, what does it matter what they are using, right? Wrong.

Consumer engagement does not stop at the Facebook platform. This may be where you make first contact with the consumer, but the ultimate goals is to drive traffic to your website and have the prospective consumer convert. Due to this, it is extremely important to evaluate the mobile functionality of your website and/or landing page. In fact, Facebook is now considering mobile website performance before running ads.

Having a mobile-friendly website, or one that just scales down, is simply not enough. Elements such as navigation, contact forms, payment procedures, etc. must be viewed and considered from a mobile perspective.

According to a recent Google Partners event, mobile browsing has changed the way consumers behave on the internet. When directed to your landing page, the modern consumer expects a frictionless experience that provides an immediate solution to their desire, be it to purchase your product, receive more information, or book a table at your restaurant. And don’t count on your brand name to protect you from a bad UX design. Data is also showing that users are most likely to gravitate towards the sources that meet their needs rather than staying brand loyal.

Partner with Blue Sky Marketing for your Facebook Marketing Needs

The team at Blue Sky Marketing are digital marketing experts who can help potential clients make sense of the evolving trends and best practices in social media marketing.

Read our next blog in this 2017 social planning series which talks about why you should be using Facebook ads and contact Blue Sky Marketing today to discuss what we can do for your business.

 

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