There is no denying fact that social media marketing has greatly erupted in the past few years, impacting businesses around the Globe. From being just a passing trend to becoming an international obsession, SM marketing has evolved tremendously.
As per the Global Digital Snapshot 2015, there are over 3.010 Billion active internet users and 2.078 billion active social media accounts. See the infographic below:
Fact File of Social Media Marketing
- 70% of businesses are actively present on Google+. This shows a 4% increase in the growth.
- Over 70% of marketers have used Facebook successfully to gain new customers globally.
- 34% of enterprises have used Twitter to generate their leads.
- If Facebook were a country, it’d have been the world’s third largest nation.
- Over 56% of B2B marketers acquired new business partnerships through social media (compared to 45% of B2C marketers).
- Nearly 60% of B2B marketers saw improved search rankings from their social efforts (compared to 50% of B2C marketers).
In a survey conducted by Social Media Examiner, it was found that about 97% of the marketers were active participant on social media and 92% agreed that social media was important to their business.
Unarguably, the above statistics prove the ever-increasing dependability of businesses on Social media. The impact of social media marketing on businesses in past few years can be determined by the fact that Facebook had only 1 million users in 2004. By 2011, the users’ number exploded in such a way that it was being compared to a nation. And today, the population on Facebook has reached to more than 1 Billion users. Hence, the pervasiveness of social media has continued into every facet of work and it’s hard to debate that it hasn’t changed forever the way businesses interact with their folks online.
How Businesses Benefit From Social Media Marketing?
In a blog posted on the businessgrow.com in 2013, Sander Biehn – B2B sales at AT&T revealed the secret of how he along with his team earned $47 million in a new business through a blog-centered social sales strategy. With the target to re-build relation with Fortune 100 in Atlanta, the marketing team decided to build relationships through social media.
They adopted the content strategy that aimed at strategic “persons of interest” from their former customer. Not only this, they created exceptional content that was purely target based and moved them in order to build a strong network globally. The result was amazing – in just 18 months, the company was awarded $47 million in new business.
Hence, this case study shows that social media, if used strategically, can be the most powerful tool for marketers. With social media marketing, businesses can:
- Build a long-term loyal relationship with their customers.(Brand Loyalty)
- Educate their customers about their brand, products, and services. (Brand recognition)
- Approach target based customers to fulfill their needs and expectations.(Better Customer Service)
- Drive traffic to their website.
- Listen to their customers in real-time.
- Establish or expand on analysis and research.
- Become more humanized for higher conversion rates.
smartphone users will reach to about 2 Billion
What Businesses Should Focus On Social Media Marketing In 2016?
Although, the various social media experts have different opinions regarding the changes that may take place in the social media marketing in the upcoming year, we have incorporated a few expected trends in the SM marketing world that should be followed by the business in the coming year.
- Relationship Marketing: It is expected that in 2016 the number of smartphone users will be around 2 Billion, hence the opportunity for the businesses to reach their customers is set closer than ever. Companies will be required to build long term, transparent relationships with their customers.
- Automation Tools: Besides using content as the marketing tool, businesses are coming up with more automated tools to simplify their tasks like email scheduling, contact segmentation, automated social media posting, content management, and tracking the lifecycle of consumers in marketing funnel.
- Internet of Things (IoT): It is expected that user adaptability towards wearable technology will increase by 28% in 2016. This will help the companies to collect more data relevant to the daily habits of their customers so that they can develop marketing strategies as per the data.
- Live Social: More and more tools (apps) like Periscope and Snapchat will come up greatly in 2016 as people will be more attracted towards getting social in ‘real-time.’ Increased number of social apps will aim to put the user as much as possible at an event virtually.
- Respect Every Channel: Unlike the past few years, when businesses followed the sheep trick where all the companies revolved around similar concept on all channels, this trend will change in 2016 and every company will work on their discrete channel.
Hence, their individual perception and channel will be ideally recognized and respected.
The Bottom Line
Change is one stable thing in Social Media and all marketers will have to make efforts to come up with different yet interesting content/concepts, which can hit the psyche of the people and encourage them to do something. Social responsibility will also be the top trend in 2016, where many of the marketing strategies will be hitting the market where people are going to be encouraged to initiate something for a Social cause.
Hence, marketers will have to think beyond for staying ahead instead of simply hopping on the bandwagon.