How’s your social media marketing and social branding going?
If you’re like most people, you may think it’s going just fine. “We take a little of the content from our website, and sprinkle some of it on our social media pages, and it drives traffic back to our website. And once there, people can learn more about us, about our products, and hopefully become a customer, or become excited about what we have to offer.” You may think this is the goal of social media for your brand, after all – to create traffic for your website that you’ve invested thousands and thousands of dollars into building and creating. You may think that everything you’re doing on social media that ends up with a click going to your website, is exactly what you should be doing for your brand. Think again.
As we enter the age of instant communication and immediate gratification via social media, fewer people want to visit a website to get their information or experience a brand in this way. Their interaction with a company or brand may be taking place only in the social media space that brand occupies. As attention spans become even less attentive, getting brand interaction has never been easy, but now companies are starting to see the light. Most big-name brands and large companies have invested heavily in both a social media presence and a web presence of course. However, not all brands or startups have the capital needed to invest in both of these platforms. As such, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to pick one or the other. And in this situation, the answer is pretty clear; it’s time to amp up your social media marketing!
Social Media World Domination
Social media has become far more dominant than ever before. Statista reports that as of January 2021, there are a total of 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. That’s an incredible 59.5% of the global population. And of that 4.66 billion, there are roughly 3.96 billion people on social media. If we take the number of total active internet users into consideration, that’s around 85% of all internet users!
Let’s examine another interesting trend – here’s a look at another set of statistics published by Statista; The apps Americans can’t live without. Here were the results:
Facebook – 17%
Instagram – 13%
Gmail – 9%
YouTube – 8%
Twitter – 7%
Chrome – 6%
Google Maps 6%
What’s App 5%
Facebook Messenger 5%
Notice how Chrome, a web browser and the standard for Android devices, is below Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter. This shows us that when people are using their smartphones, more of them are looking at social media apps than even their web browsers. When we look at typical smartphone use cases and behaviors, this makes complete sense. People love checking their feeds, they get notifications all the time for social media, and they can easily open the app to access it. The constant flow of information in their feeds is like an intravenous drug, being released into their system, at a rate they can consume, in short, concise drips, that hold their attention for just a little while.
The Future is Now
It’s clear that social media holds a lot of sway in the lives of people all over the world, especially younger people. Now let’s look at some forecasts about social media usage in the years to come.
Around 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices. That’s a huge increase from 63.3% in 2019. Desktop devices were 28.9% of visits, and 3.1% was from tablets. This shows that people have become far more reliant on their mobile devices than ever before, and these give them easy access to social media which is their preferred method to get information and learn more about different brands. If this trend continues, it’s clear that mobile use will only increase steadily.
Nobody Wants to Visit Your Website Anymore
Don’t be offended, but your website doesn’t interest people anymore. In order to be successful in your branding and marketing efforts, you can’t view social media as a competition with your website, or even an augmentation. Social media is not meant to drive traffic to your site, like many people seem to think.
Your goal on social media isn’t just traffic, but rather engagement and communication. Your brand should be able to not only survive on Social Media, but thrive there. Brand interaction and brand loyalty on social media is increasingly important to achieving your business objectives. We live in a world where people are less trusting and want more information before they make important decisions, than ever before. Social media provides an opportunity to connect with customers on a more personal level than ever before. Increased brand loyalty is only achievable through active engagement with social media users. This is a fact that can’t be argued against, and will only continue to grow as more people embrace social media.
Social Media as a Measurement of a Brand ‘s Trustworthiness
People use social media to gauge whether they can trust a brand. Using built in social metrics, like followers count, likes, shares, and seeing the number of people interacting with a brand or company, social media users are becoming much more savvy consumers. They look directly at the social media metrics of brands in order to determine if they can trust and do business with them.
– More than 90% of CEO’s measure the impact of their content on Facebook and Twitter by measuring reach, retweets, likes and shares.
Social Media is about Relationships
The most significant advantage to using social media is the relationship it gives you with your customers. When people think of Social Media, they usually think of their streams of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter updates from brands they follow. The way to build relationships with your customers online include:
• Responding quickly to comments
• Asking questions and creating surveys
• Sharing content that is socially conscious
• Creating a sense of value for your community
• Relationship building content
When your brand is viewed as a community builder, it becomes an integral part of the lives of the people who follow you on social media. The better relationships you develop with your customers, the more likely they will become advocates for your company. Relationship marketing is at the heart of what Twitter and Facebook offer for companies as ways to interact with your customers. These tools makes it possible to get direct feedback from customers in real time. And to build stronger relationships.
What it All Means
In the future, people won’t use larger devices to connect to the internet anymore. Smartphones are all they need because they’re far more convenient, and addictive. Social media users are growing by the day and people are starting to develop a dependence on it for the latest up-to-date news and updates from around the world.
Mobile apps give people easy access to the types of information and community they desire most. This is evident by the mobile apps reliance statistics above with social media being more popular than even web browsers.
Is My Website Really Dead?
Websites just don’t feel great to view on a small mobile device. Social media has so many advantages over standalone websites, where people can see a brand’s popularity and reliability in the form of likes, retweets, follows, and other social media metrics. Social media creates a feeling of community, and nurtures relationships. Of course if your website is your business, like an ecommerce site that sells goods or a service oriented site, or a community site that builds community and participation, that’s a different story; no it’s not dead, and you’ll be smart to continue building it and driving traffic towards it. But the idea of creating and supporting “brochureware” websites has come and gone.
Social media has fast become the new frontier for online advertisers, marketers, and brand builders. It doesn’t mean that we can just give up on websites entirely, but it does mean that we should consider social media as a most important consideration when it comes to marketing to a brand’s audience, and creating a higher level of brand loyalty online.
In conclusion – Nobody wants to visit your website anymore, and nobody wants to be left behind. So get your Social Media game in gear, and amp it up! Social media has been around for a while, and everyone wants to be a part of it now. This means that people are spending less time on websites and more of their time (and lives, living) on social media. This is where you want to be concentrating your marketing and brand building efforts in the years to come. If you can’t do it all by yourself, a good digital marketing agency can help you. Social is just too hot to neglect now. Get your brand there intelligently and thrive.
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