There is no question that social media is a valuable force. Everywhere you look, you see ads saying to follow this on Facebook or tag this on Instagram. But just how valuable is social media to your business? And where are the bulk of social media users? And, probably most importantly, how can you incorporate social media in your marketing strategy to maximize referrals?
HOW IMPORTANT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?
Your time is valuable as a business owner or manager. You want to be able to reach as large an audience in as little time as possible. And you also need to make sure you come in within budget. While billboards are expensive and TV ads are being circumvented by streaming, social media is an ever growing platform. Here are a couple quick facts to show you just how vast the possibilities are.
- There are over 2.3 billion social media users in the world.
- It is estimated that there will be 2.95 billion social media users in 2020.
- The average person has a total of five social media accounts.
- In 2013, Americans spent an average of 23 hours per week on social media websites.
- An average 4.5 billion Facebook “Likes” are generated every day.
It’s plain to see that social media has the audience you’re looking for. And nearly every demographic and psychographic is represented. Which means, virtually any business can benefit from using social media to generate traffic and interest.
Whether you’re trying to draw more readers to your blog, or hoping to raise awareness for your next event, social media is the place to be. Because here’s the biggest statistic of them all:
Social media drives over 31% of all online referrals!
WHAT ARE THE HOTTEST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO MARKET TO?
Yes, there are 2.3 billion social media users out there, right now, across the globe. And, as much as we’d love to believe we could sell to each and every one of them, it’s just not possible. There is a specific market for your product, service, or website. Not everyone is looking for what you offer, so why waste your time using social media platforms that won’t generate the type of referral you’re interested in gaining?
And that’s where it gets tough. Each social media platform has different demographics that they attract. And some platforms are more successful and lead filled than others. Where should you focus your time? Where are all of your future referrals located? First, let’s take a look at some interesting general statistics that give a little insight into the major players of the social media world.
- There are over 1.7 billion users on Facebook, more than half of all social media users worldwide combined.
- Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter drive the most referral traffic.
- Youtube, Google+, and LinkedIn referrals spend the most time on the website they’ve been referred to.
- 60 million photos are added to Instagram every day and users “like” photos 1.6 billion times per day.
- Over 71% of Twitter “Tweets” are ignored and scrolled past.
Based on the numbers above, it seems Facebook is nearly a given with almost any business model. With over half of the social media users utilizing Facebook, and spending an average of eight and a half hours a week scrolling the feed, it’s a goldmine. And Facebook also has one of the broadest demographics when it comes to its users, attracting both the young and old. The odds are fairly good that you’ll be able to find the audience you’re looking for.
Twitter, in comparison, is a much more difficult platform to attract readers from. Because “tweets” have a limited character count, some pages post way too often every day. This causes for a lot of what some people call “noise” on the Twitter feed. With very limited ways to sort tweets, users scroll past almost three quarters of posts! This makes it much more of a challenge to be found and to gain referrals to your website.
Know your demographic. Who is interested in what you have to offer? Is it teenagers in rural areas? Or maybe middle aged entrepreneurs. Find that market and do a little research. Discover which social media platforms your demographic likes to use and focus your time, energy, and budget into those platforms to maximize referrals.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR REFERRALS?
You have identified your target market and located the social media platform that best attracts them. You are ready to start generating referrals! While you could simply post away and hope for the best, there are some helpful tips and tricks to get the most out of your social media marketing.
You will need to do a little digging on the internet to find the best post methods for your chosen social media platforms. Because no two platforms have the exact same user expectations, trends, or statistics. But here are a few of the little known facts you can take advantage of to rack up referrals in no time.
- According to the Social Intelligence Report from Adobe, posting to Facebook on Fridays leads to more comments, likes, and shares than any other day of the week.
- 87% of the most shared posts on Facebook are photos, according to a study by Social Bakers.
- Instagram photos with at least one hashtag gain an average of 12.6% more engagement.
- Pinterest images that do not show a face have a 23% higher repin rate than those that do.
- LinkedIn articles related to industry insights are shared more often than those related to company news.
Some of those may seem a little weird, but they’ve been proven to work. There are more interesting and insightful tricks out there if you go looking for them. And, in the end, you could increase your reach exponentially and garner not only more referrals overall, but higher quality referrals that will spend more time on your website. This means better numbers, better chances at being found, and, hopefully, a boost in revenue.