As we’re all full well aware social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer huge potential for businesses, or so we’re told by many.
According to BrandWatch, there are over 2.3bn active social media users on the web and the average user has 5.5 social media accounts. That’s a lot of people and a lot of accounts.
Facebook alone has over 40m different businesses on its books and 72% of adults in the USA use it at least once a month. Twitter and Instagram also have a notably large business uptake with 66.8% of US companies with over 100 employees utilising it for marketing.
However, though these numbers would suggest huge engagement, some figures suggest all is not completely rosy. For example 391m Twitter accounts have no followers and about 81m Facebook profiles are estimated to be fakes.
So, to get the low down on social media and businesses we thought we’d ask business owners on the ground how they find it and whether it’s all it says it is, or more of a mixed bag.
- James Kappen of Proposable, We’ve benefited from using social media a couple of ways. First, we find that some of our biggest fans will repost our content on Twitter or Facebook, and this has led to a great “word of mouth” effect for us. Secondly, we’ve used our social accounts to help add a friendly approachable face to our brand. All told, social media takes a little bit of time when interacting with our fans, but it’s well worth it as we are in the same place as they are and that is invaluable.
- Brandon Hopkins of DiamondLinks.net, I like to keep things simple. I have a personal and business account on many sites but haven’t seen enough of a revenue increase to make it worth spending too much time. Even with over 10k Twitter followers, engagement is low and most of the time my time is spent better elsewhere. With that in mind, I’m always reevaluating my stance as many of my clients are extremely successful with their social media strategies.
- Reed Gusmus of QASymphony, Social media is an integral part of our comprehensive marketing plan as it has proven to be a gold mine for numerous benefits. At the highest level, a strong investment in social media has helped position QASymphony as a thought leader, increased our brand awareness, filled our pipeline with leads and helped our SEO efforts. Our social media marketing strategies have even rivalled the creativity and appeal of some of the most popular traditional digital marketing channels in some cases, and in return has provided a measurable impact on our bottom line.
- Jon Fish of Inspired Silver, The growth of Facebook as an advertising platform has forced the digital marketing industry to re-evaluate marketing budget allocations. For us, that has meant really looking at every dollar to see if we can increase ROI for that dollar. Every dollar we spend somewhere like Facebook is one less dollar we spend on Instagram so I want to be sure that every dollar is maximizing sales and long term revenue.
- Mike Mitchell of 1st Art Gallery, We recently began to increase our efforts but have seen great success trying to do things differently. Every day we feature a new painting on both Twitter and Facebook which generates interest from our customers and we try to answer any questions. Since we sell in a variety of sizes people have a lot of questions from types of paint to shipping times. Our custom paintings have grown in popularity as a result of highlighting what we can do with just a picture.
- Tommy McDonald of SerpLogic, Social Media took our company to heights I’d only ever dreamed of, and in a very short space of time. Content marketing on Facebook has been good to us, I’ve yet to find a platform that even comes close to the laser targeting abilities Facebook offers. I like to try out new social media platforms after they have a decent userbase but right now nothing has come close to what Facebook has done for us.
- Nancy Behrman of Behrman PR, Harnessing the power of social media has become integral to the success of our clients, and helps Behrman PR stay at the forefront of the industry as well. We provide social media advisory services to our clients to help them stay relevant and reach their target audience. Behrman Communications specializes in digital influencer outreach, as these new crop of influencers have become the industry’s latest authorities and time and again, have proven a ROI. The appeal of the digital natives rests in the engaged loyal following they are attracting over various platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat. We help our clients leverage the reach of those influencers by integrating them into our PR campaigns in a big way.
As an agency, we post content nearly every day to showcase our hard work and industry trends, and share content that expresses our brand aesthetic and ethos. In short, social media and having a strong digital strategy is of paramount importance to executing a successful PR campaign.
As you can see from the above, social media has been good to more than it hasn’t been. So, make up your own mind and see what it can do for you.
Expert Roundup: Is Social Media for Business All it’s Cracked up to Be?