Don’t be confused or overwhelmed by all of the social media outlets and how they can and will help your small business. A couple of rules to follow: do not start something you do not intend to keep up with, and educate yourself on the best practices of the sites you are using. If after some basic research you are still uncomfortable or unsure, know that there are individuals and companies out there that will help you get and stay social. In the meantime, here are some reasons why and how social media can help your small business.
56% of all Americans have a profile on a social networking site with the largest growth being in the 45-54 year olds. Today, 52% of all online adults use two or more social media sites, an increase of 10% from 2013.
Let’s break it down by the Top Social Sites:
Facebook – There are 157 Million US and Canadian active daily users spending an average of 21 minutes on the site each day. Facebook has been called the “most addicting of the social networks” with 47% of Americans using social media saying “Facebook has the greatest impact on purchase behavior” (and this is up 33% since 2011).
With 70% of online adults using Facebook on a daily basis, getting your business in front of hundreds and/or thousands of eyes in a short period of time at little to no cost to you is a great investment of time. Building a business page is free and easy. Growing your network can be a slow start, but by harnessing your personal friend network, it can grow organically in a very short time.
Twitter – The Top 100 global brands engage with Twitter at least 12 times per day, increasing the brand recognition and confidence from consumers. 85% of business-to-business marketers use twitter to get their products out to users. In 2013, 54% of twitter users took action after seeing a brand mentioned.
These statistics tell us that getting your brand out on Twitter multiple times a day, with tweets, re-tweets, replies or comments to other posts is important. As well, if you have a site to sell something, always add the link. Twitter will assist by shortening your link if needed to fit within the 140-character restriction.
LinkedIn – There are over 107 Million users in the United States, and 40% check their accounts daily. 59% of all LinkedIn users have never worked for a company with more than 200 employees, promoting small and medium businesses.
LinkedIn is a network intended for professional use to grow and inform professionals on current businesses, products, and to keep up with other professional friends/acquaintances. LinkedIn is not as personal as Facebook and Twitter, but allows others to follow your business account and/or recommend you based on services/skills you have added to your profile. LinkedIn also allows for engagement based on associations, groups, or interests.
Instagram – The fastest growing social media site for the current generation, with 49% of all US adults using Instagram daily.
Instagram is a photo-sharing site that also allows you to share short videos. This is less significant for the business platform, but holds a lot of credibility with the 16-25 year old age group. The most popular follows are for celebrities and athletes. Instagram is a mobile app intended to tag others or where you are when the photo is taken. With 20% of the global Internet users (ages 16-64) having an Instagram account, it is a very popular platform when appropriate for your business or personal account.
YouTube – The widely popular video sharing site has over 1 Billion users that are viewing over 4 Billion videos per day.
YouTube allows users to view and subscribe to stations, similar to a follow or like in other social sites. YouTube sees about 40% of its traffic from mobile, making it a very popular site when on the go. Of the videos on YouTube, the fourth most popular type of video is the How To and Tutorials. That being said, this is a great platform for instructional videos for your business and products. Every minute there are 323 days worth of videos watched on Facebook. And Twitter gets in on the action by uploading your links and shortening the URL when needed to meet the 140-character max. Google also gets involved with sending millions of viewers to YouTube. When it applies, YouTube is a great platform.
Tumblr – This is a blog sharing site that allows you to set up a business or personal profile where you can upload pictures, videos and most importantly blog posts. Tumblr boasts that it is growing strong and adding 120,000 users per day.
Tumblr has been described as a mix between Twitter and WordPress. Tumbler has over 100 million blogs, and 40% of its users visit up to 30 times a month. As far as a viable marketing platform, 36% of Tumblr’s users are between 18-34, which is a highly sought after demographic. It has a fairly independent and creative network of users and is great for the entrepreneurial sect as well as the DIYers. Adding your website blog posts to your Tumblr account can help wake up a sleepy blog and increase your search engine optimization.
Yelp – Yelp is a social review site with over 139 million unique visits monthly.
Yelp allows you to claim or start your business, where people can leave a public review of your business or service. Yelp has 86,000 active business accounts that can be viewed and reviewed at any time. Yelp allows your business and/or reviewers to upload photos and add reviews. 35% of all reviews left are made via mobile within hours of the interaction. Your Yelp account also has a touch to dial phone number and a map link via your mobile, leading to over 20,000 daily calls to businesses from searches.
There are a lot of options when it comes to social media and your small business. Remember that you should never over commit, and you should only get involved in the sites that you are comfortable keeping up with. Starting a social media site is one thing, but populating it and keeping it active and relevant is extremely important. If, after reading this and doing some independent research, you are still not comfortable, know that there are people and companies that are able to help you. GigaBook is happy to provide this very important service.