Nearly two billion people are now on social media. Let's just digest that for a second.
And all signs are pointing to those two billion people spending more and more time on those networks. That's a lot of focused attention. And where there's attention, there's opportunity for businesses. No wonder three quarters of SMEs are planning to implement a social media marketing plan by 2017.
But while more SMEs have made the move on to social, an embarrassing proportion don't know how to use it correctly. They want results immediately and they don't want to put in the time to understand how to use it. All too often there's an attitude where social is seen as something frivolous, an optional extra, or something that anyone can do. Unsurprisingly these businesses don't see results. Normally what happens then is they blame social media for 'not working,' rather than their poor execution on it.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool and we want to put an end to businesses using it badly. So with that in mind, Digital Mums is launching our #SocialDoneRight campaign today.
Over the last three years we've developed a clear, step-by-step process, which guarantees results on social media. Since we launched in 2014, we've trained over 300 mums (and counting!) to be social media managers, and tried and tested this process with well over 300 businesses. Whether their strategy has been driving traffic to websites, increasing brand awareness or driving engagement, our process works equally well.
Every month we see proof of the power of social through the incredible results our students and graduates are driving for businesses, where social media marketing is finally making a difference.
We're also not bad at the social media game ourselves. Just under 40% of all our web traffic comes through social media. Our recent Mother's Day-inspired #RealMumMoments campaign went viral reaching well over a million impressions daily at it's peak, and getting featured across the world.
That exposure is all well and good. But much more importantly, social media sells for us. It's overwhelmingly our strongest sales channel and it impacts our bottom line in a seriously big way.
What's the ROI of social media for Digital Mums? Over a third of our entire revenue.
So do you really need to be on social media? Yes. There's two main interlinking reasons why:
1/ Your customers are there and they're not just chatting
Those two billion people are browsing and buying too. 46% of shoppers rely on social media when buying something while more than 80% said their purchases are ‘at least somewhat influenced’ by social media. And all demographics are on there. It's looking likely the 65+ demographic will see the largest increase in social media users this year. Whoever you sell to, they're on social media.
2/ Social media scales over time
We’ve found from talking to small businesses that a key deterrent for embracing social media is investment, both in time and money. And it's absolutely true, social media does take time. And if you're new to it as a business, it won't drive results in the short term.
But the major advantage social media has over traditional marketing is that it scales with time.
Say you have a marketing budget and you decide to spend it on being featured in a magazine ad (this is just an example and could easily be other forms of advertising like banner ads, AdWords, etc.). Once you've spent that budget and you get the initial results, the impact it has vanishes. You'll have to pay more to get more results.
With social, you don't just have a way to pull people to you, you have a way of capturing their attention beyond the initial time they come across you (in the same way as with an email list). This gives you an opportunity to build a relationship with them over time. If you do it well, somebody who might not be ready to become a customer immediately might well do so further down the line. With many marketing channels, although obviously not all, you get one chance and if you don't convert them that's it. You'll need to pay more to get more results.
Steadily building a community might not drive as many customers in the short term but it pays off better over time. Our social media efforts from two years ago are feeding into our results now, creating a snowball effect. What this means is that social media is actually cheaper over the long-term, if you do it well.
If used correctly, social media is one of the most amazing, cost-effective medium for testing ideas, doing market research and building a community. And once you've built that community, for selling to them too.
The business case study
It's all very well tweeting and posting but will it get the results you want for your business? Yes, if you do it right. Jayne Furniss, co-owner of design agency Furniss and May, was matched with one of our Digital Mum trainees last year.
She says, “To say we were in the social media dark is an understatement. But we’re a small business and simply didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. All our working hours were spent with clients so social media just never made it up the To Do list. Business mentors told us we needed it as part of our marketing strategy but there was never time.
The level of exposure on social media is astounding During our first social media campaign we made some really high profile connections, particularly with journalists. Those relationships would have taken so much longer to develop off line. We have also connected with local businesses via Twitter. Their products have supported a pitch concept recently that we went on to win.”
The detail on #SocialDoneRight
So starting from Monday May 16th we want to share our knowledge. Written by brilliant journalist, Louisa Pritchard, we'll be sharing our expert advice on everything from which social networks to use through to how to identify - and target - your audience (two top tips to get you started: engagement is key and don’t oversell!). Over the next 10 weeks our blog series will cover:
- How to win at the social media game
- How to choose the right social networks for your business
- How to stand out on social media
- How to get the most from your metrics
- How to create killer social media platforms
- Time management SOS
- It's who you know -The Digital Mums Guide to Influencers
- How to optimise your platforms
- Content Strategy 101
- Test, measure, reflect, refine
See you next week for the first installment!