Social media. Everyone knows what it is. We all use it. All of the time.

Despite this, there are firms who still question the role social media plays in customers’ lives and its marketing potential. Here’s why it should be more than just a consideration.

Something for everyone

Social media keeps us informed with news, opinions and ideas. It helps us stay connected with friends, companies and events, then inspires and motivate us. With the enormous growth in social engagement over the last 10 years, social media has changed our lives. And I’m talking about more than just the memes.

I believe social media has become how people navigate online. If you know what you are looking for, you use Google search. For all other navigation, it is via your preferred social platforms. Users create personalised, curated channels of content they want to see, served to them how and when they would like to consume it. It’s always on and always refreshing. What’s not to like?

The scale of social media is massive, almost unbelievably so. Taking a quick look at the number of users on the biggest social platforms is simply staggering. As of December 2021:

  • LinkedIn has over 800 million users
  • Instagram close to 1.5 billion
  • YouTube has 2.3 billion; and
  • Facebook, the king-of-them all, has nearly three billion active monthly users1.

When there are 7.7 billion people on the planet, I think that last statistic tells you all you need to know.

Such is the growth of social platforms that for the first time in a long time, Google was not the most visited page in 2021. It was knocked off the top spot by one of the newest social platforms, TikTok.2

Now we have confirmed social platforms are huge, let’s think about our audience.

A place for everyone

Taking the smallest audience from the above, LinkedIn, ask yourself this question. “In a business context, who was the last person you spoke to that didn’t have a LinkedIn account?” I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone in the last 10 years who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile. What does this tell us? That our target audience is on social. When we think about which social platforms to have a presence on and where our audience might be, we need to understand the audience demographics of each.

Firms often want to create a connection with audiences “from cradle to grave”. To achieve this you are required to utilise multiple social channels, where we can target across location, age and gender. An example of differing demographics is LinkedIn and TikTok.

  • LinkedIn’s largest age demographic is by far 25-34yrs at 60%, with  18-24yrs accounting for 19.6%
  • TikTok is heavily weighted toward 18-24yr old users1.

The success of TikTok is interesting to consider as it had to compete against already established companies in a densely populated industry. It achieved this via the type of content that it published – engaging short form video. This fuelled its meteoric rise and TikTok now has 1.2 billion users.3 The success of this content form is driving a host of key initiatives between competing social platforms in 2022 and has permeated into virtually every industry. If you need proof, take a look at StockTok.

Under-resource at your peril

What is the reason for this article? Recently I helped run a social media focus group and the number one piece of feedback against all innovation and growing social presence was “I would love to but there isn’t time, budget or resource”.

For a company, being on a social platform is easy, you simply create a company page.  Interacting and making a mark on social is where it becomes tricky. It becomes more time-consuming and potentially costly to feed your page with high quality content and engaging media such as video, soundbites, animation. The next level – effective audience segmentation and targeting for paid social to maximise efficiency in spend – is even more challenging. Despite the challenge it poses, it is evident from the numbers we’ve analysed the potential value social marketing holds.

So I ask, with such an enormous opportunity to engage our target audiences, could you be providing more budget and resources to help your social team succeed?

If the answer to the above is yes, and you’re looking to develop your social approach, get in touch and see how we can help you develop an effective social strategy.