Social Is Not A Layer

Robin CormackSocial MarketingLeave a Comment

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Social Media in its various forms has been around for a little while now. Long enough in fact that it has become mainstream and is not just for the sole use of University intellectuals, celebrities and teenagers. The upwardly mobile and middle aged are on an unstoppable roll.

There are a lot of people connecting, sharing and generating new content.

So is social media a good commercial channel or not? People are hardwired to listen to advice from their friends and family. They trust this advice. And the modern way to share experiences, both good and bad, is on social networking channels.

Here are some quick social media facts and statistics:

Facebook

  • 1.2 billion users
  • 11% of world population
  • 1 million websites are integrated with Facebook
  • Average time spent on Facebook is 12.1 minutes
  • More stats

YouTube

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • 25% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices
  • More stats

Twitter

  • 200 million active users
  • 60% of users access Twitter via mobile
  • More stats

LinkedIn

  • Over 200 million users
  • More than 2.7 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages
  • More stats

Pinterest

  • There are more than 200,000 active Pinterest users in the UK
  • Pinterest is now the third most popular social network in the US in terms of traffic
  • More stats

General social media stats:

  • 30% of users follow brands, giving huge potential for companies to improve social engagement and get their brand out there
  • 56% of Americans have a social media profile (55% of 45-54 year olds have a profile)
  • 54% of Facebook members use their social networks via a phone

More statistics on social media, apps and services.

How Do You Attract Your Customers On The Social Networks?

There are a couple of things that people are focussed on, namely

  1. Price
  2. Experience
  3. Exclusivity

It can be hard to deliver all of these at the same time but if you do, you have achieved something special and have created in the process, a dedicated brand ambassador. This brand ambassador will spread the good news about your product based on those three important points.

bucket listLet’s look at the Travel and Tourism industry as an example. Travel is inherently social, always has been. It can be just two people going to share an amazing experience or it could be travelling and interacting with the locals and fellow travellers. During this interaction we learn about new experiences, deals and hidden gems. Our bucket list may be long and we may never get to do everything on the list, so we hand-pick the ones that we can afford, that are new experiences and as we become more mature travellers, the ones that are off the beaten track and less crowded.

So where do we get this information? We can get some of this knowledge from friends and contacts by interacting with them on the social networks, by following what they are posting, tweeting and uploading.

Facebook’s new graph search is based on the social graph. This is essentially the connection between objects on Facebook. Objects are anything from people, posts, images, likes and comments. We can now check on friends who have images of a specific location. We can search mush more easily and thus get the answers we are looking for, much more easily.

If your business is selling a product, for example a holiday, you can be marketing these experiences to real people through the social networks. By optimising your profiles and using local social marketing you will be more easily found. By building your network and engaging in the right way you expand your reach. It has to be a two way conversation. Putting up static adverts is a bit old school. By ensuring that you acknowledge past customers, you will create positive relationships and help to nurture those all important brand ambassadors.

Too much focus on Direct ROI

At the moment many brand’s and companies place far too much focus on direct social media return on investment (ROI). This is not what it is about. How many bookings from how many fans. What is more important is the engagement and telling your fans/followers “why” and answering what is in it for them.

Why you do what you do is infinitely more important than what you do. If your customers buy into why you do what you do, then everything else will flow from that.

Social is not a layer of what you do. Social is a part of the fabric and strategy of the business. It is part of the core.

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