Social media marketing has become essential for business. Social media can provide a significant edge, when it is approached strategically. Your company needs to be present on at least the big four social networks-Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Without a social presence on these major networks, your company will appear outdated and miss out on valuable social lead generation. The following statistics from HubSpot illustrate the vast influence that social media has on the business world.
10 Statistics that Highlight the Power of Social Media
1. The number of marketers using social media has seen a 9% annual increase, with 23% of marketers investing in blogging and social media this year.
2. About 46%-nearly half-of online users prefer to utilize social media before making a purchase.
3. Social lead conversion rates are over 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate.
4. In the US, 27% of total Internet time is spent on social networks.
5. In the US, 15% of total mobile Internet time is spent on social networking sites.
6. Social media produces about two times more lead generation than telemarketing, trade shows, PPC or direct mail.
7. Of all current marketers in 2013, 36% gained a customer through Twitter; 43% gained a customer through LinkedIn, and 52% gained a customer through Facebook.
8. 85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others, compared to only 60% of average users.
9. 74% of all marketers believe Facebook is important for lead generation.
10. On Facebook, it takes only 30 minutes for brand posts to achieve 50% of their reach.
Even with the recent upswing in other social networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, Facebook remains the largest social network with 1.11 billion active users, as of March 2013. Historically, people have trusted what their friends and family recommend, which is word-of-mouth marketing. Facebook is a medium that greatly amplifies this type of marketing. The social network has provided two billion local businesses with customer connections and over 645 million views of local Facebook Business Pages. In addition, 70% of monthly active users in US and Canada have a connection to a local business via Facebook. Although Facebook has plenty marketing potential, it may be difficult to realize due to the large number of users. Third-party developers have utilized Facebook API to create tools that streamline Facebook marketing.
15 Facebook Marketing Best Practices
1. Make your page easier to find and more shareable with a vanity URL-one that ends in your business name (e.g., http://www.facebook.com/Macys).
3. Utilize contests and polls to give your fans a voice for feedback, which you can then use for product or service improvement.
4. Reply to fans' comments promptly; 25% of Facebook users expect a response to a complaint within one hour.
5. Reply to fans' negative comments with helpful responses to show your desire for improvement and open-mindedness.
6. Leverage Facebook's social plugins to provide social proof and increase the reach of your content.
7. Use Networked Blogs-a free app-to have your blog posts automatically added to your Facebook Business Page and have your company added to the Networked Blogs directory.
8. Maintain your page's timeline effectively by clicking the star icon next to individual stories you want to promote, and hide or delete any less desirable stories by clicking on the pencil icon.
9. Empower your visual content; an internal Facebook study found that posts including a picture or photo album can generate up to double the engagement of other post types.
10. Generate leads by adding CTAs to the custom tabs on your page and by posting links to landing pages to provide access to your content behind forms.
11. Post content that analyzes recent industry news, and be the first on any lists that are under your business category, which will strengthen your trustworthiness and credibility.
12. Use Facebook Insights, an internal analytics tool that provides Facebook page administrators with data about page visits; it can tell you which content is or is not performing well with your audience.
13. Assign a member of your team to maintain your company's Facebook presence, and consider adding more admins under 'Manage Admins' to divide responsibility among the admins.
14. Avoid being a static page; use social media monitoring software, such as HubSpot or HootSuite, to monitor activity and regularly engage your Facebook audience; pages updated regularly are much more successful.
15. Consider subscribing to Facebook's Official Blog for the latest announcements, the latest Facebook tools and any other updates.
You must be strategic and integrate Facebook into your overall inbound marketing strategy. With genuine engagement, smart social content curation and effective CTAs, Facebook can be a valuable source of social lead generation. Leverage the power of Facebook to amplify website traffic and lead generation and land more new business.