Every business, from the bakery to the barbershop needs to understand something about social media.
They may not be busy creating YouTube videos or posting to Facebook but guaranteed, their customer is. Today, more than 2.1 billion monthly active users visit Facebook to connect with their friends and family, plus discover and go to learn about people, places, and things they are interested in. It is estimated over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day.
Originally when I started talking to financial advisors about social media I saw it as a communications phenomenon. Now I see it as much, much deeper than that. While social media still serves to facilitate the sharing of content and conversation, it is a business and cultural phenomena shaping the behaviors of our society each day.
As mobile phones have evolved to become our constant companion, so have our social networks. We literally take our friends, family, and followers literally wherever we go. In a recent study, Pew Research Center estimates seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. Think about what that means for your business, especially word-of-mouth marketing. It is now word-of-mouse—a fundamental shift from the brick-and-mortar, mom-and-pop nostalgia we grew up with.
Social media is not marketing hype either. Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even the lesser-known like Medium and Quora, play such an important role in the lives of people that every business must augment around it.
Consider the following insights from Facebook to see the trend line:
- 500 million users are on LinkedIn. The average number of weekly articles is 100,000.
- Facebook and Instagram lead all mobile apps in time spent. In fact, they account for 1 in 5 mobile minutes — that’s more time spent than the next 10 mobile platforms combined.
- There are 60 million active business Pages on Facebook and 2.5 billion comments posted on Business Pages a month.
- A Facebook study found that people’s attention is 82% higher when they consumed content on smartphones compared to TVs. Similarly, they found distraction was 79% lower on smartphones compared to TV.
- 60% of people on Instagram click more to learn about a product of service and 75% take action after being inspired by a post.
- Instagram now has over 600 million monthly active users. Time spent watching video on Instagram has increased 150% in the past 6 months.
As best-selling author and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi puts it, “The goal of marketing is to create markets.” And you can’t create markets without people. Given the high penetration and engagement on social media already, not to mention higher attention spans on mobile, it would make logical sense to focus your firm’s marketing efforts on these platforms.
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