Is Social Media Good For Business?

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Website traffic is the second biggest benefit of social media

Does social media help a small to medium business (SMB) get exposure and drive brand awareness?  That is the question on many marketers minds.  There are two surveys out today that show the enormous benefit of social media to all types of businesses - small or large.

According to a survey from online magazine Social Media Examiner, Facebook continues to be the most important social network for most business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers worldwide, given its enormous user base. However, for business-to-business (B2B) marketers, there is a healthy competition among other platforms. Among these marketers, LinkedIn tied with Facebook as the most important social network, while blogging followed 10 percentage points behind.

Interestingly, while YouTube was only the most important social platform for 4% of SMBs, it is where the greatest percentage of businesses planned to make future investments. Nearly seven out of 10 marketers said they planned to increase their use of YouTube this year.

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The greatest benefit of social media was increasing exposure, cited by 89% of respondents, while another 75% said it helped increase traffic. A significantly lesser percentage (43%) said social helped them increase sales. This points to social’s role as a brand builder, first and foremost.

And even as social media may seem like old hat to many marketers by now, quite a few are relatively new to the platforms. About one-quarter of marketers said they had been working with social media for a year or less. And another 30% were 1 to 2 years into their social media marketing tenure. But SMBs have quickly caught on to how important social is as a marketing tool: 79% said they had already incorporated social media into their traditional marketing activities.

2013 Social Media survey by www.sensis.com.au

2013 Social Media survey by www.sensis.com.au

The newly released 2013 Yellow Social Media Report shows the growth of social media amongst Australian businesses and the changes in the way that social media is being used by consumers.  The key insights to take out of the report:

1. People use social media before and after work most often.

2. Facebook still dominates, with only 18% drop off rate over the last year, LinkedIn is an emerging social network in Australia at number two, with Twitter's usage in major decline over the last 12 months. The Instagram app is still popular despite the privacy row.

3. 45% of people surveyed use social media daily.

4. It is not only the realm of the young, 66% of those aged 30 to 39 and 42% of 40-to-49-year-olds use social media at least once a day.

5. State-by-state usage and followers is pretty even per capita head.

6. Smartphone apps to access social media is the most popular.

7. 96% of people use social media at home, in the lounge and in the bedroom!

8. 42% watch TV and are on social media at the same time.

9. Reasons for using social media: friends and sharing dominates, with researching products and services featuring well...ironically celebrities don't rank that well here!

10. 58% of social search leads to a purchase, with 50% of resulting purchases made online.

11. Consumers still want discounts and free stuff from brands online, followed by information on products.

12. Most social ads and unsolicited sponsored posts are ignored.

13. 32% of 30-to-39-year-olds and 39% of 40-to-49-year-olds are most likely to post a review or rating (who said this stuff was just for young people!)

14. 74% of people take notice and read online ratings and reviews, with people on average reading four before making a purchase decision.

15. Business confidence has risen in social media, with 36% of SMEs using social media reporting an increase in sales.

How important is Social Media in your business?  Does it drive brand awareness and exposure?  Does it increase traffic to your website?

Information and graphs with thanks from www.emarketer.com and www.sensis.com.au.

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Chris Pattas

Chris Pattas lives in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. He is happily married with two children. Chris is a successful business leader who enjoys helping organisations reach their full potential. Whether it is driving greater profit or sales, growing market share in competitive industries, inspiring executives to achieve great things, negotiating compelling business deals or working as a board member implementing exciting change programs, he knows how to get the most out of any organisation. Chris has worked in various product and service industries including: advertising, software, IT&T, travel & tourism, utilities and telecommunications. His interests and expertise include: leadership & strategy, sales & marketing, online & social media, science & technology, travel & tourism, photography and music.