To be, or not to be… on social media

According to recent stats, over 2,07 billion people worldwide engage on Facebook during an average month with approximately 1.37 billion people logging on to this platform daily. In South Africa alone there are 16 million people engaging on the social media platform, this is according to recent statistics released by World Wide Worx.

There is simply no denying that social media platforms play an increasingly prevalent role in shaping the way that human beings communicate, engage and perceive the world around them.

A clear example of this is identified when we hear a friend or family member say:

“Jane hasn’t posted anything for a while, I wonder what she is up to these days…maybe she’s going through a rough time!”

This very common perception that a lack of activity on one’s social media platforms leads to concern, doubt and even worry, is the very reason why organisations need to get on the social media bandwagon and stay on it!

This is the nature of the world we live in. Where time and distance were once separating factors, social media has enabled us to surpass these hurdles by enabling users to engage with others at the instantaneous click of a button. Typing in your Facebook search bar is very much the new ‘Google’. Especially for consumers looking to affirm their purchasing options.

To many potential consumers, a business that does not exist on social media, may (to them) mean that that business does not exist at all, it may not be credible or worse – it cannot be trusted.

The question many businesses are asking themselves is whether or not they need to be present and marketing on social media. Well, our opinion is this;

In order to stay relevant in an evolving market; businesses need to stay relevant.

While some businesses see social media marketing as a passing phase, many would disagree that it is here to stay and that to stay behind could mean to get left behind completely.

According to a recent Forbes article, here’s why business presence on social media is important:

  • Increased Brand Awareness
    More people to see your brand image and learn about your service, this is valuable stuff!
  • Increased ‘human’ element in social media interaction with brands
  • “Brands become more humanised by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies”
  • An Increase in brand loyalty
  • “According to a report by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their clients. The report states ‘Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal.’”
  • Increased conversion from lead-to-close
    “Studies have shown that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, and a higher number of social media followers tends to improve trust and credibility in your brand, representing social proof.”

The argument is clear. Social media presence is critical for businesses to not only remain, but to grow in the market. However, posting for the sake of being present is not enough to leverage off the opportunities that these digital platforms present. It is vital that businesses gain or partner with communications specialists who have the expertise and knowledge of what works and what does not. Being strategic with social media engagement and messaging is paramount to ensure that a company’s profile does not to get lost in the crowd.