Study: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are Top 3 Social Media Channels for U.S. Companies
Nearly 80 percent say social media is more important than other digital marketing strategies, like search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, email, paid advertising, mobile apps, and a website.
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The popularity of social media makes it nearly impossible to do business without cultivating a brand presence on big name platforms. As of January 2016, there were about 2.3 billion global social media users.
This shows an increase in social media use of more than 10 percent since January 2015. In response, are businesses prioritizing social media in their digital marketing strategies?
A new study on the state of social media marketing in 2016 reveals that enterprise companies in the United States take their social media efforts seriously.
Nearly 80 percent say social media is more important than other digital marketing strategies, like search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, email, paid advertising, mobile apps, and a website, according to Clutch, a business-to-business (B2B) research firm.
How are enterprise companies using social media? What benefits does it provide?
Social Media Channels Companies Use The Most
Effective social media marketing demands developing a strategy that is unique to your goals. One of the most important aspects of this strategy is social media channel placement.
Choosing the social media channels that are best for your business depends on a number of factors.
- Your target audience
- The platforms your target audience uses the most
- How your audience consumes content
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the top three most popular social media channels for medium-to-large companies, according to the same Clutch survey.
These channels’ popularity derives from the number of users on the platforms and the types of content the users favor. First, businesses that want to reach more customers, get their content in front of as many people as possible, and improve their brand image, have to be in the same place as their target audience. For example, Facebook has nearly two billion active monthly users and Twitter has 310 million.
Second, when it comes to content users consume the most, video tops the list, which explains YouTube’s popularity.
“YouTube is the second largest search engine and is owned by Google, so it influences your SEO. Video is taking up more bandwidth on the Internet,” says Jeff Gibbard, President and Chief Strategist of True Voice Media, a social media marketing agency. “[Video] is increasingly supporting businesses’ content strategies or being used as a content medium in place of writing and images.”
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media has far reaching benefits for businesses, from increasing traffic to a website, improving customers’ impressions of a brand, and targeting potential and existing customers to raise awareness about products and services.
However, fully appreciating these benefits requires dedicating enough human and financial resources to social media.
Many companies make a summer intern responsible for social media posts. This may seem beneficial, since college students understand how to use Facebook and Twitter. But, after three months, when the intern leaves, the channels become neglected.
Social media marketing should not be a last minute thought but rather a fully developed plan that complements all other marketing strategies. Benefits only arise if you invest in your social media efforts.
Think about it: your company’s posts on social media are an extension of your brand. Therefore, the posts and responses need to communicate in your brand’s voice and maintain your company’s image.
This requires doing paid social advertising, consistently monitoring social channels and responding to customers, and learning how to use the advanced business features that platforms like Facebook offer. Interns do not have the marketing knowledge and experience to take these steps.
As social media becomes the go-to source for news, shopping, and product reviews, and research, it is imperative that businesses invest in social media marketing. But, where should they begin? Three easy first steps include,
- Learning about the business features social media platforms offer – from advanced audience targeting capabilities to advertising/li>
- Dedicating more resources to social media – possibly hiring an agency or consultant/li>
- Developing a content creation and distribution schedule
Sarah Patrick is a marketing analyst at Clutch, a B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, DC. She focuses on a variety of topics, including social media, SEO, cloud computing, and data analytics.
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