With approximately 3.5 billion social media users in the world today, social media marketing (SMM) is an extremely powerful marketing tool in the armoury of any organisation. In the United Kingdom, Ofcom claims that almost a third (32%) of mobile users use social media while commuting, guaranteeing an unrivalled captive audience. Another report notes that social media is the top source of referral traffic, accounting for about 31.24% of the total. When we put all of this together, the massive reach and influence of social media becomes very evident.
Social media is the second biggest source of referral traffic. Image courtesy of Pixabay
What is social media marketing?
SMM is a marketing discipline which utilises social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to market products, services and brands. Using SMM, organisations are able to create a seemingly direct link to their target demographic and deliver timely updates about their products and services.
One critical element about SMM is end users are able to re-share the original messaging or content. As such, popular or viral content can reach an exponentially higher number of audiences. The ROI for viral content is off-the-charts and can help companies reach new audience at a fraction of the cost of advertising.
This is many SMM campaigns are designed to appear less formal compared to other forms of digital advertising; they are meant to connect to potential and current customers at a personal level.
Beyond that, a recent survey by Smart Insights showed that 63% of customers actually expect companies to engage them on social media.
The power of social media marketing
Social media referral traffic is the second largest in the world, accounting for 25.6% of the total. That means about one in four potential customers reach their destination based on a social media post. In addition, 37% of purchase inspiration came from social media.
Social media doesn’t just have an effect on social platforms either! If you think about it, effective social strategies can have powerful effects on a wider digital marketing campaign. Ask any SEM expert or SEO agency about the benefits a social campaign could have on your wider marketing results also. You will likely find that they strongly recommend it.
Social media is a ready-made funnel for sales. Companies ignore it at their own peril.