Let’s get to the heart of the resistance that some business owners have regarding using different social media platforms to grow their business.
We have found that no other marketing channel we work with receives as much passionate resistance as social media.
When we suggest channels such as podcasts, radio or billboards, depending on what our clients’ need, there is an openness to the idea.
When we suggest social media, more often than not, the response is, “Oh, not Facebook for B2B” or “Oh no, I hate Twitter.”
So, we conducted a survey of our current and potential clients (those that have filled out our Marketing CheckUp) and asked what irks them most about social media.
The number one “irk” was that people use social media to talk about useless topics, use it to talk about themselves too much or use it to overshare personal details.
If you can remove some of the emotion from your decision around how you feel about a particular social media platform, you can unlock a channel that may really help you grow your business.
Here are some stats that may help you see social media differently. The statistics focus on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
First up, Facebook. There are 60 million active business pages on Facebook. These are not business pages that were created a few years ago and then abandoned, these are active pages where people are posting content, sharing deals, sharing contests, selling services and selling products. There is a huge volume of business activity on Facebook and it’s not all B2C.
There are five million active business advertisers on Facebook. Experienced business operators understand they need to try using the various social media channels in order to understand their target audience and then build an effective advertising campaign. It’s just not as simple as posting content, but the investment in figuring out which channels produce effective results and when your audience is online can give you a considerable business advantage. Consider five million advertisers are succeeding on this platform; possibly there is a benefit here for your business.
Let’s move on to Twitter. 66% of US companies with 100 or more employees use Twitter for marketing. This may include customer service, advertising, or any other method to promote the business. Twitter has 330 million active users. Imagine if you could get 1% of those users as customers.
Last but definitely not least is LinkedIn. The average CEO has 930 LinkedIn connections. What we hear most often is “LinkedIn, isn’t it just a resume site?” or “It’s only for the entry-level or mid-manager level.” It’s not. LinkedIn is for anyone that’s doing business, wants to find people and joint ventures, wants to keep up with what’s going on in the business world, wants to expand both personal and company brand and wants to be recruited to get involved with other promotions.
We have had clients who were found through LinkedIn and because of their activity, their article writing and their sharing of relevant information, were invited to be keynote speakers for their industry events. LinkedIn is more than just a resume site, and LinkedIn is a very active platform with 500 million users.
Does age matter? Another resistance we hear to social media is, “our target market is much older and therefore the social media platforms aren’t for us.” Do you know, people aged 55 to 64 are more than twice as likely to engage with branded content. They are really engaging on these platforms, learning from and researching information about different companies.
Consider the potential opportunities social media can provide your business. To dig deeper, research the use of social media in your industry. This may show you some examples of other companies, consultants and thought leaders in your industry who are using social media to connect, promote and expand their business. One way to start is to look up reporters/journalists in your industry and see what their social media accounts are. Typically, we’ve found that journalists’ bylines often include their LinkedIn profile or Twitter handle. From there you can see what type of information they are sharing about your industry – which will often include information on other companies and links to their company social media accounts.
Jen Kelly is a marketing consultant in Toronto and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing Inc. (NIM) serving growing businesses in Canada and the USA. NIM is the team to call for marketing execution excellence. For companies that don’t have a marketing department, we become your marketing department. For companies that have an existing marketing team and are challenged adding capacity and skills to their team due to a head-count freeze, we act as your marketing team’s right-hand, supporting the skills needed on a monthly basis. Contact us today for a conversation about your company’s marketing needs.