When it comes to social media marketing, there's a lot of misinformation, and a ton of unrealistic expectations set as a result. Luckily, marketers are blessed with a massive amount of data from social media activity, so we can course correct misnomers which may lead to disappointed bosses and upset clients.
A recent study conducted by Sprout Social surveyed both marketers and consumers, in order to help identify key challenges, and offer insights on what users expect when it comes to social media marketing. After all, if your strategy isn’t meeting their needs, it will fall flat.
Here are eight key stats of note from the data, which may help inform your strategic approach.
5. "50% of consumers follow brands on social to learn about new products or services"
You are kidding yourself if you think people connect with social media pages to be sold to.
A key value of social media marketing is brand discovery, and it turns out that a good chunk of people connect with brands in order to learn more about what they have to offer.
The big recommendation here is to be sure that your social media strategy showcases overall value, and clearly demonstrates how your business make peoples’ lives easier.
The more value-based the content you put out is, the better off you will be.
6. "45% of consumers are more likely to research a product or service when a brand’s employees post about that product or service"
Employee advocacy is a powerful way to amplify your brand, especially on social media.
The data suggests that consumers will investigate a product more if they see an employee of said brand choose to share related content.
Typically speaking, people aren’t overly excited to share “work” content on their social accounts. However, if you can get your workforce excited and in-step with your brand message, there are a lot of opportunities.
7. "40% of social media marketers believe private community groups, like Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, will become more important"
Mark Zuckerberg himself has said that the future of social media - specifically Facebook - will be more private.
With this in mind, it might be a good idea to start looking into more exclusive communities on social media. Facebook has groups that are very active, Messenger continues to gain usage momentum, and even LinkedIn Groups have seen more usage of late.
This shift in behavior could mean opportunity for your brand.
8. "63% of social media marketers believe listening will become more important over the upcoming year"
When it comes to a social media content strategy, many brands are quick to think about what they want to “say” to people - but what about what people have to say about your brand?
Social listening is a great way to tease out consumer insights to fuel strategy, as well as navigate any unseen customer service issues. Most social platforms have some sort of native search within them. However, social media tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite can help you identify conversation trends that matter to your business.
However, social listening does have a caveat – volume. If there aren’t enough people talking about your brand or a concept related to your brand, it will be hard to get any insight. Start with macular concepts and then work to micro mentions of your brand.
These are some of the key insights from the Sprout Social 'Empower and Elevate' report, which could help improve your social media marketing approach and maximize your efforts.
Credit to 8 Social Media Marketing Stats You Shouldn't Ignore, Social Media Today