Introducing Social Media to a Business (D3)

When deciding what social media to use within a business, the business needs to do background research to ensure that the platform they want to use, is suitable for them.

Below is a table which shows the difference between how many businesses used particular platforms of social media in 2014 Vs 2016:

Platform

What percentage of businesses used this platform within 2014

What percentage of businesses used this platform within 2016

Facebook

94%

93%

Twitter

83%

79%

LinkedIn

71%

Google +

54%

56%

YouTube

55%

Pinterest

45%

Instagram

28%

36%

Snapcat

2%

From this table it is clear to see that the two most popular choices of social media platforms within 2014 are gradually going down. This could be because there is new platforms coming out all the time, which gives businesses new opportunities to not only expand their knowledge of social media but to also grow their businesses whilst staying in trend of what their consumers use.

The next table below is showing what companies with a range of different experience decide to use when picking a platform of social media:

Platform

less than 12 months

1 – 2 years

2 – 3 years

3 – 4 years

5 or more years

Facebook

90%

94%

94%

95%

95%

Twitter

66%

72%

84%

86%

92%

LinkedIn

60%

66%

72%

73%

87%

Google+

45%

52%

55%

61%

YouTube

35%

49%

57%

62%

73%

Pinterest

33%

42%

44%

Instagram

24%

35%

32%

40%

50%

Snapchat

1%

1%

1%

From this table it can be said that over time, as experience grows, more businesses are going over to use platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. This is shown from the 38% growth in businesses using YouTube and the 26% growth for those using Instagram. I feel that this is because visual social media is becoming a big part of everyones life, as it creates a more fun environment. As well as it making the business seem more human and real as it gives a face/image to the business, therefore building more trust with the consumers.

However, one that doesn’t see a rise over the years is Snapchat, this could potentially be because Snapchat is seen as a very informal platform, and by a business using this type of platform, they are making their image less formal.

Another large rise is within LinkedIn, although 60% of less than 12 months experience businesses use this platform to begin with, a lot more join onto this group within the time period as when they reach 5+ years, this figure rises to 87%, showing that experience was needed in order to use this platform potentially.

Facebook and Twitter remain the top two platforms used throughout any companies time, this is because they are the most popular among consumers and they are also the easiest to navigate around. Despite this, the rise of those deciding to use these platforms over time doesn’t rise by much for Facebook (only 5%) which could show that the 5% of businesses that don’t pick up onto this trend, don’t feel that their business suits this platform.

Companies also tend to spend a range of different time on social media as well, an example of this is that companies that are just beginning up, this being those with less than 12 months experience, 49% of those spend 5 or less hours per week using their businesses social media page. This compares to those who have two or more years experience, as this changes to 68% of them spending 6 hours or more per week online.

One way to help ensure that the companies social media page is being used to the right extent could be down to who manages the sites, it is shown that of those spending more than 40 hours per week doing social media marketing, 54% are younger than 40.

More than half of businesses that decide to use social media for at least 2 years have noticed that new partnerships were gained, this could suggest that even if the businesses social media page isn’t successful to begin with, over time it can help generate more business.

Companies with more than one years worth of experience have reported that 54% of them have noticed a rise in search engine ranking. This goes along side the 61% of companies that put in 6 hours minimum of their time on social media saw a rise in their search engine ranking, showing that time put into something does have a benefit.

However, each business is different and the amount of time spent on social media does differ depending on the type of company. This is because 72% of companies found it beneficial to use 6 or more hours on social media per week, whereas 57% found it beneficial to only use 5 or less hours.

Small businesses may find it beneficial to listen to statistics rather than big businesses as they need to use the platform that has a higher chance of gaining them a larger audience. 40 million active small businesses decided that making a Facebook page would be the most beneficial for them as this is the most popular social media site.

Success on social media can be measured by the likes and unlikes, this is the number of people who like a page and who stop liking it. This would determine if the company was using the platform properly in an engaging manner to keep its like count up. The company could also watch how much engagement they have with their followers, this is determined by the clicks, likes, comments and shares which a post makes. If for example a post gets less engagements than usual, the business would know to change something about what they have done.

The company could also watch their follower growth, this could be measured next to how often they tweet in a period of time for example. This means that if the company started tweeting more than usual, and around this time their follower count rose, they would know to continue to tweet more than often.

The business also needs to decide on what their purpose is when using social media, do they want to target other businesses or do they want to connect with their consumers. Below is a table showing the percentage of businesses that target business compared to those who target consumers whilst using different platforms:

Platform B2B B2C
Twitter

83%

77%

Facebook

88%

96%

LinkedIn

88%

61%

Instagram

26%

42%

From this table it is clear to see that Instagram is a clear use for those who are targeting consumers, this could be because Instagram isn’t used so much for communicating as it is displaying. Therefore a business would use Instagram to display/sell their product rather than trying to convince/compete with other businesses.

Twitter and Facebook are both popular options for both categories, this is because both of them do have benefits for both. This is that they can be used formally or informally, also that the company are able to communicate which could benefit those looking to speak with consumers. But the business are also able to advertise if they would like for their business to attract other businesses.

Companies share a range of different content on their platforms in order to attract their consumers, 71% use visual content, 70% use blogging content, 57% post videos and 10% post podcasts. This is a clear indication of what is the most used by businesses as it helps to draw people in.

Adverts are another major role within businesses using social media, some being more used than others. 84% use Facebook adverts, 41% use Google ads and only 12% use YouTube adverts. This could differ depending on what type of business is being advertised, as a sports company may find a video on YouTube more beneficial rather than pen company who may find a simple image advert on Facebook more beneficial as it suits them best.

 

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