The social media realm has become a force to be reckoned with against older, more traditional forms of marketing. As of 2018, 88% of businesses are using social media for marketing, and there are several key reasons why!
Social media is a place where billions of users (aka potential customers!) spend hours a day engaging with friends and brands alike. But don’t just take our word for it, let’s take a look at some of the numbers.
81% of the US population has at least one social media profile, and over half have two or more. You may be thinking, “Okay, just because they’re on social media, doesn’t mean they’re engaging with companies and buying from them.”
70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers specifically through Facebook, and that doesn’t even account for what they’ve acquired through additional social media platforms.
For example, 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases, and over ⅓ of Instagram users have used Instagram to purchase a product online. 49% of 18-29 year olds alone have purchased something they saw in a social media ad across various platforms!
84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions, and customers spend 20% – 40% more money on companies who are using social media for marketing.
Furthermore, 70% of millennial consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by peer recommendations, and where are the majority of millennials seeing their peers’ purchasing decisions? Social media.
In short, the data around social media alone tells us that a large percentage of the billions of people that use social media are using it daily, and they’re using it to make purchases.
So what do you as a business do with this information? How can using social media for marketing really transform your business? Even if you’ve already utilized social media for your business for a while, how can you take it to the next level?
If these are the questions you’re asking yourself, keep reading because we’re filling you in on all the secrets that make using social media for marketing successful!
Increase Traffic & Sales on Your Website
For almost every business, there is a bottom line that is at the heart of all decision-making. Companies decide what marketing efforts to invest in based on the return on their investment from that particular channel.
For most businesses, this means sales, and lots of them. But even for businesses that are more cause or awareness based and are driven by conversions other than sales (such as petition signatures, followers etc.), using social media for marketing can still radically transform how you achieve the end result you’re looking for.
LYFE Marketing has several case studies that highlight what social media advertising can do for a business, but we’re going analyze a few highlights here!
Let’s start with one of our clients, Nidhi, who is an owner of an eCommerce candle company.
Very simply put, the photo above shows that Nidhi has seen a dramatic increase in sales even since our first case study on her company!
LYFE Marketing’s social media ads have helped her see 614 purchases at an average of $10.50 per purchase.
This means that in the span of almost a year and a half, she’s spent $6,447.95 on Facebook and Instagram ads, and has made $23,164.41 back from them!
With social media advertising, you can send people directly to your site and track exactly how many people saw the ad, clicked on it, and performed the action you’re looking for and all at what cost.
This is something that other, more traditional forms of marketing simply don’t have the capabilities to do!
For example, you can pay for a billboard on the side of the road, but do you know exactly how many or what demographic of people saw it? Do you know how many of the people driving by made a purchase because of it, and how much their purchase was worth?
All of this data is crucial to creating a strategic, lean and well-performing marketing campaign, and using social media for marketing can provide your business these insights and then some.
Not to mention that you’ll spend infinitely less money on social media advertising than you will on older, traditional forms of advertising, for oftentimes a higher pay off. Take a look at the CPM of various marketing channels below:
Social media is one of the only marketing channels that can expose you to over 1,000 people for less than $3, and you get to track exactly who those people were and what actions they took on top of that.
Connecting With Your Target Audience
Nidhi is just one of many LYFE clients that have seen noteworthy ROI from social media advertising, but let’s continue to analyze her campaign for just a minute longer.
Nidhi’s target audience consists of a very niche group of people, but thanks to the extensive targeting selections on social media, we can target people based on demographics, behaviors, purchasing behaviors and interests.
In Nidhi’s case, we’ve been able to target expats from India and Bangladesh that live in the United States, have purchased items online in the past 7 days, and have an interest in Hinduism and Hindu holidays (which is specifically when her products are used the most).
Because we know exactly who is going to see her ads, we can cater the ads to this specific audience to make the ads resonate with them- as opposed to throwing a general ad up on a billboard and hoping it sticks with someone racing to get home after work!
Another tool that social media offers (and that LYFE Marketing uses often!) is A/B testing, and we use it with both audiences and creatives.
A/B testing is when you test small variations to see which item is going to achieve the most results at the lowest cost per result. The first step with this is to test different ads, with the second step being testing different audiences.
The infographic above is the perfect example of testing multiple ad sets (audiences) and two different ads within each ad set. This way, you’ll find which ad + audience combination is going to acquire the most results at the lowest cost per result.
This is extremely helpful in connecting with your audiences because you can begin to see what type of imagery, video, or verbiage they like best, and who your most responsive target audience is.
Using social media for marketing allows you to break results down by gender, age, location and more. In Nidhi’s case, we were able to learn that females were far more responsive than males, so we were able to better allocate her ad spend by only delivering her ads to females within her target audience.
This method of testing, optimizing and streamlining costs is an on-going process, and it’s one that LYFE methodically produces for our clients every day!
Now That You’ve Connected With Your Target Audience, Expand It
The more that you start using social media for marketing, the more data and information you will gather about your target audience. As you collect this data, you can streamline your target audience and spend ad dollars where it makes the most sense like we mentioned above. But you can also use tools within social media advertising that allow you to expand that audience.
A lookalike audience is an audience you can create on social media advertising platforms, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. A lookalike audience is an audience that “looks like” an existing audience.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram can take an existing audience, and find more people that look like that audience based on algorithms and the massive amount of data that social media tracks every day.
The reason this is so helpful is because you can take your list of customers, and say, “Hey Facebook, go find more people who look like my customer base.” And just like that? You’ve got millions of brand new social media users who have the same characteristics and behaviors as your existing customer base.
How would you have reached those people without using social media for marketing? Or maybe a better question is how would you have found them in the first place?
Engage Your Audience & Improve Client Retention
Now that you’ve established who your target audience is by using social media for marketing, it’s time to make sure they convert on your site time and time again!
In general, when it comes to acquisitions, there are two high-level types of successful business models: high volume and low-dollar amount, or low volume and high-dollar amount.
The first model describes a business that depends on a high volume of sales because each sale may be valued at a lower amount.
The second model describes a business that depends on a fewer number of sales because each sale is valued at a higher dollar amount.
Social media marketing can be used for both of these business models to continuously engage the consumer relationship, and we’re about to tell you how.
Using social media for marketing allows you to really maximize retargeting ads, and retargeting is crucial for both of the business models mentioned above.
Retargeting is when you show an ad to someone who you know is already familiar with your business in some way or another. You can retarget audiences based on website traffic, customer email lists, people who follow you on social media, people who have engaged with your previous posts or ads and more!
Retargeting is absolutely key in acquiring new customers and in pushing existing customers to become repeat customers.
Retargeting is absolutely key in acquiring new customers and in pushing existing customers to become repeat customers. Retargeting is one of the last pieces of the sales funnel, but it’s one of the most important because it helps catch any potential customers that went to your site but didn’t convert.
72% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their cart before checking out, and without retargeting, only 8% of those customers are likely to return to complete the transaction on their own.
Think of how many customers you could be missing out on if you’re not implementing retargeting! When using social media for marketing, you can also create ads that are specific to these retargeting audiences to give them that extra push to convert.
For the first business model we talked about, retargeting ads could include a special discount code for example that incentivizes them to go back to the site and make a purchase.
For the second business model we mentioned, retargeting ads could give a larger discount for “referring a friend” aka providing you with a new, high-quality lead.
Overall, the beauty of using social media for marketing here is that you can track all of these audiences and then follow up with them with engaging ads that are specific to them until they convert.
Increase Brand Awareness & Customer Loyalty
This last benefit may seem like a given, but it goes hand-in-hand with retargeting, and it also has some hidden benefits that unfortunately not everyone immediately thinks of!
Social media has become the new gateway between businesses and consumers. People are commenting on Facebook posts, and direct messaging on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and others to get in touch with businesses more and more.
And the social media atmosphere is alive 24-7. You never know when you’ll receive an organic touch point with a potential customer, but thankfully you can always be prepared when you’re using social media for marketing.
Tools such as autobots and autoresponders can be set up so that customers are attended to immediately should they reach out to your business on social media.
Brands today usually use chatbots on their social media accounts and websites. This automated messaging tool can be programmed to have answers for basic, general inquiries from customers. We often see this in Facebook Messenger and is used for customer service purposes. In a recent study, it shows that the growth of machines is expected to continue, making it possible for these chatbots to be a staple on social media.
Even if these automated messages include something as simple as, “Thank you for contacting us! Someone will reach out to you within 24 hours,” you’re still giving the customer that immediate peace of mind that you’re here, and you care. You’re building priceless trust in that consumer relationship.
Your social media ads can also work around the clock (so that you don’t have to!) to promote follower growth, engagement and sales.
Your customer may not be driving past that billboard you paid for at 10pm at night, but they are scrolling on their phone and seeing your retargeting ad! The more times someone sees a brand online and engages with, the more likely they are to trust that business over competitors.
Using social media for marketing allows businesses to be there for consumers more frequently than ever before, and it allows consumers to have direct contact with brands. Both of these factors are allowing for one of the most intimate business-consumer relationships possible on a massive scale. All the while businesses are consistently achieving that sale or ultimate conversion as a result!
It’s no secret that using social media for marketing can radically transform your business. But it does take the right strategy and expert knowledge to really leverage social media to your advantage. Interested in learning more about the successful services our social media marketing agency offers? Contact us today to learn more!