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The Age of Social Media: Here’s why you should invest in social media marketing

You’ve heard of social media, you use it daily, and you’ve seen how it can make you internet popular overnight. But how important is it for your company? Is increasing your social media marketing budget the right move for your business?

We all know that social media can be exhausting and time-consuming. So how much value does social media marketing have for businesses?

Well, statistics say, a LOT.

According to a Digital 2022 report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are now 4.62 billion social media users worldwide, reflecting an increase of more than 10 per cent (424 million new users) since this time last year. The number of social media users now exceeds 58 per cent of the world’s total population.

Maggie Lower, CMO of Hootsuite, emphasised the importance of social media, noting that the pandemic has highlighted how social media is closely intertwined with how we live, work, operate, and shop.

“In a time when social distance regulations and non-essential business closures impact businesses everywhere, social commerce is often one of the only ways for brands to stay open and connected with consumers,” said Lower.

“Suppose brands and organisations want to remain relevant. In that case, they will need to digitise and implement a social commerce strategy.”

Additionally, as the number of people using social media grows, people say they spend more time on social media each day than they did the previous year, at 2 hours and 27 minutes.

Let’s see if we can figure out which social media platforms are best for your business.

Facebook is still the most popular social platform globally, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp. Social commerce is still a significant factor in Meta’s advertising data.

According to the most recent data from the company, over 560 million Facebook users now see ads in Marketplace each month. In comparison, 187 million Instagram users see ads in Instagram’s Shop tab.

What does this mean?

Simply put, your target market is on Facebook. At least 79 per cent of users on ten of the world’s most popular social platforms are also on Facebook. So, if you’re wondering whether your company can still benefit from a presence there, the answer is most likely yes.

On the other hand, WhatsApp tops the list of the world’s “favourite” social media platforms, with 15.7 per cent of working-age internet users selecting the messenger app as their preferred social platform.

Instagram has surpassed Facebook to take second place in the global rankings, with 14.8 per cent of global internet users naming Instagram as their preferred platform, compared to 14.5 per cent for Facebook.

Meanwhile, TikTok’s ad audience also continues to grow rapidly. Digital 2022 indicates that the platform’s reach increased by 7.3 per cent (60 million users) in just the past 90 days, taking TikTok’s worldwide ad reach amongst audiences aged 18 and above to roughly 885 million.

What does this mean for your business?

Across all social media platforms, brands are finding it easier to reach the right people. According to Sensor Tower, WhatsApp Business was downloaded 20 million times across Google Play and the App Store in December 2021.

Businesses can also capitalise on TikTok’s potential by experimenting with editing tools and popular sounds to create high-energy short-form videos that represent their brand.

The GenZ favourite app can be used to create high-energy short-form videos that represent their respective brands by tapping into trending topics and hashtag challenges.

Here’s a guide on how businesses can use Tiktok for business.

“We see rapid changes in culture, the economy and society more broadly. The huge shifts in behaviour witnessed over the last 12 months are now permanent and are set to accelerate even faster,” said Nathan McDonald, Co-founder and Group Chief Executive, We Are Social.

“More people than ever are spending time online: beyond social connections, information and entertainment, the growth of social commerce, gaming and spending on cryptocurrencies and digital goods is evidence of real cultural change.

“It’s never been more important for marketers to have a deep understanding of online communities, cultures and subcultures.”

Need more reasons?

The research also found that social media ads accounted for 33.1 per cent of global digital advertising spending in 2021, at $154 billion. Marketers also spent $23 billion more on social ads in 2021.

Over the last year, the perceived effectiveness of advertising for all three of those networks has increased from single to double digits, according to the survey results.

E-commerce adoption rates have continued to rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with no signs of slowing. Almost half of all working-age internet users (58.4 per cent) now buy something online at least once a week, and that figure is expected to rise further.

But…

There is evidence that using online “tracking” to sell products can cause a backlash among consumers. Targeted advertisements “creep out” a lot of people. As a result of the public outcry over company data breaches and the use of targeted ads, consumers are on high alert.

Only 1 in 6 working-age internet users (17.3 per cent) say they feel represented in the advertisements they see, regardless of medium. Older users are especially dissatisfied with advertising. Only one in every nine global internet users aged 55 to 64 said they recognise themselves in advertisements.

The bottom line is that devoting significant time to developing and improving social storefronts across multiple channels is a good idea. The goal is to make social shopping fun for customers while also profiting for businesses.

View and download the report at https://www.hootsuite.com/resources/digital-trends 

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