Short answer: yes! But why? What can social media do for your business?
The rise of the internet and social media has been truly unstoppable. Twenty years ago, nobody would have guessed just how massive the internet would become, or how many people would be on social media. That figure, if you’re wondering, is around 2 billion. Yes, over a quarter of the entire world’s population is on social media.
If you searched through the archives of Newsweek, you’d find an article from 1995 entitled “The Internet? Bah!” which essentially laughed in the face of anybody suggesting that this whole internet thing would take off. To the author, the idea of ordering plane tickets, shopping, and making restaurant reservations online was complete madness.
And, of course, they turned out to be dead wrong. The internet and – in particular – social media have become an intrinsic part of our lives, including the way we run our businesses. Nowadays, social media is vital for business. You can no longer survive without it, so why do some businesses still insist on trying? What exactly can social media do for the success of our companies?
Let’s tackle this issue not with soundbites or theories, but with hard facts. Ready to hear some numbers?
Let’s start with that 2 billion. In the US, three quarters of adults use social media. The average social media user is on social media for almost two full hours a day, or over 12 hours a week. If we’re talking about young people and millennials, these numbers climb even higher. Millennials watch more YouTube than TV, and social media now drives more traffic to websites than search engines.
So what does this mean for business? Well I’m glad you asked. Turning our heads across the pond again, 9 out of 10 US companies use social media, and the UK needs to catch up.
Here’s another number for you. A McKinsey Global Institute Report found that social media has the potential to unlock over £1 trillion (TRILLION) in business value, but only 3% of businesses are maximizing this opportunity.
Companies which use social media use it mainly for marketing, but this is just the beginning of its potential! Social media can be used for commerce, streamlining customer service, sales, HR, product development and research. Sites like Facebook can boost productivity and positivity within a company by promoting collaboration. Social media is changing everything.
So why do some companies still try to get by without social media?
Social media is tricky. It’s new, it’s fast-paced and it’s constantly on the move. For companies and employers – especially those who didn’t grow up with it – it’s like opening a book only to find it’s written in a language you don’t understand. Social media is fluid and adaptable, but businesses like rigidity. We like things to have a clear set of rules. Do this and get this result. Do this if you want to do well. But social media isn’t like that. It’s unpredictable, but that’s why it works.
Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google +, the idea of creating a social media presence for your business seems overwhelming and time-consuming, but you can’t get away with ignoring it any longer.
The solution? Outsourcing!
If you feel like you’re staring at that book’s mystery language, like you’re the only one who can’t read it, then let outsourcing be your translator.
Outsourcing can turn social media into something your business can understand. It means putting the mammoth task of creating an online presence for your business into the hands of people who are experts. Outsourcers use social media to find an audience for your business and gain traffic, without you having to put in the hours.