More and more businesses are flocking to social media with hopes of increased brand visibility, and an eager audience of fans waiting to see their latest product offering. However, most of these businesses run into the same problems; they struggle to get noticed, spend too much time trying to sell and get frustrated at a lack of quick results. As always, the question is why?
Why do businesses struggle to find their place on social media? To understand this, we need to understand why people use social media in the first place. Below is a graph highlighting the top ten reasons people use social media (Data from Getting Social).
The Top 10 reasons people use social media
- TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH WHAT MY FRIENDS ARE DOING 55% 55%
- TO STAY UP-TO-DATE WITH NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS 41% 41%
- TO FILL UP SPARE TIME 41% 41%
- TO FIND FUNNY OR ENGAGING CONTENT (I.E ARTICLES, VIDEOS) 39% 39%
- TO SHARE MY OPINION 39% 39%
- TO SHARE PHOTOS OR VIDEOS WITH OTHERS 38% 38%
- BECAUSE A LOT OF MY FRIENDS ARE ON IT 36% 36%
- GENERAL NETWORKING WITH OTHERS 33% 33%
- TO MEET NEW PEOPLE 32% 32%
- TO SHARE DETAILS OF WHAT I’M DOING IN MY DAILY LIFE 27% 27%
People use social media to connect with friends and meet new ones. Users want to share their thoughts and opinions, as well as be entertained and informed. Let’s take a look at the popularity of brands against public figures.
Top 5 Celebrity social media accounts and followers
- Barack Obama – 129m
- Justin Bieber – 114m
- Katy Perry – 109m
- Rihanna – 102m
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 92m
Top 5 Brand social media accounts and followers
- Playstation – 22m
- Xbox – 16.2m
- Chanel – 13.1m
- Samsung Mobile 12.2m
- Starbucks – 11.4m
You can find an extensive list of the most followed Twitter accounts here.
There is a significant difference between the popularity of people vs brands on social media. The most popular non-platform brand on Twitter is Playstation. Even with more than 22 million followers they don’t make the top 100 most followed accounts on Twitter.
But what does it all mean?
Even the most established brands struggle to attain the engagement that celebrities and public figures acquire. Why? Because of the conflict in motivations between user and business. We have already established why people use social media, but why do businesses use social media?
- To promote products and services
- To raise brand awareness
- To increase website traffic
- To generate leads
Businesses fund the advertisements that interrupt users from watching their favourite youtube creator, and the Instagram advertisement they’d prefer to have not seen. It is important that Marketers understand how intrusive and annoying their attempts to sell can be. With this in mind, we should focus on creating a strategy that engages users, instead of pesters them.
How to drive social media engagement
Let’s take another look at our list – ‘The top ten reasons people use social media.’ At number four we have ‘To find funny or engaging content.’
Users are actively searching for content to consume, as a business looking to engage an audience we should be fulfilling that demand. There are some great examples of businesses who have made social media work for them, and they have done so by creating content that adds value to users through a range of approaches, let’s take a look at some examples.
Wayfair is an American retailer that has been operating in the UK since 2008. As a home decor company, Wayfair showcase and sell their products online in doing so they have succeeded in attracting an audience of over 1.6 million followers on Instagram alone.
Wayfair makes good use of the functionality that each platform provides notably, Instagram’s Shopping’ feature. Each post includes product tags that provide users with a link to the corresponding product on Wayfair’s e-commerce website.
Wayfair invests in creating high-quality content, showcasing its products within beautifully staged scenes to inspire its audience. This approach helps Wayfair remain relevant to customers both inside and outside of their sales funnel as their audience consists of interior design fans as well as customers.
Wayfair Instagram posts below
SAP is a German multinational software corporation based in Walldorf, Germany. The company is known for its ERP software and as the largest software company outside of the US.
Software is a complicated topic that is hard to digest, although SAP’s 285,000 followers on Twitter might disagree. SAP created case studies based on real-world applications of their product as well as thought-leadership on Digital Transformation.
SAP created a strong content library that included infographics to simplify their more technical subject matter. The brand’s monitored the performance of organic Tweets and selected those with the highest engagement to promote as paid boosts – this maximised campaign effectiveness.
The brand’s content was optimised by monitoring the performance of organic Tweets and selecting those with the highest engagement to promote as paid posts, improving campaign effectiveness.
Similar campaigns were introduced for each targeted region but tailored to the targeting options to best suit B2B tech. SAP used a combination of keyword, interest and follower targeting to reach its audience – follower targeting specifically included tech influencers such as @nytimestech and other leading tech brands.
User engagement was tracked and measured using website cards. SAP’s #runsimple hashtag provided measurable views and clicks as well as directed users to the company website for further engagement.
SAP Twitter posts below
Stay up-to-date with news and events on social media
41% of social media users are logging in to stay up-to-date with current news and events. This gives you the opportunity to keep customers up-to-date with changes in your business, like employee promotions, new hires, and success stories.
Got an event coming up? Let people know. Eventbrite is a great platform that helps businesses sell/give away tickets to their events online. You can create custom email lists to send directly to your customers.
People want to share their opinion online
The 5th most popular motivation for social media use is ‘to share my opinion’. 50% of customers who are asked to leave a review, do so (searchengineland). Furthermore, a recent Bright Local consumer survey shows 87% of users read online reviews in 2020.
By utilising social media in conjunction with review sites such as Google My Business and Trustpilot you can collect useful feedback from your customers as well as inform new and potential customers about your great products and services.
RD Design is a Digital Marketing Agency based in Suffolk, United Kingdom. We help businesses increase their online visibility across SERPs, Social Media and Websites. If you’re looking for support with your Social Media Marketing Strategy, speak to one of our experts today – contact us.
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