Many companies have clued-up the fact that being present and active on social media platforms is imperative if they are to succeed in their marketing efforts. Organizations have found it critical to use social tools to engage their customers, employees and other external stakeholders. Through social tools, they are able to listen, gather actionable intelligence and measure outcomes and progress.
So social media engagement is as important to organization as their products and services. As a matter of fact, it can be said that social media is the best thing that ever happened to online businesses. According to statistics, 88.2% of U.S companies use social media and the figure is expected to grow to 89% by 2017.
70% of internet users are active social media users
The rise of social technologies and mobile phones has given customers more power than ever. Now, customers are more informed, dynamic and alert to what is happening around them. 7 in 10 internet users are active social media users; hence, they can access information regarding various company offers, news and trends. Their ability to find information in a matter of seconds puts them in firm control of their own destiny. Consequently, this trend is forcing marketers to rethink the way they connect and engage with their customers.
About 40% of internet users use social media apps. This means that marketers face the daunting task of providing real-time, tailor-made experiences that make customer experience a blissful event. Whether it be a mobile app that provides online customer care services or a push notification that promotes a sale, marketers must now appreciate the full impact of social mobile apps. This is a grand opportunity for organizations to engage with their customers like never before.
Facebook remains the most active social media platform, while the rest aren’t left behind
Facebook continues to be the most active social media site. According to pew Research findings, more than 71% of internet users are on Facebook. You can’t ignore Facebook as a major tool for social engagement because it is the ultimate beta business. Nearly 50% of Facebook users use it on a daily basis while 25% use it on weekly basis. YouTube (28%), Google + (25%), Twitter (27%) and Instagram (24%) are all social networks that record significant interactions by its users on a daily basis.
Because post engagement on Facebook is about 75% in the first 5 hours, it means that regular updates is important in order to maintain customer engagement. It is also important to note that Thursdays and Fridays record 18% more post engagements. 64% of marketers say increasing customer engagement is an essential thing in their social media marketing strategy. Therefore, regular updates with particular emphasis on Thursdays and Fridays is a sure way to increase your social media engagement.
Instagram has better brand engagement than any other social media platform
According to a recently released study by Forrester, for every one million brand followers on Facebook, there were only 700 interactions (sharing, liking and commenting) and 300 interactionsfor every 1 million followers in the case of twitter.
By all means, these are very dismal rates. However, Instagram presents an exception. For every1 million followers on Instagram, there were 42,000 brand engagement. This is about 58 and 120 times more brand engagement in Instagram than on Facebook and twitter respectively.
This tells us that Instagram is a more effective social tool for brand engagement than Facebook and twitter combined. If you have been overlooking Instagram thinking it isn’t valuable tool for branding, then you might have to think again. Ignore Instagram at your own peril.
Type of social content that result in more engagement
Perhaps another interesting fact about social media engagement is that some rules are quite different from what happens with website and blog content. In social media, engagement is at its peak where the amount of text is kept at its absolute minimum.
Facebook posts with less than 250 characters receive 60% more engagement. 87% of Facebook post engagement happens on posts with images while twits with images receive 150% more retweets. It is even better to post more than one images in Facebook to achieve 12.9 time more engagement.
Another interesting take away is that tweeting more than 3 times a day will decrease your brand engagement by more than 300%. Tweeting with 3 or more hashtags will also hurt your engagement by 17%.
Having said that, it is important to ensure that your social media profiles are complete and optimized to attract and engage your audience the way you want. Adding relevant keywords in your social media updates and profiles is often the first step towards social media engagement success.
Irrespective of the social media platform you are using, integrating visual media is important because it increases engagement. Text-laden and formulaic posts are boring and devoid of human touch. Once you understand the potential of visual social media, you will begin to see dramatic improvement in the way people engage with your brand.
Another critical point of consideration for marketers is not to view social media as simply a platform to amplify their products and services; instead, social media should be used to provide more value to their customers. It should be used to discover new customer trends, new technologies and better ways of relating with customers before the competitors do.