Brands, Consumers Shift From Search To Social

Even we, as self-proclaimed social enthusiasts and diehard supporters of the industry, weren’t expecting to see this kind of science. Not yet anyways. However, in the wise words of one of our favorite philosophers:

“Numbers don’t lie, check the scoreboard.”

Shareaholic reported that in Q4 of 2014, 31.24% of all website traffic was driven from social media.

Although the idea of the demise of Facebook is alive and well, so is the company’s resilience. Along with StumbleUpon, Facebook was the only platform(s) to grow its traffic share in Q4 of 2014. On top of that, Facebook’s 24.63% share of traffic minimizesPinterest’s 5.06% impact. Twitter, surprisingly, only holds .82% share.

You can dive more in to Shareaholic’s data-driven report here.

So, we just have one question for all the C-level marketing execs out there, not taking social seriously: When is enough, enough? Google’s founders are on record saying that one of their biggest regrets was not anticipating the rise of social. Now, there are traffic numbers that are not only growing year over year, they’re capturing the space. This is not to mention the fact that a single platform, which happens to be social, owns 25% of all website traffic.

With this post, note that we are in no way suggesting that search is dead. The only hope is that the social media industry will, at some point, be valued and respected the way search is, because it deserves to be. It is the ultimate in communicative marketing.

We’re going to leave you with this quote from Monica Dimperio:

“Gone are the days of Sterling Cooper & Partners. The new Don Drapers are digital natives who can pull off a multichannel influencer activation with an offline component in their sleep.
These folks have adopted [digital platforms] from the get-go, so they know the content, curation and influencers to work with. Soon, that will include paid media. These people will get you results because, frankly, they know things you don’t.”

4 Questions To Jumpstart Your Social Media Strategy

For brands, social media can be as daunting as it can be exciting. If you have questions or fears about getting started on social media, you are not alone! However, what a great incentive to get rolling! If others are missing the opportunity to grow a community in your industry, that’s all the more reason for you to maximize that empty space with your brand!

So, let’s dive in.

Here are four questions you need to answer to formulate a social media marketing strategy for your brand.

Part One: Audience

  • Who are you trying to reach? 

The most crucial part of your strategy is defining your target audience. Who are they? You’ll need to figure out things like age, gender, location, and interests. These answers will help you target your content to the right, potential customers.

  • Spurring from the first question, what are “they” into?

By “they,” we mean your audience. What are their hobbies? Where do they hang out? These answers will help you get creative with content campaigns and the ways you’ll deliver your awesome content!

Part Two: Platform Selection

  • What platform(s) should you utilize?

Long gone are the days of believing the myth: “we have to be on every social media site!” Now, with the information from Part One, you can decide which platform(s) is most suitable for your strategy. Each platform has its own strengths when it comes to different demographics and industries.

Part Three: Let’s Build It

  • Now, what?

There are a lot of sub-questions here, that you’ll need to answer to really launch your social media marketing strategy. Here they are:

  1. How often will you post?
  2. What will you post?
  3. Do you have a paid ads budget? (if so, what is it?)
  4. How will your campaigns run, in coordination with your day-to-day posts?
  5. When will you organize and schedule posts?
  6. How often will you monitor your platforms for consumer inquiries?

Now, from here, you’ll take ALL of the above information, and structure it to kick off your social media marketing efforts. And like anything in business, you are not going to have all the answers right up front. Since social media is a daily happening, your campaigns might need to be altered, and your scheduling might need to change once you rake in enough data to see when you audience is the most engaged.

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