Social media marketing continues to grow in importance. Especially since consumers who started using social media during the pandemic are likely to continue. This trend makes your clients’ presence on social sites a necessity, because 59% of marketers will use social media for lead generation.
In a Harris Insights and Analytics poll produced for Sprout Social, 80% of business panelists noted it is “absolutely essential” or “very important” to allocate more of their budgets to social media marketing. Enterprise-level businesses, those with 200 or more employees, agreed at a rate of 90%. And 71% of small business owners said the same.
Even more impressive is the anticipated increase in the amount of budget going to social media marketing. Overall, 45% of businesses believe they will allocate up to a 50% increase in social media spending in the next three years. And 46% say their budgets for social spending will jump between 51% to 100%. While small businesses are more likely to say they will slightly increase social media spending, enterprise-level organizations suggest they will significantly boost this part of their marketing budgets.
Social media is poised to capture a big portion of lead generation budget. Here are the percentages of companies that expect to use specific media channels for lead generation in the next three years:
- Social media 59%
- Email 39%
- Direct mail 28%
- Media/news outlets 33%
- Print ads 25%
- TV/radio ads 33%
Why Consumers Use Social Media
Historically, consumers flocked to social media to stay in touch with each other. And for 68% of current users, communicating with friends and family members is still the main reason to use social media. Consumers also access these sites to:
- Kill time 54%
- Get breaking news 39%
- Get inspiration 34%
- Learn new trends 31%
- Follow influencers 23%
They are also interacting with brands and service providers on social platforms. Just over 1/3 of consumers either learn about or discover specific brands, products or services on these sites. Around 26% of consumers purchase products or services through social media. More importantly, 25% recommend products and services on social media. If your clients haven’t started engaging their customers on social sites, they shouldn’t delay. This kind of interaction takes time and resources. If you’re selling social media site management, you should be pitching your services to your time-starved clients.
Currently, 58% of consumers say they typically learn about a product or company through TV or radio ads. Not far behind, social media stands at 55%. And word-of-mouth comes in at 50%. Marketers should know that, for younger generations, social media ranks first as a discovery tool. And in the next three years, social media will likely be the most popular way for consumers to find new companies, products and services.
How Your Clients Can Increase Engagement Through Social Channels
Social media makes personalized interaction possible, and consumers know it. 64% of Gen Z consumers expect this kind of interaction. And 52% of these younger consumers expect brands to “read and analyze” what they post on social media. Once they share their personal information, 38% of consumers say it is ‘absolutely essential’ for brands to responsibly use their data.
Help your clients understand which social sites have the most influence over their target audience members. Check out the Digital Audit, from AdMall by SalesFuel. You can share the data to start a conversation about the growing power of social media and position your digital marketing services as the way for your clients to reach their goals.