How Your Client's Business Will Succeed Using Social Media

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is using social media now required in order to succeed in business? Increasingly, the answer is yes. However, not all social sites perform equally well for all companies. Your clients will need your help to find their social sweet spot.

Usage Rates

Dr. Barnes, at the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has long studied social media use by businesses. She recently published her findings for 2019.

For businesses listed on the Inc. 500, the social platforms used by sites in 2019 broke out as follows:

  • LinkedIn — 87%
  • Facebook — 82%
  • Twitter — 68%
  • Instagram — 52%
  • YouTube — 42%

It’s worth noting that, in the past two years, two of these social media platforms have seen a decrease in usage rate from Inc. 500 companies —  Twitter dropped from 79% to 68%. However, during the same period, more of them started using Instagram. In 2017, about 38% of businesses used the site, but that number was 52% last year. 

However, when looking at the Fortune 500, researchers found that almost 63% of those businesses use Instagram. They note that for companies engaged in attracting consumer attention, the visual nature of Instagram makes a difference.

Using Social Media to Succeed

LinkedIn and Facebook rule as effective social sites for businesses. While Facebook ads can connect with target audiences, LinkedIn works at another level. Posts by senior executives and sales reps on this site attract attention and can help an organization position itself as a thought leader on a specific topic. This positioning can connect your clients to potential leads.

Businesses are bullish on socials, with 94% believing these formats make great brand-​building tools. And 84% say they also generate leads. However, smaller percentages say that social media is effective (80%) or necessary for success (81%).

Business owners are well aware of the costs associated with a social media marketing campaign, so 40% are concerned about the issue. Similarly, 44% worry that the return on investment isn’t high enough.

Marketing Plans for 2020

As it becomes harder to stand apart from the competition, 53% of business leaders expect to pay for social media ads. Businesses that participated in this study plan to increase spending as follows this year:

  • Website enhancements — 67%
  • Email marketing — 51%
  • Software for tracking customers — 37%
  • Paid ads on social sites — 53%
  • Public relations — 47%
  • Print advertising — 20%

With so many businesses now focusing on social media, you can help clients improve outcomes. Start by running a digital audit on them and show them which social sites their target audiences use. The tool is available at AdMall from SalesFuel.