When it comes to social media, are you just trying stuff out and hoping it sticks? Have you signed up to a variety of different social media platforms? (The top five social media platforms are still Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and blogs.) Are you just doing it, signing up because you’re panicked and you feel like you should and you haven’t really thought about why you’re using them?
The big question is: Why are you using social media tools?
You should think through the reasons why you’re using certain media, and then utilize the tools in the context of the best way to build your own brand. Social media is a very personal space and therefore how you use it is a very personal choice.
You need to build a digital legacy and recognize that whatever we do today is going to leave a digital legacy. Whatever you post, whatever you say online, will create what’s called a digital footprint of you and your business. So you need to think about the end game. Now, I’m not saying write a five year plan, but I do think that if you’re going to embark on using social media, then you need to be clear about where you see your brand finishing. You need to have a direct, clear and consistent brand approach in social media, but it should be varied by the type of social media you choose to use.
That digital legacy is out there forever, as you know. Whilst you can evolve it and you can correct or change it, it’s more helpful to your brand, in the short-term, if you start with some idea about where you want to end up in this space.
Now for some statistics:
79 percent of Australians access the internet everyday, and social media use has a tremendous influence on consumer behavior. There are even instances now where people are standing at either a supermarket shelf, looking at a product and pulling up on their mobile app price comparisons across a number of stores to decide whether they’re going to actually buy in the particular store they’re in, or they’re going to go elsewhere; they are looking for the best deal and searching for information about the product before they make the purchase. You’ve got to be cognizant of the fact that people are now actually operating in a multi-media sense when they are purchasing. And, again, that makes it very interesting for us as business people. More stats: 60 percent of people will search multiple times. So, it’s not just a single search; most search four times, and more than 60 percent of people do that four-search plus. Further, more than 38 percent of Australians regularly interact with companies via social networking sites. People want to engage with you in the social media space, and you need to be aware of that and focus your content on the brands from the consumers’ lifestyle point of view.
In my day, when I started in marketing, we used to talk about being in the world of mass communication.
It was all about mass communication: how do we get to the masses? And it was through TV and radio and print. Now we’re talking more about mass collaboration. For me, that’s a really important distinction, and I love that thought of mass collaboration, because in the social media space it’s very collaborative, either between you being you or your brand, and the consumer, or the consumers and each other – and then that community of consumers back to you, very circular, and very collaborative. Consumers have moved from being just consumers of information themselves to actually helping you produce or co-create what your brand is actually saying. Again, it’s a bit of a revolution in the media space and very, very important to your business. So, you need to think about your consumers as also helping you to co-create or produce your content and also to build your brand from that point of view.
On average, businesses are investing about $2,000.00 into social media.
That’s not building their website; rather, that’s doing the advertising side of Facebook, or whatever they choose to do. Now that’s an average, obviously there are people spending nothing or very little, and there are obviously people spending a little bit more than that. In large businesses, people are spending about $80,000 in social media per year, but I daresay these numbers are going to grow significantly in the near future. People are purchasing after researching products via social media. It used to be about looking for convenience; now they’re looking to save money. We have trained consumers. We trained consumers to the fact that if you search enough on the web through a whole lot of different sites, you will find the same product, different ways, at better prices. So, there’s good, better, and best pricing, and people are looking for it, and as I said to a group earlier this week when I spoke on this, that’s fine. You can’t do a whole lot about people buying on price, unless you happen to be the lowest price seller in your market and that’s part of your strategy. What you need to really think about in a market where price is so key is, “How do I turn that and make my service, product, brand more valuable?” That’s not a new thought in the marketing space; price has always been a factor, but it’s much, much more heightened now, because people have become accustomed to the fact that the web facilitates them buying at a better price, and nowadays it’s not just local. Clearly it’s a global phenomena, and you can buy most stuff here that you can buy elsewhere, so people will decide to go offshore to buy through social media or through the web.
Another interesting statistic is that 73 percent of online shoppers are actually at 35-44.
So, whilst any of us who have teenage children know that they’re on websites a lot and they look a lot, they’re not necessarily buying. They do masses of research and they are online, but the people you want, if you’re interested in this group who are buying the most, are 35-44 year olds. There’s also a group now called “Queenagers.” These are the women 45+ who are emanating the sort of activity our teenagers are doing in terms of web-based behaviours, but these women are queen of the household, so they are very powerful in terms of where the dollars sit.
Australia leads the Asia-Pacific region in terms of mobile search.
And after people do a local device search, more than half of them actually call that business. So, you need to make sure that you really are up there in terms of people’s search capability, and you’re in the right social media platforms, and you have the right website, so people who are searching will find you.