As a small business owner, there are many ways to promote your product or brand. One of these ways is free and can have a huge reach in social media. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs we have spoken to recently feel that the effect isn’t worth the effort. It doesn’t matter if we review a photographer’s website or the site of an IT agency, most seem to invest little time in social media efforts or campaigns.
Business owners often wonder about the “ROI of social media”. Social media ROI is one of the most heavily debated topics in the online marketing world. Why? Because measuring the effectiveness of social media marketing efforts isn’t as clear cut as, say, running a Google AdWords campaign. It’s hard to tell how much revenue a Tweet you sent out last week brought in, or if your last Instagram post boosted your bottom line. And judging by the numbers, a lot of businesses are struggling to grasp the financial impact social media marketing is having for them. In a survey from Convince & Convert , 41% of companies said they had no idea whether or not their social media efforts were actually paying off.
The Impact of Social Media on Society
Almost a quarter of the world’s population is now on Facebook. In the USA nearly 80% of all internet users are on this platform. Because social networks feed off interactions among people, they become more powerful as they grow.
Over the last few years, the number of adults using social media has skyrocketed worldwide. Facebook recently reported that it had more than 1.2 billion monthly active users on the site in 2013, according to Reuters. More than 70 million people use Pinterest, while Twitter had more than 200 million active users in 2013. In 2016, according to Malaysian Digital Association, Malaysian spends the average of 18 hours on internet per week and Facebook is on top of the list for social sites accessed by Malaysians. Although many people use these and other social media platforms just to stay in touch with their friends and family, they have a profound impact on many aspects of business and e-commerce.
The Impact of Social Media on E-commerce
To better understand how social media is impacting the ecommerce industry, we analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders.
The companies that embraced the existence of social media are now generating roughly $2.4 million every minute through e-commerce. A large chunk of this revenue comes directly from social media, with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter helping to generate more than $40,000 every 60 seconds.
Social media influencers play their roles too for instance the rising popular instagrammer Asyallie with almost 1 million followers give impact to the companies who endorsed her and not forgetting the ever famous and fashionable Vivy Yusof (with almost 1 million followers too) whom herself represents her own brand; FashionValet and dUCk. The phenomenal of dUCk scarves gave so much impact to her business as it always sold out within five minutes on the website and the website experienced several crashes too. The thing with Vivy, when she starts to wear something, everyone will follow her and makes her a role model. See how effective is the influences on social media.
Steps to Implement an Effective Social Media Strategy
Step 1: Create Realistic Goals and Objectives
Who do you want to attract? Where do you want your social media marketing to take you? These are the questions you have to ask before you begin your venture into social media. Do you want to advertise to married couples with a stable income or are you looking at the college kids who love to party?
Not only do you need to ask questions, but you need to establish goals. You need goals to measure where you started and where you want to be because if you don’t have any goals, you’re just taking shots in the dark and hoping you hit something.
Make these goals realistic and smart. You can’t say you want to get 200 new followers in the next two days because that isn’t realistic. Instead, set monthly or quarterly goals and base them on industry standards. Creating realistic objectives are where it all starts with social media.
Step 2 : Research & Prepare
- Identify social network channels, e.g; social media neighbourhoods, third party influencers, etc
- Scout your competition — If you are looking to rebrand or create social media accounts from scratch, look at the competition around you. Don’t be afraid to scout around and model your profiles after what has been fruitful. Social media listening will help you come up with ideas on, how to be successful and it will also give you ideas on how to be different. Always be aware of what is around you and what is working on social media today.
- Identify Opinion leaders in the group — This is done by targeting activists who frequently offer or are elicited for category-related advice through Self Designation (opinion leader scales*), Key informant, Professional Activity, Digital Trace and Sociometry
- Listen and monitor the tone of the communications online. So any social material we create is the “tone and speak” of online communities.
Step 3: Engage Due Diligence
No social media campaign should be undertaken without due diligence. The community not organisations owns the social channel. Due diligence in social media is to “listen”. Providing a clear insight into “What’s on our minds”; “What’s our emotive triggers”; “How are we speaking — tone and language” ; “Where are we hanging out online — What is the online social neighbourhood?”.
This research and preparation grounds any strategy and recommendations, it is also a process of ongoing analysis to keep up with our society and their thoughts to best serve the right message, the right engagement, at the right time, for maximum viral input.
Step 4. Monitor Blogs and Provide Feedback
- So you can use blogs for ongoing research and, following the conversation threads to track influencers and engage with them as advocates
- Posting feedback, helping your client through training to conduct an ongoing, resource light post back strategy and implementation
- Providing snap-shot tracking reports
- Monitor the activity with access to your own analytics to see where the uptake and successes are to prove:
- Measure the volume of traffic
- Breakout the volume of uptake generated by the social media marketing activity as opposed to the normal traffic
- Measure the impact of the social media marketing activity
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