The impact of social media marketing in the world is enormous. As a digital marketing consultant, I have seen and helped brands grow from nothing to earning millions simply by leveraging digital marketing solutions. One of the cornerstones of digital marketing is social media marketing.
The reason is apparent; there are more than 4.65 billion users worldwide. When I was starting to get into digital marketing, I came across a 2011 Nielsen study that talked about the impact of social media marketing.
Back then, they reported that 60% of consumers looked online to research products. They used multiple online channels, and the ones they most frequently used were social media.
That same study also stated that social media users were more likely to create online product reviews, and at least 3 out of every five social media users create their own reviews for products and services.
The number, however, has increased since then. That same report also stated that consumers prefer consumer-generated reviews and product ratings over other descriptions.
Over the years, social media marketing has gotten so big that all you will hear about in the digital marketing world is how it impacts the current marketing landscape.
If you are reading this article, you most definitely want to know more about social media marketing. Well, you’re in luck. In the following passages, I will give you some statistics that will show the current world impact of social media marketing.
You will also find the pros and cons and the skills you need to look for when working with a social media marketer. So, without further delay, let’s start by talking about the meaning of social media marketing!
What Is The Meaning Of Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing, or SMM, is using social media platforms to broadcast, market, and generate buzz around a personality, brand, company, and other forms of organizations.
It involves creating and publishing content on the respective social media accounts. SMM serves a wide range of purposes. Here is a list of what it’s used for:
- Building brands
- Raising brand awareness
- Engaging audiences
- Generating conversations around brands or specific topics
- Driving site traffic
- Increasing sales
Social media marketing is the best tool to engage with current customers and reach new ones. But that’s not all; social media marketing can help you establish and showcase your brand’s identity, mission, and culture to the public.
So now that you know the meaning of social media marketing, let’s talk about the numbers behind the social media marketing impact you see all around the world!
Numbers That Prove The Massive Impact Of Social Media Marketing
In 2021, Sprout Social worked with The Harris Poll and surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers and 250 business executives about the impact of social media marketing.
The results were, in all honesty, unsurprising. Anyone who uses the internet knows and understands the role social media and SMM play for businesses.
It’s a multifaceted tool that does everything from reaching people and selling products and services to consumers to providing data to companies to create a more personalized customer experience. So the impact of social media marketing is far-reaching.
That insight report from sprout social showed precisely that. I read that report, so you don’t have to; here is what it states. So let’s check out some numbers that portray that importance:
- The report indicated that 89% of businesses that don’t invest in social media marketing are sure to be left behind.
- 62% of the consumers from the report believe that brands without a solid social media presence will fail.
- 91% of the participants say their social media marketing budget will increase in 2022, with over half of the people believing it will grow by 50%.
- 60% of the participants believed investing more resources in SMM would give them a competitive edge.
- The report found that one in four social media users use it to discover, learn, purchase or recommend products, services, or brands.
- One in three social media users from the report suggests that social media would be their preferred way to learn about brands or companies going forward.
- One in every two users used social media or forums for customer reviews.
- 68% of the participants in the survey interact with brands and companies through social media.
- 43% of people in the report use social media to discover products and services.
- 42% use social media to learn about brands, products, and services.
- 36% use social media to buy products, and 33% use it to recommend products and services to friends and family.
- All the businesses participating in the report agree that social media is helping them grow in all aspects. 72% of the companies use it for customer engagement, 68% for sales, 67% for brand awareness, 65% for market insights, 61% for generating leads, and 60% for customer service.
- 90% of businesses believe creating interactive social media experiences is vital for growth. In comparison, 80% of consumers expect brands to have a social presence.
- 67% of the customers in the survey believe that responsive customer service on social media is crucial. At the same time, one in every three users emphasizes the relevance of content.
- 78% of the consumers in the survey said they bought from a brand or company after having a positive experience. In comparison, 77% chose the brand over its competitor, 76% recommended the brand, and 72% increased their spending with the brand.
So that’s the gist of it. The survey shows that social media marketing plays a significant role in business and consumer behavior.
As you can see, the impact is massive, so focusing on social marketing should always be a priority for businesses. So now that you know the importance of social media, you may think about working with a social media marketer or an agency.
Well, these individuals need to possess specific skills that can ensure success. So let’s check out what social media marketing skills you should look for when hiring someone or an agency!
What Skills Are Important For Social Media Marketing?
When hiring digital marketers or agencies, you can look for certifications. However, it can mean naught if they haven’t learned the skills to create highly successful strategies.
From my experience, I have found that the marketer’s body of work speaks more about their ability than any certification. You can use the checklist of skills I used to find and build my social media marketing team; here they are:
- Communication Skills: Make sure they have excellent communication skills. It’s a given that it is the first social media marketing skill for social media is communication. Their job is to represent an organization and engage with its customers.
- Creative: Social media marketers need to be creative. Consumers nowadays are pretty savvy. They won’t hesitate to unfollow a brand if it’s boring, repetitive, or worse, copying someone else. They need to be able to come up with creative content that keeps the audience hooked and engaged.
- Writing Skills: The ability to write is another major social media marketing skill. While many think that videos and images dominate (they do), writing is what holds everything together. It is the glue that makes contents thrive.
- Curation: While content curation is the goal, content curation is the relief that content creators and businesses look for. To dominate social media, you need a steady flow of content, and sometimes it can be tough to create a continuous flow. That’s where content curation skills come in handy. Social media marketers need to know the what, when, and how of sharing content and have impeccable knowledge of content sources and audience preferences.
- Project Management: Social media marketers must be excellent at multitasking. Part of their skills arsenal needs to be project management. Their primary responsibilities as social media marketers are to schedule content, keep track of contacts, and maintain profiles. They will also need to run reports and meet with designers, developers, and writers; they also need to manage the ad budgets, among several other responsibilities. Doing all this would be almost impossible without solid project management skills.
- Curiosity: Social media and the digital landscape are constantly changing. The platforms are always in flux, from new technology and features to new developments in audience behavior. That means social media marketers always have to be curious about new developments and be able to adjust and learn on the fly.
- Marketing Skills: Well, this should be a given, but social media marketers must be good at marketing and understand its basic concepts. You don’t need to look for someone with a marketing certificate. Just get someone with good foundational knowledge about how marketing works and operates.
- Flexibility: As I stated above, The social media landscape is constantly evolving. That’s why one of the most valuable skills a social media marketer must have is flexibility and adaptability. They should be able to quickly adapt and respond to whatever’s happening in their social media environment.
- Strategic: Even though the social media landscape is constantly changing and seems quite fun, there is plenty to do. Without the right strategy to harness the growth potential, it would remain untapped. That’s why you should always look for social media marketers with a natural strategic thinking aptitude.
- Relationship Building: Whether with the audience and customers or with your team members, social media marketers need to be able to build and maintain relationships without fail.
- Community Moderation: Every big brand has a community, and the job of a social media marketer is to ensure they bridge the gap and manage and moderate the community around the brand.
- Analytical: Social media marketing requires strategy, and analytics play a big part in it. Analytical skills come in handy as marketers need to identify, check, track and report on key metrics and make sense of the data to make an informed decision on what to do next.
So those are the absolute must skills for social media marketing. Make sure the social media marketers you work with have these skills.
Now that you’ve read about the skills, we are ready to move on to the next part, which is the social media marketing pros and cons!
What Are The Pros & Cons Of Social Media Marketing?
Like all things in existence, social media marketing has pros and cons. While it is the best tool available, there are some downsides. Here is a table of the pros and cons of social media marketing just for you!
|Pros Of SMM||Cons Of SMM|
|It allows you to reach a larger audience.||It’s a very time-consuming practice for businesses.|
|It allows for direct connections between brands and customers.||There’s always a risk of getting bad publicity.|
|It helps build brand loyalty.||It usually takes a long time to show noticeable growth.|
|It helps monitor consumer feedback.||It has one of the lowest ROIs in online marketing.|
|It can help brands grow at a faster rate than usual.||Different strategies are needed for different platforms and are limited to social media, unlike other digital marketing efforts.|
|Easy access to the paid advertising that’s cheaper than traditional ads.||It doesn’t include all types of people, as different groups use social media differently.|
Build Through Social Media Marketing
So there you go. Those are all the things you need to know about the impact of social media marketing right now. If you’ve made it this far, then you just about know everything from the vital social media marketing skills to the pros and cons of SMM. Hopefully, this will give you the knowledge to make your campaigns even more successful.
You can even drop your questions in the comments below, and I promise I will answer every single one. Make sure you work with the right social media marketer for your brand, as they can be the game changer.
And with that being said, that’s about all I have for you today. I will come back soon with something new about the delightful world of digital marketing. Until then, see ya!