Nielsen, the leading global information & measurement company, has recently released average times spent on social media*. The average adult spends over 5 hours per week on social media and this forms 22% of the overall time they spend across all media. Revealingly, the time spent is up 36% since Q3 2015.
Surprisingly, the insight shows that the heavy social media user group isn’t Millennials as you might imagine. Generation X (ages 35-49) spends the most time on social media.
There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing fad, however, these figures prove that social media is here to stay and has become part of our DNA.
Social media is a huge opportunity for businesses to keep in touch with their target audience just based on how receptive this audience has become.
Social media is no longer optional, it is an essential component of any marketing plan.
How can businesses harness the power of social media?
One of the biggest benefits of social media is to drive traffic to your website, so post regularly and encourage your colleagues and customers to share within their networks. All this helps your search rankings.
- Learn who the potential brand advocates are. They are the social media users who respond positively to your posts. Gain a greater understanding of them by engaging with them successfully. Encourage them to share within their networks. Incentivise them to give unbiased product/service reviews. Make them feel their contributions are important.
- Actively listen on social media. Use social media tools to monitor what is being said about your brand. Listen carefully and act on the information. Make adjustments to your products and services.
- Research your competitors’ social media sites. Ask yourself how can you offer something unique in your social media persona to a similar target audience?
- Make sure you use language and phrases from popular culture to capture the attention of your busy target audience. Think about who the prominent actors and athletes are.
- Consider running ads to promote a particular product or communicate with a specific audience. Social media ads are relatively inexpensive and segmentable based on demographics such as gender, ages, preferences, location.
- Remember that rich media is a way to portray information quickly in short, entertaining chunks. Video is a great way to grab attention for your brand.
Provide a customer service experience through social media. If a customer asks a question on social media, respond quickly. Companies who deliver on this will win with brand loyalty.
*The Neilson Social Media Report 2016