By John Joe McGinley, ideas and action planning consultant, Glassagh Consulting
No matter how positive or negative you feel towards social media, it would be a sensible exercise for every business regardless of size, or how active or inactive in social media you currently are to consider what social media means for your business.
Every day, millions of people actively use social media and over half of these use their mobiles to do so.
Since January 2016 there has been a 4% growth in active internet users, 6% growth in social media users and 7% increase in mobile users accessing social media.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are here to stay and applications such as Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are growing in popularity.
Young adults (aged 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media (90%), but usage amongst the over 65s is increasing dramatically.
In 2016, 35% of all those 65 and older reported using social media, compared with just 2% in 2005.
Social media is being used across every age group and social demographic as consumers are truly becoming digital.
They use it to stay in touch, plan and promote their lives and, more importantly, small businesses across every sector use it to research and buy.
They also praise and criticise a whole range of products and services, as referrals go viral.
So social media is not going away and every business has to consider how to embrace and use it most effectively as part of their overall business and communications plan.
SOCIAL MEDIA CAN’T BE IGNORED
Do you feel your social media is working for you, or do you feel you are putting in a lot of effort without much return?
This is a problem for many businesses and the root cause is usually because they don’t have a social media plan to help them understand and harness the power of social media for their business?
So it is vital to be prepared and have a plan, regardless of what social media you currently use or intend to adopt in the future.
In far too many businesses, social media is not given the importance it deserves. Sadly, it is often treated as either a hobby or a part-time activity.
In some businesses social media is even considered a chore and given to someone either junior or who has no real interest in making sure it is an integral part of the overall business action plan.
Social media should be an important part of your strategy to drive your business forward. As such, you should define your social media strategic goals.
In simple terms, you need to be clear why you are using social media and the benefits it can provide for your clients and business.
Social media is being used across every age group and social demographic as consumers are truly becoming digital
It may help to sit down as a business and answer these 10 key questions:
- Why are we using social media?
- What social media do our clients use?
- Which clients want us to engage with them in social media?
- What social media is right for our business?
- Which social media will we avoid?
- What social media do our alliances use?
- How can we use social media to generate traffic to our website?
- What messages can we use to educate and enthuse our clients?
- How can we use social media to build a client community?
- Who will be responsible for our social media strategy?
It is important you write these answers down.
If you do, you will start to see that these form the basis and strong foundation of your social media action plan.
In far too many businesses, social media is not given the importance it deserves. Sadly, it is often treated as either a hobby or a part-time activity
Remember, any social media activity in your business should have one ultimate aim in mind: to increase profitability either from existing clients or from new customers.
If this happens, then social media is not a chore or a hobby, but a key part of your business.
About the blogger
John Joe McGinley is passionate and highly motivated marketer and business change consultant with over 29 years’ experience working with businesses helping them with marketing, business change and social media.
After many years working in the UK for major life insurance companies as a business consultant, he has relocated to Ireland with his family and is in the process of establishing his own social media and business change consultancy in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht, Glassagh Consulting.
Follow John Joe on Twitter here.