Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
March 15th, 2017

Can We Finally Stop Doubting the Importance of Social Media to Your Business?

You would think that this would be a closed issue by now, but I still hear clients working with my agency question the importance of social media to their business. If I get no other point across in this entire article, please listen to this; proper use of social media is the most important thing you can be doing for your business in 2017. In fact, it would be hard to imagine a business doing well or even surviving over the next 10 years without embracing it.

Am I being dramatic in an effort to make a point? Not really. The fact is that social media has become the primary way that people in all demographics get their information in 2017. A recently released study by the Pew Research Center found that 70 percent of all Americans use social media to “connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves.” For reference, that number was only 5 percent just over 10 years ago. That is how dramatically social media has changed the way we communicate and interact with the World around us in just 10 years. Think of what the next 10 years will bring and my statement above does not seem so ridiculous anymore.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, but that is just for younger people. My customers are not on there.” You couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the fastest growing users on social media are, are you ready, people 50 years old and above. The growth rate of social media use has cut across all ages, races, income levels and education levels. The facts are, if you are using the Internet at all, chances are you spend time on social media sites.

If you are still with me and agree about the importance of social media, you may be wondering which platforms are the most important. You have likely heard from someone that claims to know that Facebook is dying and isn’t worth the effort anymore. Is that true? What do the facts actually say? The real truth is that Facebook is still by far the largest social media platform without even a close second, and it is STILL growing. That’s right, it’s growing! From 2015-2016 it actually had a higher percentage growth than Pinterest, Instagram, Linked In or Twitter. It is more than twice the size of the next nearest platform, Instagram, which Facebook happens to own. Of the 68 percent of all adult Americans that use Facebook, 75 percent of those are on the platform every day. Between Facebook and Instagram, they absolutely dominate every demographic you can think of. No matter who you sell to, your customers are on these platforms.

I have included the link to the actual Pew Research Center Study below if you would like to pour over the data yourself. If we can agree that these facts are real, what does this mean? Simply, it indicates that the Internet and these social media platforms are where people’s attention is in 2017 and will likely remain for the foreseeable future. As a business owner, the marketing you do should focus on placing your product or service in front of the eyes of your potential customers. In 2017, by a long margin, this is on social media and specifically Facebook. If you are not active on Facebook with your business and learning how to use this platform, you are missing the single biggest opportunity available to grow your business.

How can I be so sure? Because these are not theories or guesses. We use these platforms every day to help our clients grow. This is not intangible data of non-digital marketing options. With social, the data is all there in black and white. Not only that, we see increased business results for those using the platforms.

I am not here to convince anyone. I have been talking about social media and the importance of it for more than five years and it baffles me that some still question the value. My thoughts are, if you feel this way, you are already falling behind. If you continue to ignore where this is going, you will lose. I am not trying to scare anyone or make any predictions. The data is all there. You just have to be willing to be honest about what the data is telling you. I am eager to hear your feedback, criticism, etc.

You can find the full Pew Research Center Report by clicking HERE

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  1. Different strokes for different folks.For me I am not sold on social media advertising. It might work for a consumer product like a plumber, but for window film which is basically a bit of a luxury product I have tried it and for me its a no no.I prefer home improvement magazines or Google advertising as it talk direct to the consumer who is looking for a specific product.
    Leon Levy Klingshield South Africa

  2. Leon,

    I respect your opinion, and maybe things are different in South Africa. However, of you use the targeting tools available to you on the backend of Facebook, you can target interested parties so specifically that those other mediums you spoke of seem generic in comparison. Have you spent any time really digging into all the ways you can target? (Custom audiences, lookalike audiences, targeting people based on preferences that they set, etc.)

    The possibilities are enormous and no other marketing even comes close to the ability to target available on Facebook.

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