LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter… social media cannot be considered a fad anymore, but rather a very important component of a company’s online communication strategy. Local SMEs are diving in, each in their own way, and the ones who know how to use them can draw lots of benefits!
In Quebec, about 30% of companies have a social media presence, but very few are able to maximize the marketing potential of these tools. Nothing is worse than opening an account, then letting it remain inactive. Another no-no: neglecting the impact of these very popular networks, to the point of delegating online communications to young interns who do not fully master your content, your image and your “language”. Sharing holiday pictures and restaurant recommendations with friends is one thing, but managing a company’s public relations cannot be improvised! Especially when it comes to your first steps, it is always preferable to request the help of a renowned digital communication expert, who can help define your strategy and assist in planning the launch of your online activities.
A few figures to better understand the use of social media in Quebec:
- 57.9% of Internet users in the 18-44 age group connect to their social media every day.
- YouTube and Facebook, which respectively reach 66.9% and 65.8% of Quebec Internet users, dominate the social platform landscape here. Google+ reaches 35.4% of local Internet users, while only 15% of them are on LinkedIn, 12.1% on Twitter, and 6% on Pinterest.
- Facebook really stands out when it comes to frequency of use: 43.6% of users visit the site every day. As a comparison, its closest rival, Google+, only attracts 17.1% of them daily.
- In 2013, half of Quebec Internet users follow at least one organization, brand, company or personality on social media. This trend has been constantly increasing since the past three years.
Opportunities to capture through social media
Among the benefits, an increase in the number of visitors to your website immediately comes to mind. Social media is also a platform where you can start a direct dialogue with your customers. From a sales point of view, social media can help you qualify your potential customers, and ever better; it provides very precise marketing data, based on the profile of your “fans”.
Many companies hesitate to venture into social media due to a fear of the unknown, even though these marketing strategies can really pay off. For instance, at retailer American Eagle Outfitters, the average shopping cart of Internet users coming via social media is 57% greater than the one from other online shoppers. In the same industry, Levi’s generates 40% of its Web traffic through social media. Companies with a blog generate about 55% more traffic to their Web site, and 61% of shoppers made purchases after reading blog entries. Furthermore, 78% of consumers have a positive image of customer service for companies who invest in social media.
These tools, when well integrated to your marketing plan, have become absolutely essential. All they require is some time for creating content and managing communities. Managing your company’s image on social media is now an integral part of a complete communication plan.
The 2nd part of this “Social Media” feature will discuss some good strategies SMEs can adopt. Don’t miss it!
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