The Importance of Social Media
Social Media, as we now refer to it, has actually been around and fully accessible for barely a decade. In 2006, there both Facebook and Twitter launched to the general public, four years later, Pinterest and Instagram launched.

Some interesting numbers:

  • As of 2016, over 2.34 billion people had a social profile on the web.
  • In the US, 78% of the population had some sort of social media profile.
  • The average American spent 109 minutes per day in 2015 on all forms of social media.
  • At the end of 2015, there were almost 100 different social media platforms worldwide.

If the average person is investing this much time using social media, then it is vital that your organization has a social media presence. There are many social media platforms, almost 100 at the end of 2015, but some dominate the social media ecosystem. Let’s look at four of the best known and used platforms:

  • Facebook, users average an astounding 630 minutes per month.
  • Twitter, users average 171 minutes per month.
  • Pinterest, users average 98 minutes per month.
  • Instagram, users average 21 minutes per month.

And many of these people are on at least two or more of these platforms, so there is a multiplier effect. An effective social media campaign not only reaches those on your social media platform, but it tends to drive them to your website where they can learn more detail about your product or services.

But it is not enough to simply have a social media page, for example, on Facebook, if there is no plan to tie it to your website in a way that is both natural and inviting. There also needs to be a means for visitors to your website to share pages or posts on your site to social media. So, if you have a great article or posting on a subject, they can post it into their social media page and their friends and followers can then follow that link back to your site.

Social Media Tree

The image above of a Social Media Tree is a useful metaphor in thinking about your website and the need to integrate your social media into your site, as appropriate.

Just as a tree, no matter how good the root system, needs branches to bring in nutrients that roots never can, so the branches of social media can bring in different visitors to your site.Perhaps you wrote a blog posting that was shared by someone on Facebook and they shared the link on their timeline with their friends. Or, perhaps, you had a compelling photo that got shared on Instagram or Pinterest with their followers. Or Twitter.

These social media branches are thus feeding new visitors to your site which may then convert and become clients or users of your site.

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.”

What can, and hopefully will, occur is that over time you begin to build what is known as “authority” on the web. What is authority in this context?

Basically, an authority site is one that is viewed by people knowledgeable in your area of business as having very good, very reliable content and information presented in such a way that it is useful to those who may visit your site. And because of this, they want to share it with their friends.

Sites that achieve this will have a steady stream of new visitors that will end up converting into clients and customers.

iPhone Social Media
Pinterest
Twitter
Facebook

In upcoming posts, we will discuss in more detail the various strengths of different social media platforms and how some of our clients are using them on their sites, both to create interest and leads as well as fostering community. The first one we will look at in more detail is Facebook.

Look forward to sharing more with you next week!

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