Just a decade ago, if someone told you that social media would replace most traditional marketing tactics, you probably would have shrugged it off and called it a fad for millennials.
Now, platforms like Pinterest are generating a third of all searches, competing with major search engine Google.
The first major social media platform to emerge was Myspace. Back in 2003, employees of eUniverse saw the potential in something like Friendster, according to the Huffington Post. Just a month after their official launch, they had reached 1 million users. By November of 2006, Myspace beats out Google and Yahoo to be the number one most visited website. However, with the success of Myspace came some negative publicity. Myspace made headlines due to runaway teens who met people through the platform or teens that had ended their life due to cyber-bullying. By 2011, Myspace was up for sale due to the prominence of Facebook and their inability to keep up.
Myspace still has users, there’s even a way to sign up for the platform using your Facebook. Myspace was incredibly successful in paving the way for future social media platforms, launched many musician careers and had the world’s first viral social media star, Chris Crocker, who still makes videos today. Today, we have platforms like Facebook that has over a billion users and LinkedIn that is specific in their intent. Musicians are still being discovered, people now host their own news shows via social networks and businesses are thriving using these platforms in a way that caters to their unique audience.
Some quick fun facts before we talk about how to use social media to generate revenue for your small business.
According to Hootsuite:
• there are currently close to 3 billion people on social media
• 48% of Americans have interacted with a company on social media
• 41% of Americans believe it is important that a company be on social media
• 34% of people in the UK would rather engage with a company via social media rather than visit the location
• Every month 2.5 billion comments are made on Facebook Pages
• 32% of Facebook users engage with brands regularly
• Instagram (owed by Facebook) has the highest per follower engagement rate
• 68% of users engage with brands daily on Instagram
• Instagram users are more likely to click on an ad than other platforms
• 1/3 of all Pinterest users are men
• 1/3 of people prefer Pinterest to Google search
• 93% of Pinners shopped online
We could go on and on about the importance of social media but it is apparent that it is the dominating way to communicate with your audience.
The war between traditional marketing and social media marketing is over and social media has won. Some of the biggest perks of social media is the ability to have a real-time, two-way conversation with clients and potential consumers, the ability to hyper-target your efforts and the real-time analytics. No more posting an article in the newspaper and hoping something comes of it. If something isn’t working on social media, you know instantly and can adjust as needed, making your marketing dollars work smarter for you.
When it comes to generating revenue on social media, there’s a pretty precise formula but it works. The method is jab, jab, punch or give, give, get. How you work this system is up to you and dependent upon your platform but the idea is that one gives content twice and then asks for the sale or mentions a product on the third post.
People come to social media to be entertained. They want to see photos from their friends’ vacation or to share info about their child’s latest accomplishment. No one logs in directly to be sold to. One can get that anywhere. It is so important you entertain your audience often enough that they won’t be annoyed by your promotional posts. In fact, if you’ve delighted them in some capacity, they are more likely to pay attention to your promotional posts.
Whenever possible, redirect fans to your website. The purpose of your website should be to convert users into clients/consumers.
The key to making your social media work for you is to consistently provide value to your audience. Remember that jab, jab, punch method. Social media posts must be consistent and value driven to convert those followers in paying, raving clients.