Every day, 38 million people in the UK actively use social media and over half of these use their mobiles to do this.
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 as applications such as Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are growing in popularity.
Young adults (ages 18 to 29) are the most likely to use social media – fully 90% do, but usage amongst the over 65’s is increasing dramatically.
In 2016, 35% of all those 65 and older report 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 for small businesses in every sector they 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.
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.
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.
It may help to sit down as a business and answer these 10 key questions:
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.
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.
John Joe McGinley
Glassagh Consulting August 2016
Follow me on twitter @glassaghconsult