Social media in 2016: plenty of things are changing, and we've got answers to all of your burning questions. Keep reading for our insight into the state of social media as we head towards the halfway mark of 2016.
1. Are Millennials are Ditching Facebook?
Millennials are certainly not leaving the world’s biggest Social Media Network. In fact, data compiled by comScore shows that nearly all individuals aged 18-34 with access to the Internet have an active Facebook account. They also spend over two times as many minutes per month on Facebook than with any other social media platform. On average, a millennial will spend 30 minutes or more on Facebook per day.
2. Does It Matter What Time of Day I Post Content?
Unfortunately there is not a time of day that works universally for every business. Factors such as geography, business hours, and target audience influence when posts are most effective.
However, research compiled by CoSchedule Blog reveals dayparts that are most effective for posting to multiple social platforms. Facebook users are most active from noon-1p on the weekend, 3p-4p on Wednesday and 1p-4p on Thursday and Friday. Conversely, Twitter users are most active weekdays from noon-3p. Pinterest users (mainly females active at night) visit the site between 2a-4a and during the evening hours daily.
3. Should My Employees be Active on Social Media?
Your employees are a reflection of your company and its message, and a vital tool to increasing your footprint on social media. A study by TopRank Online Media shows that customers are more than 82% more likely to trust a company when its CEO and employees are active on social media. Their activity reinforces the message of the marketing department. While effective in creating brand recognition and a loyal follower audience, ensure you have a written policy for employees using social media and have trained them on the best practices when engaging with customers.
4. Am I Reaching My Demographics on All Platforms?
Ensuring your marketing budget, as well as your time, is being spent accurately in order to reach your target audience is essential for proper branding. Pew Research Center compiled extensive data, showing the breakdown of the typical users for some of the top social media sites.
Facebook’s core users encompass the majority of US residents regardless of age, location, education level, and ethnicity. Instagram (acquired by Facebook in 2012) has a user demo consisting of mainly Hispanics and African Americans aged 18-29 years old. Pinterest’s demo is made up primarily of young to middle-aged women, with some level of college education and have a household income of upwards of $74,999 annually. Last, Twitter is comprised of mainly young to middle aged adults living in urban locations, typically having earned a college degree.
5. Is My Response Time Meeting My Customers’ Expectations?
According to SocialMedia Today, the largest hurdle facing over 51% of brands is their responsiveness to customer engagement on Social Media.
Large companies are starting to see their Social Media Marketing Teams become overwhelmed with social inquiries, and due to slow response rates, are losing customers to their competition. It’s estimated that 72% of social users expect a response from a brand within an hour. Facebook has begun to label business accounts with “Very Responsive to Messages” in order to highlight brands that embrace a quick turnaround of information requested. In order to be considered “Very Responsive” by that platform, a business must have a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes. Facebook understands how daunting this task can be and offers tools like Away Messages and Instant Replies to assist you. Following suit, 53% of Twitter users also expect a response within an hour, and 72% expect that same response time when issuing a complaint.
6. Is Live Streaming Really That Big of a Deal?
Consumers are moving on from the cookie cutter version of social media engagement. While daily posts and and responsive media are absolutely important, your audience wants more! Live Streaming allows your brand to showcase the day to day offline activities, proving authenticity and providing an unfiltered LIVE glimpse into your business. Successful apps like Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat allow real time streaming access and an invaluable way to connect with your audience in a new and necessary fashion. Facebook has invested in the streaming industry and launched its own version: Facebook Live.
7. How Important is Marketing on Social Mobile Sites?
Mobile access has now surpassed desktop as the primary screen on which social media is consumed nationwide. According to Sprout Social, 81% of Internet Using Adults own a smartphone, with that number certain to rise in the years ahead. Mobile marketing needs to be a priority especially when marketing to the Millennial demographic. 87% of Millennials have said that they are NEVER without their smartphone, while 14% of Millennials refuse to do business with a brand that does not have a mobile site or app.
8. Should I Be Selling on Social?
2016 is shaping up to be the year of E-Commerce on social networks. It appears they have finally figured out the winning solution for driving conversion directly on their individual platforms. Needless to say, there have been some hiccups along the way: the failed Facebook Gifts idea and Twitter’s less than impressive #Amazon Cart.
However, both Facebook and Twitter have learned from these past missteps and have brought direct purchasing through their channels to fruition. They have also allowed other networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube to follow suit and institute their own successful e-commerce strategies. Facebook accounts for 64% of all purchases made on social media.
So there you have it: 8 social media questions for 2016, answered! Now go forth and capitalize on this information by improving your own social media game!