People and businesses alike are becoming increasingly aware of how much the digital world is changing. The internet is a powerful and a seemingly endless tool of information that is accessible in a matter of seconds, to anybody that wants it!

The internet isn’t just increasing browsing options for consumers, but it is giving businesses the opportunity to actively engage with their audience. The exposure and influence this engagement can bring a business is invaluable, it’s a real game changer!

Erik Qualman does yearly videos about Socialnomics and their impacts on our society, here is his 2014 video, and the takeaways from it.

Why Social Media is important for your business

Social media networks are continuing to grow, rapidly! This is showing no signs of stopping either and digital marketers now realise the importance and value of social media, in fact around 86% of marketers stated that social media is important for their business, with 89% stating that increased exposure was the number one benefit. These stats are staggering considering just 4 or 5 years ago the importance of social media was up for debate and wasn’t considered a vital process.

1 in 4 of the world’s population are active on social media platforms, and as these networks are being developed users are finding it easier to engage with some of their favourite brands and develop lasting relationships with businesses. Savvy businesses are truly maximising their efforts online and utilising social media by integrating real time marketing and newsjacking into their strategies! By now you are probably well aware of what newsjacking is, it is a very common on Twitter and brands are using it to actively engage with users in real time! A great example of a brand that has used newsjacking is Oreo, when the power went out in the 2013 super bowl.

Oreos audience response to this tweet was fantastic. Oreo played this perfectly as they got the ad up very quickly and it was relevant to an event that had happened, an event that had millions of people watching worldwide. Oreo acted in the moment and the benefits they received from this were incredible. The amount of users who retweeted and commented had news outlets and people talking for weeks after! If that doesn’t highlight how powerful and beneficial social media can be, then I don’t know what will!

Get your head around these crazy facts!

It is widely assumed that the younger demographics are the primary and only users of social media and that the older generation tend to distance themselves from it. If you are a believer of this then you may find it useful to know that 50% of the world’s population is under 30. Okay, so you are a business that targets an older age group, so why bother with social media? Is it worth it? What if I were to tell you that Grandparents are the fastest growing demographic on Twitter? This is a fact, and highlights that more people are adapting to social media, people of all ages. This is a very surprising stat that Erik Qualman, founder of Socialnomics recently discovered. Here are some more of his shocking stats and facts!

53% of millennials would rather lose sense of smell than technology!

This is quite incredible at first glance, but when you think about it, it makes sense. People these days are attached to their mobile devices and other technology, if this was to suddenly be taken away, there would be chaos! People might actually have to write to one another!

More people own a mobile device than a toothbrush.

This is slightly concerning, but it does highlight the power of mobile phones. They can’t clean your teeth, but that seems to be lower down on the agenda!

Every second 2 new members are joining LinkedIn, and the age limit has been lowered to 13!

The growth of this network is amazing, as it is becoming the desired choice of recruitment for many businesses. The age limit highlights how vital LinkedIn is expected to be for recruitment in the future; scanning through paper CVs is a time consuming process for employers, why not use social media to search for potential employees?

The average attention span of a human is 7 seconds… the average attention span of a Goldfish is 8 seconds.

Still reading? This may be hard to take but it is a fact! With so many brands increasing social media and marketing efforts, if you fail to intrigue your customer straight away, they will look elsewhere. Many companies are using vine to take advantage of this, creating 6 second clips to promote a product, rather than a 30 second commercial!

93% of buying decisions are influenced by social media

Have you made a social media profile yet? If not, then maybe this might convince you! Only 14% of consumers trust ads, while 90% trust peer recommendations. Use social media to find out what your customers want, engage with them, create strong relationships and build loyalty! Make sure people are saying the right things about your business!

Can you afford not to engage?

Ultimately we don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, it’s how well we do it. As these factors continue to rise in importance and failure to actively engage and develop relationships online will have devastating effects on your business, allowing competitors to get a jump on you!

It is anticipated that the traditional 4 Ps method of marketing (Product, price, place and promotion) is being replaced by the 4 Cs of digital (creating, curating, connecting and culture). This opens up a whole host of opportunities for businesses, and they need to capitalise on them, or risk being left behind!

Have you had success or wins through social media marketing? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.