What a Social Media Presence Means to Businesses in 2023
Chances are if you’re reading this post, you also have at least one social media account. According to a January 2023 report, approximately 59% of people on Earth have some form of social media. And as high a percentage as that may seem, this figure is actually misleadingly low. When considering only people over the age of 13, that number climbs to nearly 75%.
Whether you choose to spend your time on one of the more established social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, or on a less mainstream platform, you’ve probably come across business profiles in your feed. Indeed, the growing presence of businesses on these platforms can’t be ignored. Utilized strategically, social media presents a land of opportunity for companies and entrepreneurs.
DataReportal found that, as of this January, the average person spends two and a half hours on social media each day. While psychologists, neurologists, and sociologists may advise that people spend less time on social media, marketers and business owners recognize how central online communities are to our decision-making. When interpreted and leveraged accurately, consumers’ hours on social media can become a powerful part of your business efforts.
Understanding just what an active social media presence can do for your business can allow you to effectively harness the power of online spaces for growth. On the other hand, if you approach social media with unrealistic expectations, you’re setting yourself up for wasted effort and frustration.
To make the most of your online presence, let’s take a look at some fundamental aspects of social media management and discuss what they can and can’t do for your business in 2023.
Connecting with Your Audience
As we mentioned above, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are the top four most used platforms, but they are certainly not the only ones. While there are too many to mention here, some of the other most popular are Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Reddit. With recent updates to its structure and algorithm, YouTube largely functions as a social media app as well.
While many social media platforms have similar features — especially with many of them attempting to introduce TikTok-esque elements over the last two years — each has a distinct function and audience. When used correctly, every platform can bring in new potential customers. On the flip side, failing to recognize the unique mood and tone of each will hamstring your online marketing efforts.
What Social Media Platforms Can Do
If you know the demographic on each social media platform you use, you can ensure that you’re putting the right messages in front of the right people. Utilizing a spread of different social media means you can create content and messaging that speaks directly to the people on whom you want to make an impression. Because each platform has a distinct character and user archetype, effective use of multiple platforms can position your message to achieve maximum impact for each group.
What Social Media Platforms Can’t Do
No matter which platform you’re on, though, they can’t compensate for inadequate content. Some marketers attempt to establish a presence on as many apps as possible to cast the widest possible net. While this may seem like an appealing strategy at first, there are a number of reasons why this is not an effective strategy.
One of the most important of these is inefficiency. Creating a piece of content and then sharing it through multiple channels may seem efficient at first, but effective marketing is not just about spreading as many posts as possible; it’s about creating quality connections and leads that can translate into business for your company. Spending time and resources on un-optimized content takes away from other, more worthwhile efforts.
While there is certainty crossover between users of many popular platforms, users open each app for different reasons and with a different set of expectations. If your content is not medium-appropriate, it will be ineffective at best and can even damage people’s opinion of your brand. As such, it’s usually better to start with a few key platforms that best represent your audience, then create robust content plans for each.
Driving Traffic to Landing Pages
Unless you’re an influencer whose main source of income comes from ad revenue, sponsored posts, and brand deals, the primary function of your business’s social media channel is probably to drive customers to another platform where they can make a purchase.
Whether you have a link directory in your account bio or include calls-to-action in your posts and captions, the landing pages you send people to are critical points of interaction between customers and your business.
What Social Media Landing Pages Can Do
When partnered in a smooth, complementary way with your social media strategy, your landing pages can cement the impression you made with your posts and move visitors along to the next step in their journey toward a purchase decision. If someone has clicked on a tweet’s CTA or swiped up from your Instagram story, they’re usually looking for more information.
When the landing page you take them to from these links is thoughtfully crafted, you have the opportunity to show customers that their interest is justified. Whether your goal is to collect emails for future marketing campaigns or prompt them to make an immediate purchase, your web content is your most important chance of turning engagement into business.
What Social Media Landing Pages Can’t Do
Regardless of how well-built they are, landing pages can’t compensate for misleading or unclear social content. If people click on a link based on an expectation that you created in a social post, they will be immediately put off if they are taken to a page or website that doesn’t deliver on those promises. Drawing viewers in with “clickbait” titles or images may work for lowbrow media platforms that rely exclusively on site traffic to drive revenue, but if you have an actual product or service to sell, building trust is essential.
No matter how great your products or services may be, if you want people to be interested in them, you need to have a brand image. You can spend thousands on marketing and advertising and even create genuinely engaging content, but if your brand doesn’t have a clearly defined identity, you won’t be able to make a lasting impression.
Your company’s name, logo, slogan, colors, and voice all shape the way customers perceive your business. Whether you’re a new company trying to carve out a place in the market or an established brand, consistent branding is key.
What Social Media Brand Management Can Do
Your social media presence can help establish and reinforce your company’s identity in customers’ minds. Consistently branded content shows anyone visiting your page what you’re about. As with any other form of marketing communication, effective social media means sticking to your brand’s style guidelines. When done consistently, your social media pages can serve as a powerful introduction to new prospects or reinforce the impression you worked hard to achieve with your other public messaging.
What Social Media Brand Management Can’t Do
While social media branding may be powerful, it can’t turn you into something you’re not. No matter how impressive your font, tone, and color scheme may be, all the branding in the world will not make your product or service successful if it doesn’t offer value to consumers.
Some companies invest a huge amount of time and money into curating their social media presence. Meanwhile, other critical aspects of their business may fall by the wayside, from customer service to product quality. This branding-first approach may help you hit your short-term goals of driving reach and engagement, but your chance of converting viewers to customers drops to virtually zero if you can’t fulfill the promises that your social media pages (implicitly or explicitly) make.
Humanizing Your Company
In recent years, there has been a notable trend in major brands’ social media accounts shifting from slick marketing content to a more casual, approachable tone. Done well, this can be a good way to connect with your audience. But it can also go too far in the other direction.
Some cases of this overly familiar social strategy are more extreme than others, such as Denny’s borderline unhinged Tumblr presence beginning in 2013.
This is obviously not in line with most companies’ desired brand image. But used more appropriately, social media can still go a long way toward humanizing your brand in the public perception. For example, you can use your platform to interact directly with customers and leave them with a positive impression of your brand.
What Humanizing Your Social Presence Can Do
Bringing some authenticity to your social media presence can give you a way to connect with customers on a personal level and cement your place in their minds. Not only is this a great way to differentiate yourself from other, perhaps less engaged competitors in your industry, but it can also influence brand preferences and loyalty.
Especially today, when many consumers are specifically looking for alternatives to faceless, soulless corporations, making your company more human and approachable can do wonders for your overall business. In the most effective cases, customers may start to seek out your social media profiles for information or entertainment and even feel a relationship with your brand.
What Humanizing Your Social Presence Can’t Do
There are many approaches to a humanized brand image, from sharing anecdotes to posting trendy memes and content. But shallow approaches to appear relatable can’t replace authenticity. Whatever your company’s online voice is, there is no substitute for genuine care, and most consumers can smell the difference.
Many companies attempt to curate a fun, relatable social media presence, but ultimately, many fail. The more interactive and informal a marketing initiative is, the more important it is to be able to back up that contrived humanity with authenticity.
Make the Most of Your Online Presence
Social media is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the constant shifts and evolutions for even one platform can be a real challenge. Whether you want to create a compelling, fruitful social media presence or engage with your existing audience on a deeper level, having a team of experts at your disposal is an invaluable resource.
At Joseph Studios, we pair our proprietary Deep Insight® methodology with expert market research, intelligence and analysis, customer profiling, writing, and design to create and implement a strategy to create and capitalize on the relationships your business needs to thrive.
Our team of experts comes from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds, each bringing a unique set of benefits to your business. Want to learn more about how informed, multi-disciplinary organic marketing can transform your company? Schedule a free consultation call with our expert marketers today!