As a society, we are increasingly spending our time online. Being online and connected constantly and shopping online more and more, has led businesses to use social media marketing to target customers who are browsing, tweeting, facebooking and snapchatting. To get the most value out of your social media marketing however, it is important to stay up to date on the latest advertising trends and consumer expectations. So, let’s have a look at which are the leading social media platforms for advertising growth, and which are driving the most sales.
Advertising Growth – Google and Facebook
It’s no surprise that the giants of the internet are also the ones driving advertising growth in 2017. Rising internet use and online advertising go together, and both are on an upward spiral. According to trend reports, brands and businesses spent $73 billion on internet advertising in 2016 as a whole, but specifically more advertising on Google and Facebook ads. How much more? Google ads earned $35 billion in revenue in 2016, which is a leap of 30% from the previous year. Facebook is behind by earning only about $13 billion, but that is a significant hike of 62% from the previous year. This kind of intense growth points towards Facebook’s ad revenues continuing to rise in the next few years. That being said, other online platforms are struggling, as their combined advertising rose only by 9%.
More Purchases – Facebook and Pinterest
The biggest drivers of online purchases are Pinterest and once again, Facebook. Users on either of these platforms are more like to browse, click and buy more than users on other platforms. While advertising on Pinterest hasn’t gone up by a huge rate, it still manages to drive nearly as many sales as Facebook. Both platforms are beating Google when it comes to online sales. Survey reports state that 26% of consumers who clicked on a Facebook ad went ahead and made a purchase. For Pinterest users, that number was slightly lower at 24%. What can we learn here? Simply that it’s worth your while as a business owner to advertise where consumers spend their time online. And consumers are already primed to buy when they are scrolling through aesthetically pleasing images on visual platforms like Pinterest.
In any kind of advertising, be in online or offline, the hardest part is tracking how successful a campaign has been. You want measurable metrics, something tangible. But the type of evidence traditionally gathered is different to what social media marketers want. In today’s connected world, the ultimate indicator of a successful ad campaign is user engagement, as viewed by 56% of social media marketers. 21% put revenue and conversion at the top, while another 15% prioritize increasing brand awareness. All three of these metrics, engagement, conversion and brand boosting, are inter connected. Coming up with three different campaigns to target each metric would be a balanced approach. This way you can track the results to see what worked and what didn’t.
Even if businesses are able to track metrics, they still have a hard time quantifying returns on investment or ROI. On a flip note, 61% of social media marketers picked measuring ROI as the top obstacle to successful social media marketing. 38% named a lack of budget and resources as a challenge. This is interesting, because although social media marketing is not a new concept any longer and can show proven benefits, decision makers can still be hesitant to spend on it. And finally 34% of social media marketers said that their biggest struggle is to tie social media campaigns to tangible business goals.
Standards for customer service are on the rise. In today’s marketplace, the average consumer has everything at their fingertips, literally. Consumers have started expecting more from customer service, such as more easily accessible consumer support, and faster response from brands. Specifically, 60% of consumers are looking for easier access to online support and 54% would like faster responses. It makes sense. If a business is advertising online and selling their wares online, then they should be using social platforms to offer better online support as well. One example of that is allowing consumers to message the business through Facebook Messenger directly, making it possible to resolve the consumer’s concerns in real time.