Social media can wield a lot of power in the right hands if used in the right way – is it working for you? With a few shocking statistics, read on to find out why you could be passing up a huge opportunity if you’re not in the social arena.
In 2014, the number of active social media accounts in the UK increased by 6%, according to a report by We Are Social. Add to this the fact that UK consumers spend an average of 2 hours 13 minutes per day on social networking sites, and you can see that this growing sector can be hugely profitable.
The key to it is in the word growing; there have been many critics who have suggested that, because only very few (about 2%) of internet users say that social media is their preferred method of customer service, that this isn’t an avenue worth considering. However, as we have daily proof provided within the world of eCommerce, ignoring early trends can potentially doom your business.
One very important trend will undoubtedly affect the number of people using social media for customer service, and that is the swift move and growing figures surrounding mobile transactions. In the UK in 2014,
a forecasted 300 billion internet-connected messages
(e.g. Whatsapp) were sent, speaking volumes about the shift towards mobile communication as a default.
The Mobile Factor
There are 75 million mobile phone subscriptions in the UK, and you can bet that most of them have Facebook and Twitter apps installed on them, if not LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat… the list goes on. We are living in an increasingly mobile society, where people like to be able to access whatever information they need on the go and whenever they need it.
This isn’t restricted by age either; just take a look at these figures :
• 91% of UK consumers aged 16-24 have a smartphone
• 90% of UK consumers aged 25-34 have a smartphone
• 83% of UK consumers aged 35-44 have a smartphone
Bearing in mind that the UK average is just 74%, clearly this is a trend that applies to everyone. The main use of mobile in terms of commerce lies with product research;
40% of UK smartphone owners use their phones to look up product information at least once a week
, meaning that the potential for mobile to enhance your customer’s experience is huge. If you can make the product information mobile-friendly it will assist the customer and drive them to the sale.
The Social Secret
Within five minutes of waking, 30% of UK consumers look at their smartphones
, so what does that mean for your social media potential? Well, the beauty of social media is that it is widely app-based; people don’t like to check their Facebook on a webpage layout if they can get the efficiency benefits of an app, given the frequency at which they check it.
The sheer number of website look-ups that this would take per day would waste a huge amount time in the eyes of the user, mostly because the majority of social media posts are reliant on images, so page loading times would be frustratingly slow.
This doesn’t mean that you need to rush to develop an app, but you can take advantage of the apps of social media companies. If you can ensure that your social media touchpoints are up to date, responsive and helpful in terms of posting discounts, promotions and so on, this will encourage people to ‘like’ you and ‘follow’ you so that they don’t miss out. Plus, they’re more likely to come to you via those touchpoints in order to receive a quick response.
This is what you want to happen, you want the consumer to come to you so that they don’t miss out. In the eyes of the consumer, if you are relevant and understanding of their needs, you will create a stronger connection with them, enticing them to return to you.
Make sure you don’t waste this potential; the scope for conversion is too big to ignore, and doing so would only serve to stunt you in the long-term as social continues to flourish.