If your marketing strategy still doesn’t include a social media angle the time to start looking to incorporate one is now. Search through Google and other search engines still drives a large percentage of traffic, but the new users – the ones who will have buying power soon – are using social media sites to discover new websites more and more.
How social media is replacing search
To give a real life example, I frequently log into my Facebook and Twitter accounts to find interesting stories to read. You may say that I’m half interested in the lives of my friends and contacts, and the other half of me is interested in the content, and websites, that they are sharing with me in my feeds.
To give you more solid numbers than my own approximation, a study from Forrester found that 50% of internet users ages 18 to 23 used social networks as their primary means of discovering websites. If your target age range is higher that is no reason to ignore this stat as 43% of users ages 24 to 32 also used social media as their go to source for finding websites and content online.
Looking at a big picture of all users online, the numbers are 33% of Americans find the next website they will visit through social media. The trend is on the upswing as well, the number back in 2010 was 18% using social for search.
A look at the practicalities of social media being used as the new search
Web users are becoming increasingly tired of searching endlessly for the content they want. An easy way for them to find new content is to see what their friends already like. You have friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter for the very fact that you want to learn more about what they like, and because you share interests.
Social media will continue to grow in importance over search engines as people share, like, tweet, and comment on, the content and websites they find interesting. Your website can get in on this if you incorporate social media into your marketing plan.
How you can use social media to further your marketing and increase your online presence
Using social media to increase your online presence doesn’t start and stop with starting a Facebook page or Twitter account. It must incorporate a complete approach. The basics you will want to do, depending on what accounts you have are:
- include widgets on all blog posts that allow for easy social shares
- place links to social media sites in your email newsletters
- your website should have a header or footer with your social site links in them
- share content over your social media sites to get the attention of your followers
- your accounts, all of the ones you choose to use, must be regularly active
These 5 points should be key aspects of how you look to utilize social media as part of your search, and as part of your effort to increase your online presence. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go on Facebook and see if anyone has posted anything good to read!