Just how many people use social media in the UK?

AIM Internet Ltd

As a business owner, you might be wondering why even entertaining that question is important to you. I admit, it’s not immediately obvious.

But allow me to implore you to stop for a minute and take in that in January 2017 the number of active social media users in the UK was 42 million, or 64% of the population.

Yes, that’s correct - 64% of the UK population actively use social media.

As a business owner, that’s a figure you can’t afford to ignore!

It will come as no surprise to you to hear that social media has taken the world by storm.

But did you realise by just how much? The above figure puts it into some sort of perspective. Consequently, social media has also taken the business world by storm too.

It’s no longer just a downtime social activity but an an online conversation which SMEs with growth ambitions need to be a part of.

Wherever they are, small businesses around the world are discovering that social media has the ability to contribute considerably to success and growth.

Whether that’s increasing followers or improving customer engagement, social media is a key part of any digital marketing strategy to help businesses succeed online.

Social media is a bit like PR on steroids.

It is the ‘World of Mouth’. Knowing how many people use social media in the UK should give you some clue as to the importance of making sure your business is not only visible but also active on social networks. Think of it as yet another platform to let people know about you.

Three Words Which Are Key To Succeeding At Social Media Memorise these.

They are the three keys to helping you flourish at social media: know, like, & trust. What do I mean by that? Social media isn’t about the hard sell.

It’s about building relationships with people. It’s a platform for engaging with your prospects and customers in a different way beyond the fabric of traditional company-customer interactions. You need to get people to know you before they can like you, and they need to know and like you before they trust you.

How? You build the relationship by providing value to your social media followers.

That value can take the form of great content which brightens people’s day, exclusive discounts, expert advice or many other things.

Make it useful and relevant for your audience and your followers will engage with you. What’s the benefit to your business?

Ultimately, the more people feel connected to your business, the fewer buying barriers there are. You will have all heard of brand loyalty.

It’s the same thing really. And, brand loyalty first starts with building your brand familiarity. By allowing you to connect with followers, social media empowers you to start building that familiarity sooner than many traditional marketing methods.

By enabling you to build rapport, and eventually trust, you in turn make people people feel secure that you are a brand they can trust.

And, if nearly three quarters of the UK population are actively using social media, can you afford not to implement it as part of your overall strategy? But, how do you do it?

Despite the fact the name “social” might make it feel like a peripheral activity to your main business goals, as with any business endeavour, it deserves to be afforded quality time to strategise and plan. It’s more than just signing up to various networks and adding a profile picture of your logo.

In fact, if you create multiple profiles but then either don’t have the time, resource or inclination to populate them with content, you may as well have not bothered.

Badly managed public profiles don’t create the kind of impressions you want of your business. For each different social media platform that you maintain a presence on, it’s important to remember to really think about how you will deliver great content that’s of value to your followers.

However, it’s equally important to remember to strike a balance between what is realistically achievable with the resources you have. Buoyed by the excitement of the opportunities you now know social media can bring, you may feel like rushing out and getting your company a presence on every platform going.

I would advise you to exercise some prudence, since it’s also worth noting you don’t need to do it all to do it well! It’s better to master one or two platforms, before starting on another and spreading your resources so thin that the resulting delivery is second-rate.

Like many things that help to build brand loyalty, quality reigns over quantity. As with traditional marketing, it’s important you’re targeting your message in the right place.

There are, without question, the most popular networks. But not every social media platform will be right for your target audience.

The power of social media in helping SME’s achieve growth

Hopefully, I’ve given you some valuable insight into the importance of using social media in your business.

Across the Birmingham region, I hear time and again from the companies my digital agency engages with, that the uncertainty over Brexit is currently their main concern. Social media can help you grow your business.

As part of a coherent digital marketing strategy, it can enhance the way you do things, helping you to future-proof your bottom line and make the most of Brexit.

Social media has fantastic potential to generate new leads, open up new sales opportunities and enhance existing ones. If you are a West Midlands based SME and want to use social media to grow your business, ask me about whether you are eligible to access grant funding to help.

Feel free to email me on mike.raybone@aiminternet.co.uk or call on 0870 062 8760.