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7 Business Advantages of Responsive Web Design

By | Bend Oregon Social Media Marketing

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive design is a web design and development technique that creates a site or system that reacts to the size of a user’s screen. Responsive design will optimise a user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and responsive web page, optimised for the device that is accessing it.

There has been a distinct audience shift towards mobile browsing and responsive design represents the simplest way to reach users across multiple devices and ensures a seamless user experience. 2013 has been hailed as the ‘Year of Responsive Design’, and with increasing preference of readers to read news online across multiple devices (i.e. tablets and smartphones), responsive design is becoming increasingly important

Time Magazine has a good example of how responsive design changes to fit the screen:

 

Time web site

 

Increasing your reach to tablet and mobile audiences

Increasing use of the internet and proliferation of web applications on tablet and mobile devices has been the driving force behind this development.  Traditionally users would be re-directed to a device specific site (e.g. mobile), but responsive design means one site can be implemented across devices.

Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year, meaning that responsive design has never been so important for those looking to optimise their online content. Indeed, some Byte9 sites are already experiencing up to 40% traffic from tablet and mobile devices, a strong commercial imperative to accommodate the smaller screen size in a unified design.

Increase sales and conversion rates

Another benefit of responsive design is that the user has an improved site experience as there is no need for redirection, use of standardised Style Sheets (CSS) across devices and unified design approach will also create a consistent look and feel.  Consistent user experience will have a positive impact on your conversion rates as people are familiar with navigation and site or system use across devices.  Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present, i.e. in functionality, performance and consistent look and feel.

Consolidate your analytics and reporting

A single responsive site means that you no longer have to track user journeys, conversion paths, funnels and redirections between your sites. Site analytics tools like Google Analytics are now optimised to handle multiple devices and responsive reporting. All of your tracking and analytics will continue to function and be condensed into a single report, allowing for easier monitoring and analysis.

Increase your visibility in search engines

Responsive Design means you can manage one website with a single set of hypertext links; therefore reducing the time spent maintaining your site. This allows you to focus on link outreach with a consolidated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. SEO campaigns can be time consuming and costly, but by creating a responsive site, all of your efforts can be focussed on a single site, with unified strategy and tactics across devices.

Content is vital in SEO, good quality content which is regularly released improves your search engine ranking page positioning, therefore a further advantage of responsive design is that fewer resources can be wasted in low-level duplication of content across sites, the content need only be applied to a single site, increasing your chances or a higher search engine ranking.

Additionally Google suggest (which Byte9 analytics can confirm) that mobile optimised, responsive sites are featuring prominently in localised search results. This is obviously of huge significance to high street and online retailers, amongst other burgeoning mobile use cases.

Save time and cost on mobile development

A primary benefit of adopting a responsive design is that it takes less time than creating an additional stand-alone mobile site, which has been the traditional approach. Testing across a number of websites also increases your development, support and maintenance overhead. As styles are re-used and optimised by device standardised testing methodologies can also be used.

Save time and cost on site management

Clients will also find it much easier and less time consuming to manage and maintain a single site,  with much less content to manage. Additionally a single administrative interface can easily be optimised, using layout and workflow tools to manage the correct content, or site templates that are being used for different devices. Business logic can be applied such that the overall multi-device experience can be significantly enhanced within a single administration, like Blaze CMS.

Within Blaze CMS, for example, editorial users are marshalled to produce the requisite content, appropriate for each device screen size, therefore maximising the benefit and minimising what can be a huge editorial administrative overhead with separate sites for mobile.

Enhance user’s offline browsing experience

Responsive design allows site owners to deliver quality content to audiences across devices, the offline browsing capabilities of HTML5 mean that sites can be easily accessed ‘on the go’. As HTML5 enabled tablets and smart phones proliferate this will become increasingly important.  Email newsletters, and content contained in hybrid HTML5 web applications will increasingly be consumed on the move and in the absence of an internet connection.

10 Business Advantages of Responsive Web Design

By | Uncategorized

10 Business Advantages of Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design – When a website’s design will seamlessly adjust to fit the user’s device, giving them the highest quality experience of your design and content

Responsive Web Design Services San DiegoThe user is able to easily read and navigate your website without design interfering with usability. A website that is not responsive will usually have usability issues such as links that are not click-able, the text and navigation is too small to read, images taking over the screen, scrolling problems, Not seeing the article headline or intro paragraph etc.

There is more demand for Responsive web design now than ever before! With mobile device sales on the rise, people want to be able to visit your website while they’re “on-the-go.”

Here’s those amazing Business Advantages of Responsive Web Design that will make you want to hire us immediately for Responsive web design services. Let’s start with the most important advantage…

 #1 Higher Ranks in Google (SEO)

Let me say that again, responsive web design means higher rankings in Google search. Let’s face it, you build a website to be found and receive traffic and leads – am I right? Of course. This priority is a MUST for any business owner both small and big businesses can benefit from more website traffic and leads. Now let me explain the magic and how it happens. When your site has one responsive design that scales to fit any device, you don’t need another version of your website that’s built just for mobile devices. With only one strategic URL, you strengthen your SEO. Forget about building separate website designs for tablets, iPhones, desktops, and laptops – that’s now a thing of the past.  Don’t forget to read this Google article. -*Google claims they will rank these responsive web sites higher.

Google will begin ranking mobile-friendly sites higher starting April 21, 2015

Google confirms that Responsive web sites optimized for mobile devices perform better in local search results.

*Update  – 10/6/2015 Forbes has declared millennials are the largest mobile using consumer. This means, there’s more than twice as many millennials as non-millennials using a mobile device to research products and read user reviews while shopping.

*Update 8/6/2015 Confirmed – Better SEO For Page Load Time. Responsive web design helps reduce page load time. Your browser also does not waste precious seconds redirecting to a mobile version.

*Update 5/13/2015 Confirmed – It’s Official  Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop.
“more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”

*Update – 5/6/2015 Confirmed increase of higher Google search engine results. With our mobile-friendly web design, we experienced an increase of website traffic and higher search engine rankings. In addition, we are receiving a higher volume of calls and business.

 

 

#2 Increased Sales and Revenue

Just like I mentioned in #1, the goal is receiving more traffic and leads which flows into increased sales and revenue. Now that we have only one version of the website – that’s responsive, we have successfully eliminated the need to design multiple version of the website. This gives us one single style sheet (CSS) for a consistent feel for the user experience. This means that anyone can comfortably view your website and stay longer, reading comfortably, from any device! The more consistent the user experience  – the more sales you make!

 

#3 Great User Experience

If your website already receives a good amount of traffic and revenue – think about the boost in revenue and traffic you’ll gain once you opt for a responsive design. Your website’s pages and blog posts will all see a rise in organic search traffic. Happy customers using your website leads to more sales and revenue once again!

 

#4 Save time using Google Analytics

If you have multiple versions of your website that you’re tracking in Google Analytics think of all the time and money you can save by condensing it all into one report. That’s right! One responsive website design will cut down on tracking your visitors. Faster monitoring is better than what you’re doing right now. What will you do with all the time you’re going to save?

 

#5 Save money on mobile development

Imagine maintaining one website and not multiple. Yes, with one responsive design it can be that much easier and of course faster making changes and building new pages. Companies could save a significant amount of time and money once again on a responsive web site design. It really is that crucial saving time on design – think of all the time you could put into building campaigns and creating new content for your blog etc. It simply amazes me how powerful a single responsive theme is for business.

 

#6 No more duplicate content penalties

Ut oh- remember all those multiple versions of your website? You know, the one you designed for a tablet and the other smartphone design? Yes, maybe you didn’t know that Google actually penalizes you for having duplicate content. The same articles are duplicated again and again on your website. These penalties make you look spammy to Google and hurt you rankings. The worst thing duplicate content can do is de-index your site. Ouch! Responsive web design comes to your rescue and eliminates the need for duplicate content and banishes it from your website. Google bots come back to inspect your website and you’re back in the safe zone.

managed services in San Diego

 #7  Enhanced offline browsing experience

Most smartphones and tablets are HTML5 enabled, meaning they have offline browsing capabilities. With that, users can read email newsletters in HTML5. Perfect when the user does not have an internet connection.

 

#8 Staying ahead of competition

Responsive web site design is still considered new. A huge majority of websites are not responsive. You could stay ahead of your business competitors simply by switching to a responsive website design. There’s a large amount of website and business owners that are not comfortable investing in this new technology because – it’s new. As you now know, Google plans to give special treatment to websites that have a responsive design (as of April 21st, 2015). You’ll see companies scrambling to hire web designers by the end of 2015 for responsive web design to keep up with the demand of mobile devices.

 

#9 Staying in business

Now that you know the benefits and where this whole responsive website craze is going, you realize you need responsive design. Without it, you are losing customers and money. People are now purchasing more frequently online than in stores. People are online reading product reviews before purchasing a product! Cater to your potential customers and grow your business! If you don’t have a responsive web design, you’re actually losing money and business. You’re losing out on a whole target market that uses their mobile device to shop.

 

#10 the Cool Factor

Looking like a company that’s tech friendly is cool. Who doesn’t want to be cool? If your website is up-to-date and using all the latest and greatest technologies for an overall great user experience, you’re cool. You website does not look “stale” Have you ever been to an “outdated” website with – frames, tons of huge blue links and animated .gifs ? Having a website that looks clean, modern, sleek, and easy to ready builds trust and trust builds revenue.

 

Bonus: #11 Your Website Will Stay Relevant Longer

Have your recently visited a website that looks outdated? You know what I mean, there’s animated .Gifs, Funky site layout, looks like it was build in 2003. Having a “dated” web design can make you look unprofessional. Consumers will consider it a red flag and think twice before entering their personal information. A responsive website design looks great on any device, we recommend all our clients to make this big switch. Why? Data confirms mobile search is here to stay and will continue to grow.

 

Bonus #12 Your responsive website makes it easier for Users to Shop Online

If you’re selling anything on your website, a responsive design makes it super easy and enjoyable for users to browse and shop. I highly recommend using the wordpress plug-in WooCommerce for a responsive online store. Images will properly scale and text descriptions will be easy to ready. How many times have your tried shopping online with your smart phone only to be bothered with zooming and errors? If a user finds it difficult to shop on your website, they’ll quickly leave in frustration.

by | Oct 6, 2015 | Helpful Tech Tips, SEO, Web Design

7 Benefits of responsive web design

By | Uncategorized
Responsive web design is a hot topic nowadays and every company regardless the size and industry is working on their responsive design strategy. Responsive design gives companies opportunity to increase their sales and come closer to their users without significant investments, why, what, how? Let’s start with the obvious – mobile is a center of our personal lives and our business. It’s ridiculous, but now more people in the world own smartphones than toothbrushes. Mobile traffic is exploding and of course every company should make their sites accessible and user friendly on the mobile.

According to Google Mobile Research, “Our Mobile Planet”, only 15% of the Internet users are satisfied with the user experience of the mobile web, while the share of the mobile in the Internet traffic grew at the astonishing rate of 163% since 2010. It’s a mobile era and it’s hard not to be excited about all the possibilities that mobile and responsive design can bring! 40% of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly, it means that you have all the chances to be the best in it among all your competitors, capitalize on it, increase customer loyalty, traffic and gain competitive advantage.Still not convinced? ok, let’s continue, in May 2015, Google announced that more searches take place on mobile devices than on desktop. What does this mean ? It means an increasing number of your target audience will view your website on a small device. That’s why it’s crucial that your website is able to adapt and serve the needs of your users, regardless of what they use : PC, tablet or smartphone. People today expect websites to work on many devices.

WHAT IS RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN

Responsive design is the process of optimizing the layout in a way that all the important information is presented in an optimal viewing way; ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling in any kind of device or screen size. In other words, it ensures that the website is effective and easy to use on any device. This eliminates the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.

BENEFITS OF RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN

1. COST EFFECTIVE

Responsive website design can drastically cut down on development time and cost. Rather than spending the time and resources building a separate mobile website in addition to your traditional desktop website, the responsive design approach enables you to optimize your business for all the devices with a single website. One website costs less than two, and the savings can be substantial.

2. ENSURES A QUALITY USER EXPERIENCE

Browsing a responsive site with a mobile device you don’t have to waste time with zooming, shrinking, and pinching your screen. The site automatically adjusts to your screen size. The simplified reading and navigation drastically improves the usability of your site. For example, According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, there is a 61% chance that users abandon sites that are difficult to use, this means that if they quit you site they will go to your competitor’s site and you may lose the client. Your website is a marketing tool and it’s crucial to optimize it. By providing a quality user experience on all devices, you’re on the right track to keep your visitors satisfied and coming back for more.

3. HIGHER RANKINGS IN GOOGLE SEARCH 

In April, 2015 Google officially claimed that responsive design will affect search rankings on mobile devices. Why it is important for Google? Because google’s mission statement is “ to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”Aug 20, 2015 and this is exactly what responsive design offers: clean and user-friendly layout. All those multiple versions of your website that you may design for a tablet and the other for smartphone and have same articles in these different version can be dangerous in terms of content duplication. You are probably aware of Google penalization if you duplicate the content. The benefit of responsive design is that you will only need to optimize your content for one link. The URL structure remains constant for all your devices. With Responsive design you have one URL that is easy to update and optimize your content which in turn optimizes your content for all devices. Whether it’s a Samsung phone, iPad or desktop responsive web design makes it easy for the Googlecrawl, index, and organize content. By providing a single, dynamic version of your website to both desktop and mobile visitors, you make it easier for search engines to understand and serve your content.Another important reason is loading time; responsive web design helps reduce page load time. Your browser also does not waste precious seconds redirecting to a mobile version. Google has already confirmed that it is using site speed in web search ranking.What is more, as you may know, link building is one of the top tasks for SEO managers and it’s an ongoing and lengthy process to build links from trustworthy sites and when moving to a responsive design website, you can maintain all the backlinks that your original site has. Responsive web design enhances SEO efforts by having all your visitors directed to a single site no matter what device they prefer to use.In SEO you need to know and manage a lot of things that are critical for Google, for example bounce rate. Search engines interpret a high bounce rate to mean the content was not relevant to the user and will decrease your site’s rank accordingly. Responsive design still lets you display relevant content the user is looking for. With responsive design, you keep all the social shares to one site, and when a link to your site is shared, it’s easily readable on any device.All the on-page work; title tags, meta descriptions, etc are saved when using responsive design. If you create a separate site, you’ll have to do the work again and risk something going wrong or missing. Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. Responsive design is critical for SEO.

4. EFFICIENCY

It reduces operational efforts by improving efficiency. One update to the website cascades across all device types, rather than updating separate desktop and mobile websites. If you have multiple versions of your website that you’re tracking in Google analytics think of all the time and money you can save by condensing it all into one report.

5. ON-THE-GO ACESS

With smartphone sales on the rise, people want to be able to visit your website and find what they need easily and fast while they’re “on-the-go” and enjoy this experience rather than freaking out from poor navigation experience.

6. INCREASES SALES AND CONVERSION RATE

Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present, i.e. in functionality, performance and consistent look and feel. Having a website that looks clean, modern, sleek, and easy to ready creates customer satisfaction and builds trust and trust builds revenue. Your responsive website makes it easier for users to Shop Online. If you’re selling anything on your website, a responsive design makes it super easy and enjoyable for users to browse and shop. Images will properly scale and text descriptions will be easy to read. If users will be bored with zooming and errors, if they find it difficult to shop on your website, they’ll quickly leave in frustration. But if you have a responsive design, users will enjoy this digital brand experience and can find what they want in a nice and quickly way. People are buying online and they are using their tablets and smartphones to make those purchases. To get them even more comfortable in doing so responsive design is a must. To give you some statistics, 62% of companies saw increased sales switching to responsive design.For example, WebUndies made the switch to responsive, it translated into a 188% increase in revenue. Not only that, but mobile page views jumped 200% with double the transactions originating from smartphones and tablets.O’Neill Clothing saw one of the most impressive increases after their conversion to mobile-ready. Transactions went up 112.50% on iPhones and 333.33% on Android. Conversions rang in at 65.71% on the iPhone and 407.32% on Android. Total revenue cleared 101.25% on iPhone and 591.42% on Android.As a marketer I really recommend you to start your marketing efforts with doing your web responsive!

7. TIME-TO MARKET

Critical benefit of adopting a responsive design is that it takes less time than creating an additional stand-alone mobile site. Nowadays you need to adapt to the changing trends fast.As you can see, the question is not about “to do or not to do”, the question is about “ how to do it” and my next articles will be about this topic. Stay updated, don’t miss it !

EKATERINA NOVOSELTSEVA – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/author/katia/
2 COMMENTS – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/advantages-of-responsive-web-design/#comments
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/category/user-experience-design/
DESIGN – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/tag/design/
M-COMMERCE –  https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/tag/m-commerce/
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/tag/responsive-web-design/
TRENDS – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/tag/trends/
USER EXPERIENCE – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/tag/user-experience/
UX DESIGN – https://apiumhub.com/tech-blog-barcelona/category/user-experience-design/

4 SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

By | Bend Oregon Social Media Marketing

4 SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

With more people using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet, it has become increasingly important to create a website that works across multiple platforms. After exploding onto the scene in a blaze of glory in early 2012, responsive web design (or RWD) is now firmly established as the best way to create a website mobile visitors love, and has become a central feature of the modern web design landscape. 2013 may have been hailed as “The Year of Responsive Design”, but RWD is far from last year’s news.

In simple terms, responsive design means a website’s pages reformat themselves depending on which device they are being displayed on, ensuring that whether the content is viewed on a phone, tablet, or desktop computer, the website will remain user-friendly. Why has this made such waves in the web industry? This is remarkably different from previous mobile solutions of creating a separate mobile site or a dynamically served mobile site.

But when it comes to SEO, can a responsive layout increase the chances of a website succeeding in the SERPs? (SPOILER ALERT!) The answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why.

Google Loves Responsive

And since Google is the divine being you’re trying to impress with your website, it is wise to pay attention to what Google loves. Google not only recommends RWD as the best way to target mobile users , but also favors mobile-optimized sites when presenting results for searches made on a mobile device. This is especially true when mobile users search for local services.

“Linkbuilding in 2016: New Strategies & Resources”
Join Loren Baker, Founder of SEJ, for tips and techniques in growing (and revolutionizing) your site’s link building strategy – A Free Webinar on November 30th.

There is still some debate surrounding the issue of whether a separate mobile website or a single, responsive site is the best route to take, but from an SEO perspective, the latter is generally the better option. Separate mobile websites have their own URL and different HTML to their desktop counterparts, whereas responsive sites use one URL and one set of pages and files, making it simpler for Google to crawl and index content.

One Website, One URL

Building a separate mobile website does have a few benefits of its own, and in some cases creating a standalone mobile version works well. If a website features a lot of content (a news site, for example), a responsive version of the website could soon become the “scrolling version”, with users having to give their index fingers a serious work out just to navigate through the content. This is where a mobile site, with content which has been carefully refined for mobile browsing, can come in handy.

From an SEO perspective, one of the main challenges posed by having a separate mobile site is that you will need to build the authority of this site from scratch, and most separate mobile sites do not rank well in search engines, as they are canonicalized to their desktop counterparts. On the other hand, redesigning your website as responsive will enable you to maintain your backlinks, and will mean that you can focus your SEO on one single site. This means all of your links will be directed to one domain (as opposed to one mobile website and one desktop site), giving your responsive website a boost in the SERPs.

Furthermore, if you have a responsive website, you can build social shares for just one URL, and when the site does get shared, wherever the link is viewed – whether on a mobile, tablet, or on desktop – all of the content will be clear and easy to navigate.

Responsive Helps Combat a High Bounce Rate

Even if a website is sitting pretty in search results, if it doesn’t work effectively for mobile and tablet users, bounce rate will be a big problem. Mobile websites can suffer from a high bounce rate if the content they offer is too stripped down, or too dissimilar from the content offered on the desktop site. Google will interpret this high bounce rate as a sign that a website isn’t offering relevant content to users, which is likely to lead to a drop in rankings.

A responsively designed site combats this problem by presenting all of the same content found on the desktop site, but in a functional way. RWD means that there is no need to compromise on the content you choose to display, this ensures visitors always receive the information they are looking for – which keeps them on page!

User Experience is Enhanced

Websites are essentially a tool for sharing content.  A user-friendly site makes it easier for visitors to find, absorb, and pass on this content. Above all else, responsive design places an emphasis on designing for the user – and with user experience being a big ranking factor, it makes sense that Google is encouraging developers to embrace RWD.

If visitors are browsing a site via their mobile or tablet, they should be able to view all of its content as easily as desktop users. Say you spot something on a website whilst browsing on your computer, and want to send it to a friend who will view it on their phone. If the website is responsive, and has been designed well, the content will work just as well on their screen as on yours.

Responsive design helps modern websites appeal to modern users; users who are increasingly likely to traverse the internet using a mobile or tablet device, but who still expect their desktop experience to be as smooth as ever. Going responsive is the most effective way to make the most of mobile and tablet traffic, and to offer visitors the best possible user experience.

Hayley Francis
Hayley Francis

Image Credit: Stéphanie Walter, via Wikimedia Commons

Top 5 Advantages of Responsive Web Page Design

By | Uncategorized

There is NO doubt that Responsive Web Design is very important for today’s webdesign point of view.

Smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites. Smartphones and tablets have changed the approach toward design and user experience. Before the spread of mobile devices with advanced web-browsing capability, web designers had only one primary challenge to deal with keeping the same look and feel of their websites. However, interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is not the same as doing that on a desktop computer monitors. Factors such as Click versus Touch, Screen-size, Pixel-resolution, support for Adobe’s Flash technology, optimized markup and many more have become crucial while creating websites with Responsive Design.

If SEO is a core component of your digital marketing strategy, having a mobile–friendly website is becoming essential. Mobile sales have already overtaken desktop sales, and mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. It is only logical that mobile search will overtake desktop search at some point in the near future as well.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach of laying-out and coding a website such that the website provides an optimal viewing experience — ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Smart Device Ready DesignThe designer creating a Responsive Design should ensure that the website’s navigation elements, screen-layouts, text, images, audio/video players and other UI elements re-adjust themselves on a variety of devices. Thus, one need not spend extra time and money in creating and maintaining one “mobile-site version” and another “desktop-site version” of her website.

Now, having understood what is Responsive Web Design, let us Check the advantages and why Responsive Design is important while creating websites.

Advantages of Responsive Design

1. Super Flexible

responsive_1Responsive web design sites are fluid, meaning the content moves freely across all screen resolutions and all devices. Both the grids and the images are fluid. Just as a liquid spreads out or draws in to allow its content to fill an allotted space and retain its appearance, responsive web design’s fluidity achieves the same result with website content on a device screen.

2. Excellent User Experience

UXWhile, content is king and discover ability of content are foremost success metrics, it is the user experience that enables visitors to consume content on any website through the device of their choice and preference, anytime. Thus, responsive web design is about providing the optimal user experience irrespective of whether they use a desktop computer, a smartphone, a tablet or a smart-TV. Responsive web design accommodates the busy professional during the day and the wide-awake college student needing access to your site anytime. No scrolling or resizing is needed for any visitor to access your website from their favorite device.

3. Cost Effective

save-moneyThe advantages of having a single site that conforms to the need of all devices are significant when compared to having two separate websites. One website costs less than two, and the savings can be substantial. Sites designed solely for mobile device traffic don’t offer the advanced navigational techniques found in traditional websites, and they also require the user to maintain two separate web addresses for your site. This is inconvenient for most people and can cause them to check out the competition’s website. Responsive web design enhances SEO efforts by having all your visitors directed to a single site no matter what they prefer to use as a device.

4. It is Recommended By Google

googleWith 67 percent search market share, when Google speaks, search marketers listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.

This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Contrast this with a separate mobile site which has a different URL and different HTML than its desktop counterpart, requiring Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.

Additionally, Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site. Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend on Facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop, which results in that user viewing a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This creates a less than optimal user-experience, and because of the large emphasis Google is now placing on user-experience as a ranking factor, this is essential to take into account with regards to SEO.

5. Very Easy to manage

easy_manageHaving a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage a responsive website has over a separate mobile site. That being said, there are benefits to having a mobile-specific SEO strategy, such as optimizing for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone is on their smartphone. For example, someone performing a mobile search for a local restaurant may be more inclined to use the word “nearby” in their search query. However, a separate mobile site is not a requirement for a mobile SEO strategy, and there’s no reason why mobile-specific keywords can’t be incorporated into a responsive design site as well.

At the end it is your decision, whether you take it or not.

Sabuj Kundu 10th Mar 2014

42 Posts on Social Media Marketing Strategies

By | Bend Oregon Social Media Marketing

42 Posts on Social Media Marketing Strategies

SEO and Social Media has certainly grown together, in which both practices are able to benefit businesses worldwide to be more visible to their target audience by simply applying and merging these two marketing strategies into a single powerful approach.

As trusted by the world’s leading digital marketing publishers:

trusted-by

The links below are all the posts I’ve created that include techniques and strategies to boost a site/brand’s social media marketing campaign:

Guest Posts and Contributions:

Feel free to bookmark or share this page, as I will be continuously update this page for more posts that I’ll be publishing that tackles social media marketing.

You can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

7 Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy

By | Bend Oregon Social Media Marketing

 

social media marketing strategy

Social media was often seen as the wild child of the marketing department—the place where interns started their careers and brands could say random things with little to no repercussions. But times have changed, and the industry has matured.

Yes, social media is still a wonderful place for brands to have a little fun, but it also has a real and measurable impact on a business’ bottom line. Thus, social media can no longer live in a silo; it must be work in tandem with the rest of your business strategy.

To ensure that your social media marketing campaigns contribute to your brand’s greater business objectives, we’ve put together a 7-step guide to coach you through the process. We’ve also incorporated a checklist you can use to make sure you’ve done it all right. Click here to jump right to it.

Step 1: Ensure Social Goals Solve Challenges

Goal setting is a staple of all marketing and business strategies. Social media is no exception. Of course, with a range of social capabilities, it can be difficult to determine exactly what your objectives should be. For guidance, look to the challenges before you.

  • Has website traffic dipped?
  • Is customer loyalty low?
  • Do you need to do a better job of building a positive brand reputation?
  • Do you just need to make people aware that your product exists?

A smart social media marketing campaign can answer each of these questions. Prove your team’s worth by tackling them head on. To get you started, we pulled together a few common business obstacles and social objectives that can help brands overcome them.

Challenge: Low Website Traffic

The world is online. A brand’s website, therefore, is one of its most important marketing tools. Low website traffic can mean fewer customers and lower profits.

To combat this challenge, your social team should focus its goals on creating links directly to the website (whether they’re from your own social posts or influencers’). Link to useful content, subpages and company images to position your website and your brand as a resource rather than just another cog in the corporate wheel. This traffic should increase leads and, in the long run, revenues.

Challenge: Decreasing Customer Retention

According to The Chartered Institute of Marketing, it costs 4 to 10 times more to acquire a customer than to retain one. To keep your customers around, use social as a tool to support, communicate and engage. A good social relationship with your customers should translate into a better perception and offline relationship with your brand. By developing a strong social bond, customers will be more likely to stick with your brand time and time again.

Challenge: Poor Customer Service

People turn to social to engage with businesses. Therefore, it is important for your brand to be ready to help customers on any channel they can contact you through. Arm your social media team with the materials, education and authority to respond to customer questions and issues. When you do so, you’ll be equipped to respond to your customers in a timely and accurate way, regardless of how they reach out to you.

Challenge: Weak Brand Awareness

Social allows you to reach a broad audience. But honing and perfecting that message takes brain power and time. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid a slew of promotional messages; instead, focus on creating meaningful content and a strong brand personality through your social channels. Determine relevant hashtags and industry influencers you can engage with, and tap into those resources to extend your brand’s overall awareness.

Step 2: Extend Efforts Throughout Your Organization

Social has long lived within the marketing department, but that doesn’t mean it can’t (and shouldn’t) have a hand in nearly every business function, from human resources to research and development. To create a fully integrated social media marketing campaign, you’ll need to involve and integrate multiple departments, especially if your goals have a direct impact on them. Work with all your teams to determine how you can best support their goals and what key performance indicators are important to them (we’ve outlined some ideas on both below).

Sales

Social selling is a term that has grown in popularity since the rise of social marketing. By searching for sales opportunities and then engaging in a helpful and authentic manner, social media can be a great way to prime the sales funnel and find new leads.

For example, someone started a LinkedIn chat, asking about social media tools. Sarah Nagel, Sprout’s Community Manager, jumped in to provide insight and offer a recommendation.

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Customer Service

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important channels through which companies interact with their current customers. Social is an easy and very public way for customers to air their grievances with your brand. If you aren’t responding, it can hurt your reputation and customer relationship.

GrubHub is an example of a company that is really succeeding in social customer care.

@kayreimz We’re sorry to hear about the trouble! Can you DM us that order #? We’ll take a look.

By taking the time to engage with a dissatisfied customer, GrubHub was able to turn a negative experience into a favorited Tweet!

Human Resources

While the HR team probably spends a good amount of its time on social media looking through the profiles of applicants, it can also use social as a way to increase overall application numbers. Showcase job postings on social media and encourage your employees to share them to their networks as well. Beyond just job postings, social is a useful tool in showcasing your company culture to the world. Highlight some behind-the-scenes images of what it is like to work for your company so you can improve the perception of your brand among candidates.

Research and Development

Your brand’s social audience represents a group that is highly engaged, invested and interested in your product or service. Why not leverage that to serve as an online focus group for your company? Asking for and listening to customer feedback on social media is a nimble and easy way to get instant feedback. Additionally, social media can help expose gaps in a product or service.

Marketing

The marketing department, specifically advertising and PR, traditionally has a strong role in the social media strategy. But there are always new ways to ensure people are aware of and excited about your brand through social. Whether you’re debuting a product, ad campaign or initiative, ensure that social has a strong hand in spreading the word.

Step 3: Focus on Networks That Add Value

Just because a network has billions of users doesn’t mean it will have a direct contribution to your brand’s objectives. Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, focus your efforts on networks that hold the key to your target audience and objectives.

Each network has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each social media marketer should carefully pick and choose which networks they want to take advantage of. Here are some of the most popular networks as well as what they’re best at.

Facebook

With an audience of 1.23 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers an opportunity to reach a broad range of customers and potential customers. The chart below breaks down Facebook’s demographic representation—your target audience is most likely represented in some way.

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But how can Facebook contribute to your overall goals? Because Facebook’s News Feed is a very visible place for social posts, it’s one of the best places for you to distribute your content in order to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic and distinguish yourself as a thought leader. This strategy is even more effective when you take advantage of Facebook’s targeting capabilities that allow you to tailor your messages to users with certain interests.

Twitter

Where Facebook has the volume of users, Twitter has the volume of messages. In fact, there are over 500 million Tweets sent every day. With all those social messages, there is a great chance that someone is either mentioning your company or starting a conversation that you would be interested in joining.

That’s why Twitter is best to use as a customer service and business development channel. Monitor the network for inbound messages from dissatisfied customers, and quickly turn them into happy interactions. At the same time, look for prospective customers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a robust network of over 332 million users, most of whom frequent the site with a “working” mindset. The advantage with this is that LinkedIn is an amazing network for B2B social media marketers. Whereas sites like Twitter and Facebook catch users more or less on their personal time, LinkedIn gives you access to customers when they’re at their professional best. Use this to build relationships with future customers.

Google+

One of the great things about Google+ is that if you have a strong presence on the site and someone searches for your company through Google, a snippet of your profile will appear on the results page.

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Another great feature of Google+ is the ability to hyper-target your potential customers by Communities. Communities are groups of people who get together to discuss specific topics, so if you can find one that your customers are likely to be in, you can post content there that might interest them.

Step 4: Create Engaging Content

Once you’ve involved the right stakeholders, department and networks, it’s time to start building engaging content for your social channels. This content—whether a video, tip sheet or simple Tweet—should all ladder up into your business objectives. Below are just a few examples of good content for social and how to use that to support your goals.

Videos

  • How-to videos can be a proactive approach to social customer care—answer your customers’ questions before they’re asked.
  • Behind-the-scenes videos give your audience a sense of your company culture and brand personality.

Guides

  • Position your organization as a thought leader and elevate your brand by developing engaging content that speaks to your customers.
  • Guides should cater to your target audience, ensuring you’re actually adding value.

Infographics

  • Internal or external data can be turned into a beautiful, insightful infographic.
  • When done right, infographics can be some of the most socially shared pieces of content, so make them engaging and resourceful.

Get ahead of the game by planning your content in advance, using a social media editorial calendar. We’ve put together this 4-step guide for creating a social media editorial calendar that should help you get started. Sprout also has a full suite of social media publishing features that include the ability to schedule and queue posts.

Step 5: Identify Business Opportunities Through Social

With millions of messages being sent across social channels every day, there is no doubt conversation happening around your brand. Social media monitoring, therefore, should be an essential part of your social media marketing strategy. Below are some ways you can monitor social media to identify larger business opportunities for your brand.

Brand Mentions

People who are mentioning your brand on social are some of the highest quality leads you can drive. They’ve already proved they know your product/service and have an interest in reaching out to you. Engage with them, foster that relationship and potentially create a brand advocate. If the mention was less than positive, use the opportunity to showcase your stellar social customer care and prove that you are listening.

Industry Terms

Think of some of the words you use when discussing your brand, and look out for them on social. By monitoring these terms, you can identify relevant hashtags you should be using, conversations you should be having and influencers with whom you should be engaging.

Competitor Info

Keep a pulse on the competition. Social media can give you insights into your competitors’ marketing plans and help you identify gaps in your product or service.

Step 6: Engage Instead of Ignore

We can’t say it enough: Whether someone is commenting on a post you’ve made, writing on your wall or mentioning you on Twitter, it’s important to always stay engaged. Shockingly, our social study shows that 5 in 6 messages on social requiring response are not answered by brands. If customers are consistently ignored, they’ll eventually ditch your brand all together and look for an alternative.

Be sure to respond to customers who have left negative feedback about your brand as well. Too many companies have lost favor with their fans by trying to delete the message and sweep it under the rug.

Here’s an example of how Jimmy John’s social team handled one such situation.

social media marketing strategy example

This was a situation where Jimmy John’s reached out to someone a bit frustrated with the store’s hours and turned it into a positive experience. Taylor even favorited the final tweet from Jimmy John’s!

Step 7: Track, Improve and Market Your Efforts

You won’t be able to really begin analyzing and improving your efforts until you’ve successfully got steps 1-6 operational. This final step is actually a step back, letting you figure out what’s working and what’s not.

Use a Tool to Track Success

Sprout Social was created with social media marketing in mind. Sprout offers a full suite of social media analytics, which help you pinpoint exactly which of your messages perform best. You also can use tools like Google Analytics, which integrates with Sprout, to see which of your posts are driving traffic, conversions and overall revenue.

Build on Success

Once you have a good understanding of which content is driving the most engagement, site visits and conversions, you can use that knowledge to increase your success. Write content and social media posts that are similar to the ones that have worked in the past. This is an ongoing process that will help you hone your unique social voice.

Share Your Success

The last step is to let the company know about the successes you’re finding—especially those who have a stake in the strategy. This allows you to prove the worth of social media and showcase its broader implications across your entire enterprise.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to show off how hard you’ve been working. Need help? Use the checklist below to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row.

Social Media Marketing Checklist

We wanted to give our readers a few resources that they could use moving forward. First, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our own platform which includes robust tools for social media marketing.

Second, we thought that this 7-step social media marketing checklist would be a great way to help all of our readers creating and auditing their own strategies. We encourage you to share it with colleagues or use the embed code to put it on your own site!

social media marketing strategy checklist

by Michael Patterson on March 04, 2015

How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan In 6 Steps

By | Uncategorized

How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan In 6 Steps

So you need to create a social media marketing plan. No easy task, right? Many of us struggle to iron out exactly what that is, let alone how to build one from scratch.

Put simply, every action you take on social networks should be a part of a larger social media marketing strategy. That means every post, reply, like, and comment should all be guided by a plan that’s driving toward business goals. It might sound complicated, but if you take the time to create a comprehensive social media strategy, the rest of your social efforts should follow naturally. Everyone can do this if they approach it correctly.

Learn what a social media marketing plan should include, and follow our six-step plan for creating your own.

What is a social media marketing plan?

A social media marketing plan is the summary of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks. This plan should comprise an audit of where your accounts are today, goals for where you want them to be in the near future, and all the tools you want to use to get there.

In general, the more specific you can get with your plan, the more effective you’ll be in its implementation. Try to keep it concise. Don’t make your social media marketing strategy so lofty and broad that it’s unattainable. The plan will guide your actions, but it will also be a measure by which you determine whether you’re succeeding or failing. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the outset.

Step 1: Create social media objectives and goals

The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to establish the objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these objectives also allows you to quickly react when social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without goals, you have no means of gauging success or proving your social media return on investment (ROI).

These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy, so that your social media efforts drive toward your business objectives. If your social media marketing strategy is shown to support business goals, you’re more likely to get executive buy-in and investment.

Go beyond vanity metrics such as Retweets and Likes. Focus on advanced metrics such as leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rate. For more on this, check out our post 7 Social Media Metrics that Really Matter—and How to Track Them.

You should also use the SMART framework when setting your goals. This means that each objective should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

A Social media marketing plan should have S.M.A.R.T. goals

SMART goal example:

“For Instagram we will share photos that communicate our company culture. We will do this by posting three photos a week. The target for each is at least 30 likes and 5 comments.”

A simple way to start your social media marketing plan is by writing down at least three social media goals. Make sure to ask yourself what the goal will look like when completed, and use that to determine how you will track it.

Step 2: Conduct a social media audit

Prior to creating your social media marketing plan, you need to assess your current social media use and how it’s working. This means figuring out who is currently connecting with you via social, which social media sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to your competitors’.

We’ve created a social media audit template that you can follow for each step of the process:

Social Media Audit Template 1
Social Media Audit Template 2

Once you’ve conducted your audit you should have a clear picture of every social account representing your business, who runs or controls them, and what purpose they serve. This inventory should be maintained regularly, especially as you scale your business.

It should also be evident which accounts need to be updated and which need to be deleted altogether. If your audit uncovers fraudulent accounts—a fake branded Twitter profile, for example—report them. Reporting fraudulent accounts will help ensure that people searching for you online only connect with the accounts you manage.

As part of your social media audit you’ll also want to create mission statements for each network. These one-sentence declarations will help you focus on a very specific goal for Instagram, Facebook, or any other social network. They will guide your actions and help steer you back on track if your efforts begin to lag.

Take the time you need to determine the purpose of every social profile you have. If you can’t figure out its purpose, you should probably delete that profile.

Mission statement example:

“We will use Snapchat to share the lighter side of our company and connect with younger prospect customers.”

Before you can determine which social media networks are right for your business, you first need to know who your audience is and what they want. We’ve created a guide to help you learn which social networks your audience lives on, which tools to use to gather demographic and behavioral data, and how to target the customers you want.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals how to increase social media engagement with better audience research, sharper customer targeting, and Hootsuite’s easy-to-use social media software.

Step 3: Create or improve your social accounts 

Once you’ve finished with your social media audit, it’s time to hone your online presence. Choose which networks best meet your social media goals. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to update and refine them to get the best possible results.

We’ve created a guide on How to Set-up Facebook, Twitter, and Every Other Major Social Network to walk you through that process. Each social network has a unique audience and should be treated differently.

Optimizing profiles for SEO can help generate more web traffic to your online properties. Cross-promoting social accounts can extend the reach of content. In general, social media profiles should be filled out completely, and images and text should be optimized for the social network in question.

For your social media marketing plan make sure your social media profiles like your Facebook bio is complete

Step 4: Get social media inspiration from industry leaders, competitors, clients

Not sure what kinds of content and information will get you the most engagement? For inspiration, look to what others in your industry are sharing and use social media listening to see how you can distinguish yourself from competitors and appeal to prospects they might be missing.

Consumers can also offer social media inspiration, not only through the content that they share but in the way that they phrase their messages. See how your target audience writes Tweets, and strive to mimic that style. Also learn their habits—when they share and why—and use that as a basis for your social media marketing plan.

A final source of social media inspiration is industry leaders. There are giants who do an incredible job of social media marketing, from Red Bull and Taco Bell to KLM Airlines and Tangerine Bank. Companies in every industry imaginable have managed to distinguish themselves through advanced social media strategies. Follow them and learn everything you can. See if they’ve shared any social media advice or insight elsewhere on the web.

Here are a few suggested sources of inspiration in different areas of social media marketing:

  • Content marketing: Unbounce, Virgin
  • Social media customer service: Tangerine, Warby Parker
  • Social media advertising: AirBnB, the American Red Cross
  • Facebook strategy: Coca-Cola, Walmart
  • Google+ strategy: Cadbury, National Geographic
  • Twitter strategy: Charmin, Oreo
  • Instagram strategy: Herschel Supply Co., General Electric

Step 5: Create a content plan and editorial calendar

Having great content to share will be essential to succeeding at social media. Your social media marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation and content curation, as well as an editorial calendar.

Your content marketing plan should answer the following questions:

  • What types of content you intend to post and promote on social media
  • How often you will post content
  • Target audience for each type of content
  • Who will create the content
  • How you will promote the content

Your editorial calendar lists the dates and times you intend to publish blogs, Instagram and Facebook posts, Tweets, and other content you plan to use during your social media campaigns.

Create the calendar and then schedule your messaging in advance rather than updating constantly throughout the day. This gives you the opportunity to work hard on the language and format of these messages rather than writing them on the fly whenever you have time. Be spontaneous with your engagement and customer service rather than your content.

 An example an editorial calendar for a social media marketing plan
An example editorial calendar

Make sure your calendar reflects the mission statement you’ve assigned to each social profile. If the purpose of your LinkedIn account is to generate leads, make sure you are sharing enough lead generation content. You can establish a content matrix that defines what share of your profile is allocated to different types of posts. For example:

  • 50 percent of content will drive back to your blog
  • 25 percent of content will be curated from other sources
  • 20 percent of content will support enterprise goals (selling, lead generation, etc.)
  • five percent of content will be about HR and culture

If you’re unsure of how to allocate your resources, a safe bet is to follow the Social Media Rule of Thirds:

  • One-third of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit
  • One-third of your social content should share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses
  • One-third of your social content should be personal interactions with your audience

Step 6: Test, evaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan 

To find out what adjustments need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should constantly be testing. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. For example, you could:

  • Track the number of clicks your links get on a particular platform using URL shorteners and UTM codes
  • Use Hootsuite’s social media analytics to track the success and reach of social campaigns
  • Track page visits driven by social media with Google Analytics

Record and analyze your successes and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan in response.

Surveys are also a great way to gauge success—online and offline. Ask your social media followers, email list, and website visitors how you’re doing on social media. This direct approach is often very effective. Then ask your offline customers if social media had a role in their purchasing. This insight might prove invaluable when you look for areas to improve. Learn more about how to measure social media ROI for your business.

The most important thing to understand about your social media marketing plan is that it should be constantly changing. As new networks emerge, you may want to add them to your plan. As you attain goals, you will need to set new targets. Unexpected challenges will arise that you need to address. As you scale your business, you might need to add new roles or grow your social presence for different branches or regions.

Rewrite your social media strategy to reflect your latest insights, and make sure your team is aware of what has been updated.

For practical tactics and examples, watch our webinar:

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan

In this 60-minute webinar, we cover simple steps for getting your social media marketing plan together—from setting objectives and goals, to creating a realistic content calendar.

You’ll hear from social media professionals at Vega and the Canadian Medical Association, and learn how to:

  • Set achievable and impactful social media goals
  • Create a content strategy and social media templates for content
  • Track, evaluate, and refine your social media marketing plan for better results

This is an updated version of a post originally published in October 2014. With files from Michael Aynsley.

By Evan LePage

SOCIAL

Marketers seen spending more on paid social media ads: Gartner

By | Bend Oregon Social Media Marketing
Marketers are poised to increase spending on paid advertising on social networks such as Facebook in the next twelve months due to the declining reach of free social marketing, according to a report from research firm Gartner.

Eighty percent of the 123 industry executives surveyed who lead social media marketing initiatives said they would place paid advertising programs on social media within the next twelve months, Gartner said in a statement on Monday.

Of the 80 percent, 42 percent will be starting paid social marketing efforts for the first time, while 38 percent already have such programs in place, according to the report titled “Digital Channel Survey 2016: Social Marketers Expand Tactics for Results.”

The study was based on responses from marketing executives from North American companies across industries including financial services and retail.

Brands use social media to market their products and services but are seeing a decline in the reach and engagement from free marketing tools, such as posts through Facebook pages or Twitter, according to Jay Wilson, research director, social marketing at Gartner.

“Sustained success in social marketing now requires paid advertising,” the report said.

The benefit of paid advertising on social media is that data and measurement metrics can help marketers target their messages to a relevant audience and measure viewer engagement, Wilson said.

The survey did not ask respondents how much they would be spending on such advertising but rather what their priority would be in terms of social media marketing investments.

In addition to paid advertising, marketers are also employing tactics such as letting employees and customers share content in their personal and professional social networks to further expand reach and brand awareness, according to the report.

“Successful social marketers going forward will not just view social as an advertising channel only, but they will find the right balance between paid versus organic and advocacy efforts,” Wilson said.

(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Andrew Hay)

By Malathi Nayak | NEW YORK

47 Superb Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts

By | Bend Oregon Social Media Marketing

Social media use isn’t quite universal—but it’s getting close. 70% of the U.S. population now has at least one social networking profile; more than half use two or more social networks. The number of worldwide social media users is projected to grow from 2.1 billion last year to 2.5 billion by 2018.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/social-media-business-impac.gif.gif

Image credit: The CMO Survey

Image credit: The CMO Survey

And that usage isn’t all selfies and cat videos; both consumer and B2B purchases are influenced by social content. Social media now plays almost as large a role in purchasing decisions as does TV, and 57% of consumers say they’re influenced to think more highly of business after seeing positive comments or praise online.

Still, interesting contradictions remain. Most businesses now use social media for marketing and those efforts are expected to continue to increase, yet many marketers and top executives alike find the business value difficult to quantify.

Here are four key takeaways (among the many possible) from the compilation of social media marketing facts and statistics below:

Social is important today, but even more so tomorrow. 90% of young adults—ages 18 to 29—use social media (compared to just 35% of those over age 65). Fully a third of millennials say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses.

And those media consumption habits are unlikely to change over time, meaning that when the millennials start turning 40, their media usage will look much more like that of today’s millennials than of today’s 40-year-olds.

ROI is still tough to measure. 46% of B2B marketers say they’re not sure whether any social channels have generated revenue for their businesses. Only 13% believe they’ve proved the impact quantitatively—though that may be because just 14% tie social media marketing activities to sales levels.

For all the bashing of “vanity metrics” in social marketing, those likes and shares (“engagement”) remain the most commonly used measure for evaluating social media success. 80% of marketers use these as primary success metric; 56% base social success on website traffic.

Top executives: social media marketing is for thee, but not for me. 84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions. All 100 of the top global brands maintain at least one company YouTube channel, and more than half (27 of 50) of CEOs in top global companies have appeared in a company video.

And yet—only 27% of top companies said their C-level executives were actively engaged in social media last year, down 20% from the peak in 2012. Among the top 100 global brands, just 31 CMOs maintain active Twitter accounts, and only six of those big-brand CMOs have more than 10,000 Twitter followers.

But social media marketing spending will rise anyway. Despite the lack of metrics or executive involvement, the share of overall marketing budgets devoted to social media marketing is expected to increase from about 10% on average today to nearly 25% within the next five years.

That may be because social media isn’t just about lead gen. Social is viewed as the second-most effective digital tactic for customer retention, behind only email. 64% of sales reps say they closed at least one deal in 2014 directly from social media use. And of small business owners who use social media, 92% agree that “social media marketing is important for my business.”

Read more about those findings and more in the almost four dozen superb social media stats and facts below.

10 Stats About Social Media Demographics

1. 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. (Pew Research)

2. 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile. (Statistica)

3. Of the 7.2 billion people on earth, 3 billion have Internet access; 2.1 billion are active on social media; and 1.7 billion use social networks from a mobile device. (Link Humans)

4. The number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018. (Statistica)

5. The average social media user maintains five accounts. (Link Humans)

6. Mothers with children under the age of five are the most active on social media. (Link Humans)

7. 90% of young adults (ages 18 to 29) use social media. 35% of those over age 65 do. (Pew Research Center)

Recommended for YouWebcast, November 8th: How to Hack Sales and Personal Branding

8. Every minute, Reddit users cast more than 18,000 votes; Vine users play more than one million videos; and and Snapchat users share nearly 285,000 snaps. (DR4WARD)

9. The “most important” social networks to teens and young adults (aged 12-24) are now Instagram (32%), Twitter (24%), Facebook (14%), Snapchat (13%) and Tumblr (4%). (Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends)

10. But Snapchat isn’t the best place for marketers (at least not yet). “Philosophically, it is important that Snapchat is a platform built for people and not for brands,” Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, has stated. (V3B Blog)

9 Stats About Social Media Metrics and Measurement

11. Asked how effectively they believe social media is linked to their firm’s marketing strategy, 59.5% of CMOs were neutral or negative, while just 40.5% believed it is linked very or somewhat effectively. 45% said they haven’t been able to show social media’s impact on their companies’ performance at all. A mere 13.2% believe they have proved the impact quantitatively. (MediaPost)

12. 46% of B2B marketers are not sure whether any social channels have generated revenue for their business. (MarketingProfs)

13. However, consumers say that social media plays almost as big a role in purchasing decisions as does television. (Ad Age)

14. 60% of marketers identify “measuring ROI” as one of their top three social media marketing challenges. These are followed by closely related challenges “tying social activities to business outcomes” (50%) and “devloping our social media strategy” (48%). (Simply Measured)

15. Website traffic and “vanity metrics” (friends, followers, “likes”) are the most common metrics marketers use to measure the business impact of social media. Just 14% tie social media to sales levels. (The CMO Survey)

16. “Engagement” (such as likes, shares, etc.) is considered the most important metric for evaluating social media marketing success, with 80% of marketers identifying it as one of the top three metrics. Audience size (61%) and website traffic (56%) round out the top three. (Simply Measured)

17. Businesses of all sizes use engagement and audience size as key social media success metrics. But SMBs are more likely than enterprises to put a priority on website traffic and leads, while enterprises value customer satisfaction and competitive benchmarking more highly. (Simply Measured)

18. The tools most commonly used to measure social media marketing results are the native analytics provided by the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) themselves, at 65%. These are followed by social media management platforms like HootSuite (62%) and web analytics (e.g., Google Analytics) at 59%. Just 22% of businesses use dedicated social media measurement platforms. (Simply Measured)

19. Then again—a recent survey found 46% of CFOs admitted to making important decisions based only on instinct. (CMS Wire)

21 Social Media Marketing and Advertising Stats and Facts

20. The share of marketing budgets spent on social media is expected to more than double over the next five years, from 11% today to 24% by 2020. (The CMO Survey)

21. Another survey predicted the share of overall digital marketing budgets devoted to social media marketing will increase from 9.9% today to 22.5% within five years. (Dazeinfo)

22. Social media advertising revenue will reach $9.8 billion in 2016. (Link Humans)

23. 22% of social media marketing activities are performed by outside agencies. (The CMO Survey)

24. Developing a social media strategy is a more common challenge among small businesses (55%) than enterprises (34%), while securing enough internal resources is a more common problem in larger companies (47%) than in SMBs (33%). (Simply Measured)

25. 33% of millennials identify social media as one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses. Less then 5% of those 55 and older agree. (MarketingSherpa)

26. 74% of salespeople who beat their 2014 quota by 10% or more say they have an excellent understanding about the use of social media for prospecting, nurturing relationships and closing deals. They were over 6x as likely to exceed their quota than sales peers with rudimentary or no social media skills. (Forbes)

27. 64% of sales professionals reported closing at least one deal in 2014 as a direct result of using social media. (Forbes)

28. More than half (52%) of marketers say Facebook is “the most important social network they use to grow and market their business.” LinkedIn came in second place with 21%, followed by Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus. (V3B Blog)

29. 96% of small business owners/marketers use social media marketing, and 92% of those agree or strongly agree with the phrase, “Social media marketing is important for my business.” (Social Media Examiner)

30. The top three goals for SMB social media marketing programs are brand awareness (74%), website traffic (53%), and lead generaiton (41%). (Simply Measured)

31. 61% of startups use social media for marketing. (TNW News)

32. 43% of digital marketers say social media is one of their most effective tactics, but 49% call it one of the most difficult. (TNW News)

33. Social media is viewed as the second-most effective digital marketing tactic for customer retention purposes, behind only email. (TNW News)

34. The three characteristics of brand social media posting most important to consumers, in order, are 1) the brand shares new content; 2) the content is relevant to the brand; and 3) the brand engages with its followers. (SocialTimes)

35. 57% of consumers say they’d be somewhat or very influenced to think more highly of a business after seeing positive comments or praise online, and 16% say they only share positive reviews on social media. (Direct Marketing)

36. And yet–34% of small businesses have no social media presence at all, and 36% of those who do never respond to customer comments online. (Direct Marketing)

37. For 2016, Instagram is the top social channel marketers plan to invest more advertising in (72%), followed by Facebook (61%), Pinterest (41%), Snapchat (36%) and Amazon (34%). (MediaPost)

38. Tumblr has 230 million active monthly users worldwide, and is adding 120,000 new users each day. (Infini Datum)

39. And yet–Tumblr remains one of the least exploited social networks by marketers and also advertisers, of which there are currently only 150(!) as of December 2015. (Our Social Times)

40. The top two uses of Twitter and Facebook by journalists are marketing and promotion of their stories and relationship building. 78% use Twitter for marketing; 74% use Facebook. 62% use Twitter to build relationships. (MediaPost)

7 Stats About Enterprise and Executive Social Media Use

41. Among the top 100 global brands (primarily B2C), YouTube is the most widely adopted social network; all 100 companies maintain at least one YouTube channel. Twitter is the second-most adopted at 98% followed by Facebook (96%), Instagram (a surprise at 85%), Google+ (78%) and Pinterest (67%). (Dazeinfo)

42. Among the top 100 global brands, 42 had CMOs or top-level marketing executives with Twitter accounts, but only 31 of those accounts were active. Even more surprising, only six brands – Apple, GE, HP, Coca-Cola, SAP and IBM – have CMOs with 10,000 or more followers. (MarketingLand)

43. Among the top global brands whose CMOs are not on Twitter (though these brands maintain corporate Twitter accounts) are Google, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Disney, Gillette, H&M, Nike, American Express, Pepsi, and IKEA. (MarketingLand)

44. Within the top 50 companies on the Forbes 500 list, 40 of those CEOS now have an active social media presence, up from just 18 in 2010. (MarketWatch)

45. 54% (27) of the global top 50 CEOs have appeared in a company video. (MarketWatch)

46. Only 27% of companies report C-level executive engagement on social media in late 2015, close to a 20% drop since social media’s peak back in 2012. (iMedia Connection)

47. And yet—84% of CEOs and VPs say they use social media to help make purchasing decisions. (Lenati)

 

Source: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/47-superb-social-media-marketing-stats-facts-01431126#zISKheOsHvphDSy9.99

by Tom Pick