It can be hard to know where to invest your time and effort in social media. The experts often give conflicting advice and many of the most celebrated examples of success have big budgets and whole teams of people to manage a social media presence. If you’re a tire business owner, how do you separate fact from wishful thinking? More importantly, what’s a practical approach for your business?
If you want to know the truth about social media, Pew Research Center is the best place to go for information. For the past 10 years they’ve been documenting how Americans use social media. If you haven’t heard of them, Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank informing the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.
Social media is here to stay
A November 2016 report released by Pew showed social media is well and truly entrenched in the American life. In 2005, only 5% of American adults used social media. Today it’s nearly 70%. Think about that. The 2013 census reported 242 million adults were living in America. Using that figure as a starting point, it means more than 167 million American adults use social media.
It’s no longer child’s play
Don’t make the mistake of thinking only young people are hanging out on social media. A wide range of the population is using it, with usage by people between the ages of 30 and 64 increasing year on year. Interestingly, high-income earners and people with higher education levels are more likely to use social media.
Facebook is clearly the most popular social channel, by a long shot. According to Pew, 68% of American adults use Facebook, split evenly between men and women. That works out to approximately 114 million users, going by the 2013 census figures.
Not only are most people using Facebook, the majority of them check in every day. Three-quarters of all Facebook users show up at least once a day to see what’s going on in their network.
That equates to 85 million American adults, of all ages, genders and income levels, showing up to Facebook every day. Smart money says some of them are going to buy tires this year.
Is Facebook essential for your tire business?
Does this mean you should rush out and set up a Facebook page? Of course not. It means you should start to give serious thought about whether it makes sense for your business. If you’re already on Facebook, it’s a good time to reevaluate if you’re getting the most from your efforts and if refinements are needed to your approach.
Facebook, like every other social channel, needs to be considered as part of your overall marketing and customer communication strategy. Rushing headlong into an online community with no plan in place is a surefire way to waste a lot of time and money. It’s also a great way to become disillusioned about an opportunity that has as much potential for success as pitfalls for failure.
Next week I’ll weigh in with how to make the most of Facebook, regardless if you’re a small business or running a multi-store operation. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what’s working for you on Facebook and what isn’t. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.