Marketers know they need to continually expand their online practices to stay relevant in today’s competitive industry, but they might be reluctant to reallocate their budgets toward less-familiar channels. Still, there is evidence companies should increasingly consider social media marketing to stay at the top of their target audiences’ minds, as consumers are spending more time every day checking social networks – even more than they spend with their email accounts.
News source eMarketer recently covered data that showed U.S. internet users spend approximately 37 minutes every day logging into their favorite sites. They spend only 33 minutes reading their daily emails. While this seems like a small margin, it represents a fundamental shift in consumers’ behavior.
Social networks are becoming hubs where users can stay in contact with family members and friends while also engaging with their favorite brands. In fact, 87 percent of survey respondents said they have checked their Facebook accounts for communication in the past week.
Brafton recently reported that the social network received 144.5 million unique U.S. visitors during May, pushing the site just outside of the top three ranking domains.
Marketers shouldn’t forego their tried-and-true practices like email marketing. (eMarketer reports consumers use this channel just as often as Facebook for communication.) However, they must press forward with new strategies in anticipation of customers’ shifting preferences.
It’s now more important that companies regularly produce social media content that engages online audiences and stays at the top of news feeds. As internet users spend more time on social sites, branded content will get greater visibility on the platforms and drive more traffic back to companies’ websites.