7 statistics that prove the importance of social media marketing in business

1. 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social

Social media is a place for discovery and now, it’s nearly as common for consumers to learn about brands or companies on social as it is through TV or radio ads.

55% of consumers learn about brands or companies on social media

Why it’s important

When we look closer at the 55% of consumers who learn about new brands on social, Gen Z and Millennials are especially likely to use social for brand discovery. As the spending power of these digital natives increases, the size of social networks will also continue to grow, reaching over 243 million social network users in the US by 2025. If your brand isn’t poised to capitalize on the growing networks, those consumers are most likely going to discover your competitors first.

2. 68% of consumers agree that social media enables them to interact with brands and companies

While traditional marketing and advertising methods are one-way media, where brands rely on their monologue to win over a consumer, social media empowers dialogue and gives consumers unique opportunities to engage.

Why it’s important

Social offers huge potential for customer engagement, a primary goal for many marketers and a positive influence on customers’ decisions to buy from a brand. Responsive brands that continuously react and engage in two-way communication with consumers are better equipped to serve their customers’ needs, dial up personalization and humanize their content in a way that forges deeper connections with customers.

sprout social smart inbox

3. 43% of consumers increased their social media use to discover new products in the last year

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the physical world and people hunkered down at home, nearly everything shifted to the digital space. Consumer use of social to discover or learn about new products or services increased 43% — a trend that’s expected to continue in the next three years. Just over one-third of consumers also follow and interact with brands more than they did a year ago, and expect that to increase in the future.

how the use of social media has increased and changed over time

Why it’s important

As more people embrace a social-first customer journey, businesses need to prepare forward-looking strategies that place their products and services front and center. Social commerce, another business venture executives are eagerly investing in, does just that, while making it seamless for consumers to go from discovery mode to purchase mode in one place.

4. 78% of consumers are willing to buy from a company after having a positive experience with them on social

Never underestimate the impact of a positive experience with your brand or company on social. Whether that experience is driven by responsive, top-tier customer service, relevant content or just demonstrating an understanding of your customers on an individual level, the business benefits are indisputable.

Why it’s important

Not only does a positive experience encourage a customer to make a purchase from your brand, but they’re also more likely to choose your brand over competitors, recommend your brand to their own network and feel stronger brand loyalty.

stats on creating a positive customer experience on social media

5. 80% of business executives think it’s very important or essential to invest additional resources in social media marketing

Social can make big brands feel welcoming and accessible. On the other side of the spectrum, small businesses can use social to reach larger audiences while also engaging local, loyal followers. But without the right tools and resources to enhance your social presence, explore new creative content and efficiently communicate with audiences at scale, businesses risk falling behind.

Why it’s important

It’s not just executives who think investing in social is critical — 62% of consumers believe brands need a strong social presence to succeed in the long run.

paid performance report in sprout

6. 91% of executives will increase social media marketing budgets in the next 3 years

In past years, securing a budget and resources for social media marketing has been one of the biggest challenges marketers faced. Now, social media marketing budgets are on the rise across the board.

Expected shifts in social media budgets

Why it’s important

Businesses won’t necessarily see a return on their social investments overnight. But if you plant the seeds now, nurture your strategy with data and give your social team the tools to harvest the fruits of their labor, you can reap long-term dividends.

7. 72% of companies use social media data to inform business decisions

According to 72% of executives surveyed, social data is already the top data source used to inform business decisions, even more so than market research. And going forward, 85% agree that social data will be a primary source of business intelligence.

important sources of data, including social media, for company business decisions

Why it’s important

Until recently, businesses were still weren’t using social data to its fullest potential. Finally, we’re seeing this shift, and according to the latest Sprout Social Index™, Edition XVII: Elevate, 90% of marketers agree that social data enables them to stay ahead of their competitors.

The importance of social media in business extends beyond marketing

Businesses of all kinds are finally starting to see social differently — as a full-blown business function that’s much more than a marketing tool. In the next several years, companies will rely more heavily on social data than ever before to inform strategies and business decisions outside of marketing.

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