Did you know a staggering one million new people are online every day? Hootsuite and We Are Social’s Digital Trends 2019 Report  uncovered this staggering statistic in an analyses digital trends and use of social media across 230 different countries and territories.
For businesses of all sectors, this phenomenal number of new people heading online every day to carry out various tasks, such as researching and purchasing products and services, presents a wealth of opportunity that can’t be ignored.
The survey uncovered some interesting insight into current internet and social media trends that small businesses should be aware of to ensure they use digital to their full advantage.
2019 Digital Trends
Take a look at some of the key takeaways from the report that small businesses should know about and act upon accordingly.
45% Log onto Their Favorite Social Platforms
Social media continues to be a leading focus of the actions of the one million people who go online every day.
According to Hootsuite’s survey, 45% of the world — nearly 3.5 billion people annually — are logging in to their favorite social platforms .
With so many people using social channels every day, social media presents unmissable opportunities for small business to grow their reach, engage with the right audience and ultimately sell more products or services.
To shed some light on the findings of the Digital Trends 2019 Report, Small Business Trends caught up with Greg Perotto, VP of Global Marketing at Hootsuite.
Perotto reiterated the importance for small businesses to be active on social media.
“The statistics speak for themselves: 45% of the world — almost 3.5 billion people — are regularly logging on to their favorite social platforms. That’s a nearly 9% increase year-over-year. The average person has eight to nine social media accounts with messaging growing at a phenomenal pace — 60 billion messages are sent over WhatsApp alone every day.
“Add to that the fact that 90% of customers express a desire to contact a business through messaging, yet less than half of businesses are equipped to connect via messaging apps, and it is the perfect opportunity for brands. The average person spends 2 hours and 16 minutes a day on social media — that’s one seventh of their waking lives. The reality is, if a business isn’t on social media and messaging, they simply aren’t where their customers are.
“I think the most important things the average business owner can take from Digital 2019, is to understand the absolute importance of social media and messaging apps as a way to engage with customers — after all, both are how customers want to engage with brands as social media has taken on greater prominence in the customer journey, from awareness to advocacy, and messaging increasingly is how people want to connect with brands, ask questions and get support,” Greg Perotto told Small Business Trends.
YouTube Is the Most Active Social Channel With 75% Watching Videos On Mobile
Another interested statistic gathered from the Digital Trends 2019 Report is related to the prolific rise in demand for video content.
The survey found that YouTube is the most active social platform in the U.S.  Furthermore, the way videos are being consumed is also changing, with 75% watching video content from mobile devices.
For small businesses, creating engaging, promotional content for YouTube means they can reach the millions of people turning to YouTube daily to be informed and entertained.
As Greg Perotto explains:
“YouTube is such an exciting platform for discovering and engagement — and truly, one of the great business equalizers. 500 hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube. It’s one of the first places consumers go to explore and seek answers to common questions, tapping into un-boxing videos, “how-tos”, and other videos that give them insight into what’s new, what’s coming and what’s in.
“YouTube can bring a product or service alive for customers, in unique and compelling ways, and the cost of entry is extremely low. Every day YouTubers generate billions of views, as people watch millions of hours of content.
“Small businesses can use YouTube for advertising and engagement to drive customers to their website. And of course, any business can create a YouTube channel. Video offers an easy way to connect and engage with target audiences.
“However, small business owners should know creating and maintaining a YouTube channel is a lot more labor intensive than creating an Instagram or Facebook profile. So, it only makes sense for small businesses if producing content is a big part of their DNA and they have the bandwidth and resources to deliver regular content to engage their audiences; otherwise they will be off to the next thing,” Perotto advises.
70% of Internet Users Use Mobile Messaging
Another key digital trend highlighted in the report that small businesses should be aware of so they can capitalize on it, is 70% of internet users are using mobile messaging.
By instantly connecting with customers, clients and prospective customers, instant messaging is increasingly becoming an effective way for businesses to build powerful connections, generate leads and grow their business.
Small Business Trends asked the VP of Global Marketing at Hootsuite his thoughts on how small business owners can capitalize from the mobile messaging phenomenon.
“The top 4 messaging apps globally now count nearly 5 billion monthly active users, and the majority of customers now want to speak with a business directly through messaging. Ultimately it makes them feel more confident about a brand. And as you point out, 70% of people are messaging on mobile.
“It is truly how people — customers — now communicate. A small business can easily capitalize on this reality by setting up relatively inexpensive messaging-bot programs or in-app assistants to handle frequently asked questions, confirm services or sales, and run campaigns. This automation frees up your limited human resources to handle higher value and more complex customer interactions. And you don’t have to be a big business to implement this, my hair salon uses messaging, as does my real estate agent, doctor and contractor.
“For most of us, our phones are our lives, the panic one feels when disconnected is like losing your lifeline to the outside world. To capture and retain the attention of your customers, businesses big and small need to rethink how they engage. That starts by being respectful of customer privacy, while working to create personal 1:1 connections by delivering content that is relevant, interesting and timely to the audience — all while being authentic and genuine to your brand.
“If you’re not engaging with your customers, when they want and where they are — meaning on social and via messaging apps — you run a huge risk of being left behind,” Greg Perotto commented.