Social media is crucial for marketing on the web, and with 75% of social media users claiming to use it in the buying process it’s clear that using these sharing platforms to engage customers and grow your brand is essential in the modern business world. But social media for SEO is a bit of a gray area. It’s clear that it boosts your visibility on the web and grows your business, but many still aren’t sure how to do it right.

Social media and SEO are becoming one and the same as the years go by, but there are some incredible statistics about social media for business that make us think that most companies still aren’t doing it right. Here are just a few.

Only 4% of Fortune 500 Companies engage consumers on Facebook

According to a study done just last year, only 20 out of the Fortune 500 engaged their followers on Facebook. That’s a paltry 4%. People want to hear back from the brands that they follow, and know that their voice matters. On top of it, if you have a brand, people identify with it more if the brand answers their questions, gives them shout outs, or even messages them. Customers expect you to be responsive. The fact that the majority of major companies still don’t do it is cause for alarm.

Consumers ages 55-64 are twice as likely to engage with brands as the 28 and younger crowd

Now that is something that most people didn’t expect. When you think of social media for business, you would think that the first thing in your head would be a young social media user glued to their iPhone or laptop while surfing Facebook or Tumblr, when in reality, those 55-64 are more likely to engage with your brand. It could be because those 55+ have more money, and more vested interest in customer service, or perhaps because it’s something new and exciting for them. Either way, the older crowd is more likely to engage brands, but is usually an afterthought in marketing.

Social drives 5% of traffic, but eats up 11% of marketing budgets

Social media is a good source for web traffic, but its real benefit is the help it gives in growing your brand, expanding your reach, and help boosting your SEO. The discrepancy is in the fact that most don’t know how to use it properly. Many companies focus solely on paid mechanisms for boosting content, when in reality they should be focusing more on shareable content and organic promotion.

53% of consumers want a response within an hour!

If you are a brand on Twitter, then beware. More than half of your constituents are expecting a response within an hour. Your goal as a company should be to provide services above and beyond customer expectations, which is why having a face for Twitter is so highly recommended. Having someone to reply to your customers ASAP is worth every penny.

Social media for business is a crucial but often misunderstood practice. It takes a lot of hard work and time to solidify your presence and do it correctly. These incredible statistics about social and SEO show that companies still have a long way to go before they get it right. Don’t make these critical mistakes, and don’t become a statistic!