The phenomenon of social media has ushered in a cultural revolution on an international scale, and it seems that this dynamic has also been transferred to the way in which businesses operate. The intent behind the creation of platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter may have initially been to enable story-telling and interpersonal connections, but they have since evolved to become fundamental marketing tools.
In a digital era, those businesses which understand not only the potential of social media marketing but also how to effectively apply it will ensure that they can keep up with the accelerated pace of digitalization.
Changing Consumer Expectations And Behaviours
It’s important to keep in mind that social media hasn’t just changed the ways in which businesses market their products and services, it has also molded consumer behavior in ways that can be of considerable advantage to businesses.
Social media impacts the lives of its users on a daily basis, and we now expect to be digitally connected to the world around us at all times. Users will therefore be constantly scrolling and browsing through their various social media accounts and exposing themselves to a range of images, messages, concepts and ideas throughout the day.
Inevitably, this means that it will also influence their preferences and decisions when it comes to making purchases. This is an incredibly lucrative opportunity for businesses because the power of social media is that it completely breaks down the physical barriers which traditionally exist between a customer and a brand. In the digital era, you can communicate directly with potential as well as existing customers.
By engaging with them on a personal level, you can really express the personality and ethos of your business – something which usually can’t come across with traditional advertising strategies.
Creating A Positive Buss Around Your Brand
Social media thrives on community, interaction and creating conversations around relevant and interesting topics. As a business, you can really use this to your advantage, first and foremost by launching campaigns that will generate a buzz that extends far beyond your current customer base. And don’t forget to attach a unique hashtag to your campaign, because campaign hashtags regularly become viral – generating even more exposure and leads.
Of course, marketing is a multi-faceted enterprise that consists of multiple steps. Brand engagement is one aspect of a successful marketing scheme, but developing a system where your customers can ask questions and make suggestions is just as important. It just so happens to be that social media platforms make for effective customer service helplines.
Before the advent of social media, the only way customers could get in touch with a business was by typing an email, filling in a lengthy online or paper form, or making a call – a time-consuming and frustrating process.
In the digital era, however, customers can now look up a brand’s social media accounts and comment under their latest posts or send them a private message. It’s a much more productive and convenient solution for either side. A customer is more likely to be noticed by and receive a timely response from one of the brand’s representatives while as a business you will be able to resolve any customer complaints and queries in a timely manner.
Work Within A Flexible Budget
Social media marketing is also quite affordable, especially when compared to a feature in a national magazine or an advertisement on television. Setting up an account and building a following is free of charge, and this means that you can concentrate the bulk of your resources on eye-catching photography and quality videos in order to draw in as much interest as possible.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a multinational corporation with dozens of employees, a small business with a handful of colleagues or even if you’re a sole freelancer – you can reach out to potential customers from all over the world with little to no expenditure.
Many social media platforms also provide paid marketing options, and these certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. If your budget allows for it, then you can take advantage of these paid advertising opportunities, which will enable you to reach out to users based on a number of criteria identifying them as your target audience. This means that you can focus your marketing efforts on those users who are most likely to respond to them, according to their online behaviors, interests and various demographics such as age, profession and country of residence.
The more tailored your marketing strategies are, the greater your chances are of reaching out to your target audiences. Interpreting and analyzing data is everything to a business, and data is one thing that social media provides in abundance. Instagram and Facebook, for example, provide in-depth analytics regarding the demographics of your followers, which campaigns have or haven’t been successful as well as what your customers are most interested in seeing from you.
There’s definitely a huge amount to gain from allocating a significant amount of your advertising budget to digital marketing, and social media platforms in particular. More and more businesses are shifting their attention away from in-print and television towards digital networks, a trend which has also been observed on consumers as they focus less on traditional means of media and entertainment.
Over the years, social media platforms have utterly transformed the marketing and advertising landscape. There’s no doubt that social media has completely revolutionized our lives on a personal level, and it has also had an unprecedented impact on the ways in which businesses approach marketing. Consumer behaviors and expectations have changed as well, with social media erasing the barriers to communication and exposure typically associated with traditional media.
In a digital era online platforms enable businesses to adopt marketing techniques and strategies which are tailored, efficient and personable – making for truly targeted campaigns that generate conversations, interests and leads for your business.