Last updated on January 26, 2018
It would be wise for business owners to take advantage of the fact that there are currently over 2 billion internet users with active social media accounts. And the best way to make the most of such a huge number of potential customers is through creating a social media page. Social media dominates today’s online marketing scene. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or even on Snapchat, more businesses are bridging the gap between customers through opening a network that capitalizes on direct audience interaction.
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There are several advantages that social media services presents to both big and small ventures —from making small, new businesses known to a wider demographic to prompting successful brand promotions.
Just take a look at some of the success stories of small businesses thanks to the help of social media —that alone is a testament to how powerful social networking sites can be. Listed below are additional ways that social media services have mainly influenced the trajectory of digital marketing.
When customers seek a new retail store or restaurant especially while exploring a new location, there are usually two possible courses of action: One, customers ask Google and two, they post a status on social media asking friends for any recommendations. A shop that has generally good reviews but does not have any existing social media page will probably get mentioned, but the lack of online presence may drive away potential leads. On the other hand, if a business that’s relatively new or unfamiliar to the client but has an active social media account pops up on the search results page, there is a higher probability that the referral will turn into a conversion. Why? With the employment of social media services to increase online visibility, customers get to have a preview of what products and services are offered by a particular shop. Giving customers an idea as to what’s in store for them when availing a particular service will likely increase anticipation and consequently leave a more lasting impression.
In addition, the more visits a business social media page receives, the more it will show up in timelines, suggested pages and connections.
In 2015, Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket corporation posted a video ad on YouTube for the holidays. The video tells the story of an elderly man who has been spending Christmas alone for years. His children are all grown up and have each led their own busy lives. As Christmas nears once again, the elderly’s children are notified of their father’s death. Upon rushing to his home, they learn that it was all a deception made by their dad to make them come and visit him.
The video then ends positively, with the old man having a delightful dinner with his family. Edeka’s video went viral in no time. The simple yet very touching concept demonstrated how brands can use social media as a platform for spreading awareness and timely, meaningful messages. Whether it’s through videos, tweets, or hashtags, business owners are now having an easier time spreading brand-related initiatives.
Customers feel more comfortable reaching out to businesses through social media because there are different ways that feedback and inquiries can be sent. In order to share product-related issues and experiences, clients can either give reviews and ratings, comment on a brand’s posts, or send a private message. In return, a business can disseminate surveys through incorporating hashtags, or gain massive responses in minutes just by posting a question in the form of a status update. Several campaigns launched via social media have gained tremendous success, if not publicity via divided opinions. Either way, the continuous, open communication between customers and service providers led to a better understanding of customer sentiments. The result? Business owners now capitalize on the significance of end-user feedback in making smarter decisions for marketing goals.
Social media isn’t only about promotions and attracting a bigger audience. It is also about building credibility and consistency through sharing valuable, brand-related content. Social media services present a wonderful opportunity for business owners to impart knowledge and expertise. Using a highly socially saturated network to share blogs and share insightful information showcases just how much authority a brand has over its own field. Target audience, along with fellow brands, will then see that the business is able to extend its services through delivering helpful tips and initiating discussions for topics relevant to the kind of service it offers.
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Social media services have been proven to be among the most economical and convenient tools for gathering real-time customer data as well as spurring higher levels of client acquisition and retention. But more than expanding customer reach, social media services have also helped unfold several customer backgrounds for the benefit of many businesses. Social media is also a reflection of the customers’ individual identity. It is not enough to reach out and send promotions because brands become more meaningful when business owners take time to discover the who, what, and where behind the population it serves. After all, there is no better way to truly gauge customer behavior than through direct customer feedback. By gaining a better understanding of how a business’ products and services impact a particular audience, there will be more room for building more meaningful and lasting B2C relations.
A business’ social media page can now double as a website. In other words, aside from increasing brand awareness and expanding customer reach, social media functions as a great lead generating tool for businesses too. There are a number of ways that leads can be generated via social media, and these include:
Since a lot of businesses now have social media presence, studying competitor advertising strategies and branding behavior becomes less of a hassle. Competitive analysis allows business owners to reassess current marketing tactics based on how successful or unfavorable a competitor’s promotional efforts have been. Even the behavior of the competitor’s customers can now be observed, and this drops hints on how to carefully pitch products as an alternative option. Not only that, monitoring industry-based keywords to check which terms are being used more often by customers in search queries provide key points for boosting SEO tactics.
Creating a social media account is free and takes less than a minute to complete. Contradictory to printing and distributing dozens of handouts, using expensive billboards, or hiring professionals to advertise products, social media marketing has been helping businesses cut down on advertising costs. Social media for businesses usually requires a dedicated team of individuals to consistently monitor progress and develop strategies that could help boost brand awareness and encourage more audience participation for growth. As such, when marketing tactics are carefully laid out, it could spur higher levels of ROI minus the need to invest a crazy amount of money first to put the entire plan in motion. In the event that a business owner decides to use paid advertising, the start-up fees generally start with budget-friendly amounts, allowing more space to expand finances for future, more expensive types of online advertisement.
Attracting more people to explore a particular brand should not be limited to visiting the social media page alone. A growing social media presence should work hand-in-hand with a business’ existing website. It is a lot more convenient to direct people to visit a website once good rapport has been established through social media. Aside from redirecting page visitors to the business’ website, social media services also allow customers to like, share, and retweet content which then paves the way for a brand to rank higher on search engines.
It is not yet too late for both new and established businesses to reap the long term benefits that social media services can bring. When social media marketing is employed with a solid strategy, more brands can unlock multifaceted opportunities to emerge, influence, and thrive in a digitally-driven market.
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