Brands are experiencing enormous pressure to get online, embrace and start leveraging the social networks. In the good old days, marketing was just a one-way traffic of transmitting a message from brands to consumers via advertisements, newsletters, and other forms of direct marketing methods. However, the rise of social media has revolutionized the way marketing works. Now, consumers expect to have the ability to communicate with businesses in a much more direct and transparent way.
Most leading social media networks are made available in multiple languages and allowing users to connect with friends or businesses across the globe. They have also become an integral part of people’s lives today.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Instagram and LinkedIn can be high-efficiency platforms that serve as a communication channel for brands to connect with their consumers. At the same time, they also provide brands the opportunity to find out more about their customers in an entirely non-intrusive way.
By itself, social media may not be a strong marketing tool but in combination with existing marketing campaigns, they can be leveraged in many ways so that your marketing goals can be fulfilled. ‘Socialising’ marketing campaigns can prove to be an effective way of reaching new audiences and creating awareness around a brand.
Here are five reasons to integrate social media into your big marketing plan.
Growing Communities in Social Media
Facebook has exceeded 500 million active users – users that spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. LinkedIn has over 75 million members in over 200 countries. Twitter has over 100 million users – tweeting 55 million tweets per day. And the list goes on.
The users on social media platforms are growing at an alarming rate. This trend means that it is important for businesses to be on the social media networks to effectively target their audience because most probably their target audience will be on the social media one way or another. Every opportunity you can increase your visibility is valuable. Your social media networks are just new channels for your brand’s voice and content. Your presence on social media is crucial because it simultaneously makes your brand easier and more accessible for new clients, and also makes your business more familiar and recognizable for existing customers.
Build Strong Relationships
Marketing through social networks is all about the relationship building with your target audience. Maintaining good customer relationships is vital for any business to improve sales and also increase the chance of repeated sales. The long-term goal of relationship building is to create a brand loyalty among your target audience. Social media is a platform that opens doors for companies by changing the face of brand/customer relationships.
There is a growing emphasis on transparency in businesses today, and that means that more and more brands are moving away from one-way marketing messages and concentrating instead on relationship building and resonating with customers. Social media opens up limitless opportunities to engage audiences, and if brands are still not harnessing the power of social media, they will lose out.
Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your clients. It is a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.’
Leverage Social Media Advertising
Other than utilizing social media as a way to open up and make connections with customers, these platforms also create new opportunities for advertising. Just like Google, many social media networks offer their own unique paid advertising.
Facebook, for instance, allows you to create marketing campaigns on their platform, and your brand can gain broad visibility among your target audience through the various campaign and targeting options. Based on a study, Facebook desktop ads have 8.1x higher click-through rates and Facebook mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates more than typical web ads. Meanwhile, Promoted Tweets have shown an average engagement rates of 1-3 percent—much higher than traditional banner ads.
These statistics prove that social media advertising is not just a buzzword anymore. It is a real, tangible driver of leads and sales, and many brands are increasing their social ad spending in recent years.
Create Shareable Content
One of the most important factor to use social platforms is because they allow brands to develop shareable content. The effectiveness of social media derives from its ability to tap into the most intrinsic desire among us which is the desire to share.
People share for different reasons. However, they will only share content that is relevant to them and those that can interest them. Unlike traditional advertising where brands focus more on selling and bringing the marketing message across directly, developing shareable content, or content marketing, concentrates more on creating valuable content that is relevant to the brands, at the same time, able to interest the target audience. In a way, when the target audience shares the content, the content with the subtle marketing message will be shared across their social networks, increasing the virality of the marketing message.
Improved Customer Insights
Social media gives brands an opportunity to gain valuable information about their clients via social listening. For instance, you can monitor user comments or likes to see what others think of your business or content directly. You can then segment your content based on topics and test which kinds of content can generate the most interest — and then produce more of such content to engage your target audience effectively.
Insights from social media also allow brands to measure conversions based on different promotions or campaigns posted on various social media platforms and eventually find a perfect strategy to generate revenue.
The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Social media marketing, when done right, can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more conversions, and it is here to stay. By integrating social media into your marketing strategy, it can make your marketing plan more integrated and effective, helping you better achieve your marketing goals.