The world is moving fast, the trends are constantly changing, and who is helping us to keep up with it? Social Media! The revolutionary gift of social media has enabled us to engage in faster & easier communication, even if we are miles apart.
Today, almost everyone is a part of the social media world in some way or the other. This opens a door of opportunities for people or brands who want to reach out to millions of people.
Spending time on the internet is the number one activity that primarily includes surfing through social media platforms. With so much attention given to these platforms, many businesses have integrated social media as a part of their marketing programs.
Earlier to entice customers, and boost brand awareness, many businesses used traditional methods of marketing like pamphlets, advertising on TV, radios, newspapers & hoardings. But in the past two decades, we see a trend of audiences slowly moving to the social media platforms for news & entertainment.
Here if we see from a budget point of view:
- Traditional methods of marketing are costly as compared to digital platforms.
- Even after spending so much money, the reach is very less.
- There is no interaction with the audiences. It’s just a one-way communication.
Social media marketing solves all the problems faced above and helps your business reach the heights of success.
Which platforms can be used for Social Media Marketing?
Importance of Social Media Marketing:
Each of the platforms mentioned above has different types of audiences and reach. You need an effective social media strategy [S1] to pick out the right platform to target your audience with relevant content to increase user engagement. If you select different platforms, to market your business, you have the choice to optimise your content as well.
Let’s say, you sell water purifiers. Water purifiers have a lot of technical lingoes attached to it, and it’s important to inform customers about it. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram can limit the content. But, you wish to use both these platforms, as you have an audience. What’s the solution? So, you can put a high concept-driven post with a small description that will urge the customers to buy the product. If you want the customers to know more about the product, you can attach the link of the website to the post or in the bio. This is how new leads are generated. In this case, you can also use Email marketing for providing in-depth information on the product.
For social media marketing, you don’t need much of an investment. All you need is to set up your business page on the platforms you want, design your content in a way that reaches millions and share it. You also have the option of marketing your business through influencers on social media. Options are many, it’s you who have to decide the route.
Top 10 Reasons Why Businesses need Social Media Marketing:
1. Greater Visibility on Social Media
Let’s say you have put up a hoarding of your product on Western Express Highway, Mumbai. Along with this, you also have a business page on social media platforms with 1000’s of followers. The hoarding can’t be moved. It can only be seen by the bypassers in that area and some of them might not even notice it.
When we talk in terms of social media, your content has the potential to reach not just in our country but in other countries too. The simple share feature on social media can easily bring a lot of eyeballs to the business page. A higher footprint on your social media pages can result in improved search engine rankings. Not only that, but a higher footfall on your social media can also provide you with consumer insights and that can help you in sharing relevant content. Also you should know how to measure your contents ROI marketed by you.
Social media marketing is very important for small businesses with small budgets, trying to make a mark. If they want to shine in the cluster of competition, social media is a great way to get recognition.
2. Generate Website Traffic
For any company, the major goal would be to promote sales, but it’s not that easy. How would you convince potential customers or even your loyal customers to go to the website & check the products? The answer is Social Media Marketing! Host interesting quizzes, contests, offer discounts, attach your website link to the posts, or in the bio which will take them to the website.
For e.g – You host a quiz and to get the final answer, all the participants have to visit the website. To win the quiz, all participants will go to the website, and that might result in a purchase. Thus, an increase in conversion rates.
Another route to generate website traffic is influencer marketing. The growing culture of influencers has influenced many to indulge in a purchase or have a lifestyle like them. The influencer can put your website link on their accounts and tag your social media page. In this marketing, you will have the attention of influencer audiences who are not following you or are not aware of you. This opens a room for new potential customers.
Here’s an example of an NGO who increased their website traffic by using a few sensational words. Dallas Pet Alive is a non Profitable organization for saving the lives of shelter dogs. The organization felt that the lack of online exposure restricted dogs from having a permanent home. So, they renamed the dogs to trending subjects online like Kim Kardashian’s butt. This move built curiosity amongst the viewers and they were tempted to check the website. Along with website traffic, the NGO saw an increase in the number of dog adoptions.
3. Brand Awareness
Having a presence on social media, helps you connect & communicate with your existing audience as well as new audiences. It majorly helps new audiences because they can understand the brand story and what your business is all about.
Give your social media page a personality, to easily get recognized. For eg: Durex India’s Instagram personality is its blue feed with quirky content and that’s how we associate the brand with. Along with personality, your brand needs to have content that is unique, that makes your brand stand out in the crowd like Fevicol & Zomato. The more innovative the content, the more the brand will be recognized.
To push Ikea’s exclusive designer collection of 2014, the brand built a marketing campaign on Instagram. The Instagram account was used as a catalog, which was divided into tags like benches, side tables, chairs, etc. The popular tag feature of Instagram was used as a navigator tool for customers to gain and explore information on different products. It was one of the best promotional methods used by Ikea to push sales among youngsters. This campaign made people aware that Ikea as a brand has these many products to offer and how they can be used. Since one page takes you another, it helped in new lead generation and the brand got a lot of eyeballs.
4. Aids Recall
Social media marketing can reduce your marketing costs in the long term. As a business/brand you would want your customers to think about your product when they make any shopping decision. Social media can help aid this process. Brand recognition happens when customers can recall a brand’s qualities that are fed through social media.
So whenever, you think of french fries, the first name that comes to your mind would be McDonalds. The brand has positioned itself on social media in a way, that if you want the best fries, McDonalds is the place. Similarly, with Coca-Cola, the brand says it quenches your thirst. So, the next time when you are thirsty, instead of water, you prefer Coca-Cola.
5. Builds Identity
Today, McDonald’s can be recognized by just it’s brand elements like the yellow golden arches or the Ronald uncle. How was that possible? McDonalds uses the same messaging & communication style, brand elements like logos, colours, & graphics that consistently help in reinforcing the brand qualities. When audiences are constantly fed with the same brand elements across platforms; subconsciously, they start attaching the business to its brand elements & qualities.
When we say, swipe right or left, we instantly think of Tinder. Even the ones who haven’t used Tinder are aware of this because of their strong social media marketing & the use of brand elements in communication.
6. Barrier for Competitors
A strong social media presence & strategy can help protect your market share & create barriers for the entry of new customers. Competitors wishing to enter would have to make a huge investment in marketing to meet your strengths.
Other than this, social media marketing keeps you equipped to tackle competition. One of the classic examples of defeating your competitors was by Coca-Cola on Halloween. Pepsi wishes a scary Halloween, where the Pepsi bottle is seen wearing the Coca-Cola cape. To give a befitting reply to Pepsi, Coca-Cola uses the same image and writes – Everybody wants to be a hero!
You can also be ahead of your competitors by speaking on relevant topics immediately like Zomato, who uses every new trending meme into their content. The advantage of using current topics immediately is that your audience gets fresh content and doesn’t get bored.
7. Builds Preference or Brand Loyalty
For brand loyalty, you will have to offer something unique to your audiences that no other competitor of yours can give.
For eg- Parachute talks about the 100% natural coconut oil without any preservatives in all their social media posts. No other hair oil company in the market offers this or even talks about it. Because of its 100% natural content, audiences will prefer Parachute over other brands.
8. Brand Customer Relationship
In traditional marketing, the businesses would have no clue if the customers are liking their products and services. But with social media, it’s a whole different ball game. You will be flooded with messages, comments, feedback. To keep your customers happy, you must respond to every comment and take their feedback to build a strong customer relationship.
In 2015, when Maggi was banned, the brand made sure to stay connected on social media with their followers and that’s the reason Maggi was so graciously accepted back by the audiences in the market.
9. Brand Equity & Goodwill
When we talk about brands like Nike & Apple, people trust them blindly. Any product launched by them is going to be of supreme quality, that’s the perception of many. How do brands/businesses earn this trust? Social media presence can be an asset that builds brand equity & goodwill. Once a strong social media presence is set, your brand will not have to market itself, your brand name will be enough. This will happen if valuable content is shared that brings a positive change in the lives of your customers. Your brand personality plays a major role in building brand equity.
Nike’s ‘Just do it’ talks about the go getter attitude that formed the personality of the brand and eventually helped in building goodwill.
10. Promote Sales
The ultimate goal of any business is to push sales. Social media marketing can help in increasing revenues & market shares of the business. You can easily find your target audience on social media & urge them to purchase your product or service through the right content. Present your audience with giveaways, promote free shipping, offer discounts, use hashtags if you want to promote sales through social media.
Many brands push their sales by giving bait. Some brands say, if you have a purchase of a particular amount and above, you get to meet your favourite celebrity.
The key to increase sales is to make your customers believe that a particular deal will help them and this can be effectively done through user generated content & social media influencers.
Grab the benefits of Social Media, it sure won’t disappoint your business!