What does a 35 year old man in Pennsylvania, the President of the United States and a Hollywood celebrity have in common? They are all active on social media platforms. In the age of superfast communication and digital proximity, social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter are dominating the way people interact with each other.
According to Statistica.com, Facebook had 1.44 billion users in 2015—which was more than the population of China at the time and the numbers are only growing. With an increasing percentage of consumers spending their time on these platforms, it is natural that companies start utilising them to attract customers. Although a relatively new phenomenon, social media marketing is changing the way companies sell their products. For example, a company might now partner with a beauty influencer to talk about the benefits of a night-cream with her followers rather than printing pamphlets or running ads in the paper.
Whether you want to start a business and harness the power of social media or are interested in pursuing a career in the domain, it is valuable to know how this marketing approach can reinvent conventional companies marketing campaigns. This blog explains the concept of social media marketing and presents several benefits of social media marketing.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing or SMM, is one of the most important branches of digital marketing. The ads on your Facebook feed, the memes shared by popular brands like Amazon on Instagram, or the blog pieces on trending topics on LinkedIn—they all are examples of social media advertising. Every time you click on a link within a blog, the work of an SMM strategist is rewarded.
SMM also involves interacting with your customers closely. This means you have to reply to their comments on public forums or their tweets on Twitter. Since SMM lets you approach customers on a personal level without incurring heavy expenditure, you can expand your business with a limited budget which is why companies use social media marketing to grow their customer bases.
How can you make SMM work for your business?
Social media marketing brings a lot to the table when it comes to increasing sales for businesses or generating more customers. Below are some of the benefits of using social media for business purposes.
1. You can build awareness for your product or service.
If people don’t know about your business, they can’t become your customers. A strong social media strategy boosts your visibility among potential customers, letting you reach a wide audience by using a relatively small amount of time and effort. As it is free to create a business profile on all the major social networks, you also save on your marketing costs.
When you build your brand awareness, be sure to come up with a robust social media marketing strategy. You should be clear on what kind of objectives you want your social handles to achieve for you. Do you want new customers to discover your services? Do you hope to bring more local shoppers into your stores? By keeping your strategy specific, you can determine which social media channels are the best fit for your business.
2. You can portray yourself as an industry leader.
We all like to buy products or services that are best in the market. With increasing innovation, there is an influx of brands and companies competing against each other for the attention of customers. It is difficult to sustain the competition unless you reinvent your business as a reliable brand, delivering quality.
Today’s customers prefer to back their smallest purchases with extensive research. Thanks to Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, they are likely to perceive your brand based on your brand’s social media profiles. Setting up robust profiles that you update frequently with relevant content will build your brand’s authority and make sure you make a positive first impression through social media, showing that your business is trustworthy, knowledgeable and approachable.
You can also look for ways to demonstrate your expertise as a thought leader in your industry—such as writing pieces related to your expertise. By showing what your business offers and values, you will establish confidence in potential customers.
3. You can convey the ideologies and goals of your brand to the customer.
Every brand positions itself in a certain way for customers to relate to it. You can take a leaf out of successful brands like Apple or Facebook that heavily invest in posting content which is relevant and specific to their brands. While Facebook shows itself as a friendly platform to connect with your long-lost school friend, Apple portrays itself as the best in the sector of electronics.
4. You can reduce your budget and expenditure as opposed to conventional media marketing.
Marketing costs add up in conventional marketing approaches which may not be feasible for small businesses. However, your business, regardless of size or budget, has an opportunity to grow its audience and reach objectives through ads on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook or Instagram ads cost a lot lesser than putting up a billboard on a motorway. Yet these ads reach a wide range of people from a retired grandfather to a high school student. You can also use engaging blogs, interesting videos or interactive chat sessions to put your point across. Employing these indirect techniques costs very little but offers a lot in terms of customer engagement.
When building an ad campaign, focus on your target audience and goals so you don’t waste any of your budget on unhelpful advertising. Avoid overly salesy ads and opt for content that educates or entertains (or does both at the same time).
Social media marketing can be a powerful tool to help grow your business. Posting content that is in line with the latest trends, interacting with customers to
make them feel heard and putting out the essence of your brand can help you make the most of your social media profiles.
With Facebook or Twitter changing their algorithms every other day, it is also advantageous to gain as much knowledge in the subject as possible. Pursuing a course focusing on social media marketing strategies is an easy way to gain expertise in social media.
The London School of Business and Finance offers post-graduate diploma and certificate courses in marketing that have a targeted approach to social media marketing. These courses can give you insights into where to start with social media marketing.
Click here to know more about the courses and make SMM an integral component of your marketing strategy.
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