It’s 7 am Monday morning; you’re in a sleepy daze, one hand holds your morning coffee while the other scrolls down your Facebook newsfeed; on your commute you watch that viral video on YouTube, listen to that song on Spotify or send that quick Whatsapp message to your buddies. This is a common anecdote for many people on their daily commute to work, college or school runs. How we avail of information, how quickly we get it and how we communicate is transforming our everyday interactions – and business is no exception.
So how are all these online platforms affecting how we do business other than keeping us occupied?
Well, we’ll first have to look at some of the most popular social media platforms to fully understand. For starters, the following image perfectly summarizes what one might use them for:
So what is Social Media?
Social Media is a communication revolution that broadcasts real-time messages to audiences located everywhere around the world. From telling people what you like, to where you’re eating or who you’re with social media is a phenomenon that is has opened the door to businesses and their marketing campaigns.
Virtual and instantaneous communication is a dual interaction process, which makes it possible to connect with your customers & prospects. Social Media is a new way of double the marketing leads when compared to other traditional marketing channels. It has a 49% higher leads conversion rate. Nowadays the digital environment is very significant, and Social Media has deeply changed marketing strategies. Your company does not exist online unless it has a well-consolidated presence in Social Media with a regular interaction basis. As previously explained, Social Media revolves around transmitting information: personalized messages to tailored demographics.
So what are the stats, how many people are really using these platforms?
What Social Media can do for businesses:
Gain Marketplace and Customer Insights:
Social Media allows connecting and learning, but how? Social Media builds a reciprocal relationship where your target audience are the receipt of your information, and in exchange you will receive engagements, comments and feedback. Without limits of whom you will you reach or who may interact with you, thus it is a powerful source of information not only for consumers but for businesses to better understand their consumer.
Increase you Brand Awareness while Generating New Leads:
Social Media is best for grabbing a customers’ attention; it will automatically build further your brand image. As mentioned earlier instantaneous communication allows for the word to spread quite quickly! In addition to this Social Media has the power to influence how & what consumers buy online. Consumers are constantly reviewing products on competing websites for a better price or ensuring that they’re getting the better quality good. Social Media will easily increase market competitiveness. Moreover, the technology allows businesses to reach new audiences so there’s no worrying about geographical borders. So more importantly, social media has the affect of growing new customer bases globally with the proper resources.
This chart represents some of the main benefits achieved using Social Media for marketing purposes:
What you need to know:
Targeting & Addressing:
Social Media responds to a businesses’ necessity of connecting and interacting with customers. However, it requires a high and stable level of interaction. Pursuing the right strategy and adjusting the best practices is not a task easy to accomplish. There is no such thing as a general and universal formula for Social Media. Digital Marketing strategies must address the company goals effectively. It is pointless to serenade the audience with countless adverts: seize the moment and provide relevant information. This is one of the quintessential pillars of a good digital marketing campaign. Tailoring the campaigns to respond to your audience’s interests is key to a successful campaign.
Measuring the results:
There’s a concept that Social Media is risk free, yet this is not entirely true. Social Media compounds a low cost marketing tool accessible to each and all of us. It can be hard to measure your results, especially to quantify the return of investment (ROI). Do not take Social Media for granted: an ineffective strategy and bad practices can lead to negative results and can also be harmful to your company should the wrong things be communicated to your audience.
Successful Social Media usage demands engagement and dedication, in other words: time. Failing to respond to your audience’s interests and a low-posting frequency can be counter-productive. Social Media can be seen as a constant struggle to keep up a stable interaction with your network enabling to update and grow your current follower base. Don’t leave your social channels unattended.
Stay Local or Go Global
Social Media allows businesses to grow an international follower base. Nonetheless, sometimes this is not the right strategy to pursue for local business. At the end, it will all depend on the goals and business strategies pursued. The good news is that most social platforms allow you to geo-target your desired audience. Problem solved!
From word of mouth, radio, television and now internet – the old way of spreading news has changed. Social Media has become a catalyst for content. At first glance, this is excellent to get word out quickly. But the exposure to negative comments can be a huge risk. Many companies use this to innovate in the way they interact and engage with unsatisfied customers. As you may have already noticed, it is all about effective communication.
We have seen that Social Media affects business and particularly how businesses engage with their target markets. It is crucial to build a sustainable and effective Social Media strategy. Consistency is the best policy. Ultimately, it is all about strategy: pursuing the right strategy will determine the Digital Marketing success and results of a business.
Macarena Ochoa Martínez
Communications & International Services Coordinator
World Trade Centre Dublin