The fact that social media has become an integral part of modern existence is indisputable. The benefits of social media have gone beyond what was previously envisaged by the creators or conceived of by the industry. Sellers have gone on to show that business conducted via such online platforms outperform their brick and mortar equivalents by a substantial margin.
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While the results are encouraging, the strategy remains shrouded in mystery. Sellers across the board have been unsure of how to approach social media marketing primarily because they are not aware of what it is they are addressing.
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Benefits of Social Media
1. Solidifying Brand Identity
The first, second, and third rules of successful social media marketing are establishing your brand presence online. If your target consumer base has no idea of what your brand stands for, no amount of online awareness campaigning can rectify that. With social media, you can not only reach out to a wide segment of consumer base hitherto unexplored but also seek to establish your brand as one of the common parlances.
Not only social media allows you to introduce your brand to the consumer but it also introduces the consumer to your products and services. Products that the consumer may not have even known existed.
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2. Increasing Brand Activity
Social media has also emerged as one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to syndicate content offerings and increase the target visibility of the brand. One of the biggest benefits of social media is that it is extremely cost-efficient. This helps small businesses to compete with conglomerates when it comes to ‘reach’.
Simply posting about newer products, solving customer queries online, and addressing customer concerns generate a positive image and show that your brand is extremely adept at dealing with sales and purchases. Exposure is the key factor here, and social media if properly used, guarantees heavy returns on that front.
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3. Generate Online Traffic
One of the biggest problems conventional shops face is that of the usual suspects. It is the same set of customers, looking for a few preferred products. Social media allows you to open your brand up to new consumers from a wide variety of backgrounds. It opens your business up organically to diversify and cater to growing customer needs around the world and not just the local population.
The older generation of customers, for instance, usually looks for a particular brand and the younger generation like millennials usually is more diversified in their search. The proper use of prospective keywords can help address this and open your brand up to a wide range of customers demographically.
4. Staying Alive
The average household user checks his/her mail a couple of times a day. However, the amount of time these very users spend on social media sites ranges from a couple of hours to virtually the entire day. This increased interaction allows you to keep your brand actively present in your customer’s minds every time they log onto a platform.
Socially relevant posts on such platforms can also help your brand gain traction in the industry and establish your brand as a thought leader in a particular segment. This, in turn, generates trust and ensures a higher turnover for your revenues.
5. Better Conversion Rates
Every shop owner has encountered that customer who walks into the store, looks at a bunch of products, asks a lot of questions but leaves without making a purchase. Social media sites can help change that. As already discussed, these platforms generate a lot of traffic that translates to a wide variety of customers looking at the products. They can then be redirected to the websites where they can look at all the products with relative ease.
On your end, this ensures that you have a wider customer engagement rate. A reliable brand now is considered to be a brand that has a significant online presence, thereby attesting to the brand’s credibility in providing quality services. Statistics demonstrate a higher convertibility rate for potential brands via word of mouth marketing and online interaction based out of social media platforms.
6. Increasing Brand Loyalty
At the core, social media platforms are designed to be socially accessible and therefore, easier to communicate on. Interacting with customers via a social media platform gives them the impression of an exclusive one-to-one experience.
Since these responses are generated in response to the customer’s query, the customer feels that the attention doled out to him/her is personalized. Such treatment promotes brand loyalty. And, what it essentially does is turn a business conversation into an interpersonal dialogue from which both you and the customer can gain a lot.
7. Partnering up with Influencers
Nothing brings in good business as much as a word of mouth referral does. The erstwhile trend of shooting big advertisements with superstar celebrities has given way to the new era of influencers. Notably, influencers have emerged as a breed of brand ambassadors who usually use social media platforms to review products or draw attention to your brand.
Influencers bring that organic factor to the table, where a potential consumer identifies himself/herself more with the seemingly down-to-earth approach of the influencers than the high-profile approach exercised by a celebrity.
8. Assessing the Competition
Social media also helps you keep track of your competitors. The offers they are running, the products they are selling, all of this can be kept track of. And, in accordance with this, you could virtually re-strategize your business model to keep up with changing times. This allows you to potentially offer loyal customers of your competitor to consider looking into an equally better brand if not a potentially better one.
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9. Selectively Advertising
Advertising conventionally was not tailor-made to suit audience demography with the result that you had virtually the same ad for everybody looking into the product irrespective of race, gender, or social background. Targeted ads specially made for customers could help promote your brand and disseminate content on the parameters that you deem could help your brand.
10. User-generated Data
One of the biggest benefits of social media is the ability of the brand to gauge customer sentiments and buying trends through data received. People abandoning products, for instance, after putting them in the cart potentially shows that something about the deal they were getting could be addressed.
Their interest in the product or your brand was definitely in place. This helps you strategize your brand’s policies via active customer trends and feedback, thereby potentially improving services offered.
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What is social media marketing?
SMM or social media marketing is a term that is commonly used to denote the usage of social networks and platforms to promote and market a business or brand. Companies use social media channels to inform their target audience and prospective customers about their products and services.
In addition to acquiring new customers, social media networks are a great platform to engage and interact with existing customers too. With a robust data analytics system built in the backend, social media channels enable businesses to know exactly who to reach and how best to reach them.
What are the four key pillars of social media marketing?
Social media marketing has been developing using four fundamental pillars. The first step involves strategy building which includes the kind of content that you wish to share with your audience. Planning and publishing come next where you figure out the exact text, the creative accompanying it and which channel to publish it on.
Once the post is out in the public domain it is important to measure the engagement levels by listening to what your customers are talking about. Deep dive into the analytics tool to understand if your strategy is working or not.
Is social media good or bad for businesses?
Social media marketing can be a double-edged sword. Whilst you have the freedom and flexibility to talk to your customers, they too have a platform to speak what they like or do not like about your business or brand. Therefore, when you do venture into this channel, be prepared to take the good with the bad and the ugly.