Social media is indeed an unavoidable part of the marketing mix for businesses today. This is especially true for products and services whose target market are consumers (B2C) as it provides an opportunity not only to sell to your customer but also to connect with them and forge a valuable relationship. The two-way communication between businesses and consumers can add value to a business by being a source of consumer insights that can then be used to improve and innovate products and services. What used to cost the top dollar in terms of advertising spend can now be done with leaner budgets and more insights to ensure efforts are both effective and efficient.
The Right Social Media Channel for Your Business
Here is a cheat-sheet some insights to get you started:
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each platform is a start. How do you determine which platform is suitable for your business? There are several steps to be taken before you decide to ensure that your efforts are directly contributing to the bottom line of your business.
Asking yourself these questions will help determine which of these platforms can be used best to market your products or services and which can be used to build your brand, be it with consumers or within the industry.
What to ask yourself before starting?
- Start by asking yourself what your main OBJECTIVE is for having a social media presence.
- Then ask yourself what your GOAL to determine how you use these social media platforms.
- The next question is vital for the success of your social media channel and that is determining who your TARGET AUDIENCE is. This will be the basis of your CONTENT PLAN and AD TARGETING.
- Next, think about what MEASUREMENTS will determine the success or failure of your social media efforts and the TIME FRAME in which you will be measuring your efforts to help keep you on course.
- Lastly, but probably most importantly is determining HOW MUCH INVESTMENT your business can afford to set aside for your social media efforts. This will also determine the rate at which your products and services will be seen and your channels grow.
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Once you have determined where social media fits into your business, then you can start planning for the content that will engage your audience and tell your business’s story. It is important to set a solid foundation and stick to a content plan to avoid mixed messages being sent to and received by your audience. Building anything of value takes time and effort; the same principle applies to social media. It’s recommended to allow 3 – 6 months from the start of your social media efforts to measure what is working and what is not. Any sooner and you will not be able to make a decision based on a large enough sample of data.
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How do I choose the right social media platform for my business?
Choosing the right social media platform is very important to execute your marketing strategy and establish connections with potential customers. Here are some tips to choose the right social media platform: identify your target audience or customer, define your marketing goals and objectives, consider your company’s business profile - whether it is B2C or B2B, research the industry and your competitors, understand different social media platforms and their user types and finally align your marketing goals and select the platform that matches your requirement and make an impact
How do social media act as a reputation management platform?
For users, social media helps to directly reach out to the brand to communicate their grievances and provide feedback. This helps the brand to act on the issue quickly and improve the quality of service and product. It helps brands to maintain communication with users and use it to sustain growth and business continuity.
Other than this, before interacting with businesses, users prefer reading reviews of the brand on social media. And, through reviews, users form a negative or positive perception of the business or whether to make the purchase.
Through positive social media interactions, brands can create a positive image and influence, what and how people think of their brand.
What are the benefits of social media on businesses?
In the evolving market, social media has become an indispensable tool for businesses. Let’s take a look at the benefits of social media on businesses.
1. Improving brand recognition and recall.
2. Can learn about your audience and develop an effective marketing strategy
3. Faster and easier communication, networking, and partnership.
4. Build a community to influence users and buying decisions.
5. Increase website traffic and organic visibility.
6. It is a cost-effective form of marketing than traditional marketing
7. Crowdsourcing ideas
8. Expand your reach
9. Helps to monitor customer feedback and opinion on a real-time basis.
However, you should know, you get the benefits only when you choose the right social media platform for your business.