Social Media Marketing: Importance, Benefits, and Usage

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 6
Words: 2206
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: College

Introduction

Social media marketing involves the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit to market business products and services. Through these platforms, organizations engage with existing customers as well as reach new ones as they promote their organizational culture, statement, and mission. One of the drivers of social media marketing is the emergence of a new set of the customer base that has special requirements. Over the past few years, people have been increasingly adapting virtual living technology. Any marketing strategy that wishes to be successful must, thus, acknowledge and adapt to this new reality.

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Currently, more than 3.7 billion people in the world use social media, with Tik Tok dominating the space. Interestingly, a typical social media user spends an average of 2 hours a day on social media. Many brands are fast recognizing and using these platforms to promote their products and services. Hence, social media marketing is important because, among many other benefits businesses attain through its use, companies reach millions of customers from around the world. Brands rely on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn to connect and engage their potential customers. They also use these platforms to build brand awareness, generate and nurture leads, measure marketing efforts, and grow their audiences. Against this backdrop, it is important to explore the intricacies of social media as a tool for marketing and to drive up sales.

Importance of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is important for businesses seeking to grow beyond their local region and customer base. According to Nyagazda (2021), social media has become one of the most effective aspects of digital marketing because businesses earn many benefits, such as reaching more customers, increased brand awareness, and an increase in sales. Through these platforms, companies get a chance to reach a global market by reaching a diverse audience. Operating in an international market also helps the business’s brand to become well-known.

Digital marketing enables a company to improve its brand loyalty through social interactions. In the social platforms, the salesperson engages with customers, learns their needs, and how to satisfy them, enabling the brand to earn customers’ loyalty and retain them. During the marketing process, businesses introduce their brands to millions of people (Nyagadza, 2021). The platforms are not limited to the creation of brand awareness but also promotional marketing. Social media has now made it possible for businesses to reach out to audiences that could not be accessed before. Through engagement with audiences, brands get an opportunity to understand and respond to their desires. Gradually, businesses are rechanneling the expenses that they used on television and print ads to digital marketing. The concept of marketing is now based on data analytics, which can be achieved through social media marketing. Existing and new products are advertised through paid promotions while the customers get a chance to directly communicate with the business sales associate.

Social media marketing is cost-effective compared to traditional forms of advertisements such as television and paid newspaper ads. The model of digital marketing helps businesses to reduce marketing costs and increase returns on their investments (Arsenijevic & Jovic, 2019). The advantage of this is that through social media a business can achieve more than just advertisements. There is an opportunity to host webinars and live podcasts and effectively engage customers by offering feedback and answering their questions. Unfortunately, the traditional media spaces cannot offer this despite their exorbitant charges.

Social media marketing helps improve the traffic of business websites. When businesses share content on social media, whether promotional or not, they add a website link in which customers reach their website for additional product information (Nyagadza, 2021). Increased website traffic means more customers saw available offers on products and services, thus increasing sales. Social media can as well be used to enhance the SEO of a business by driving traffic to the site through shared links. Studies show that successful brands have a strong social media presence (Nyagadza, 2021). The SEO ranking signals to the customers that the brand is credible, trustworthy, and valuable. However, the strategies used in social media marketing dictate the success or failure of the business.

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Businesses

Use of Chatbots

Chatbots are integrated into social media platforms to directly engage with customers and answer their questions. Chatbots are artificial intelligence robots used to replace humans in chats and comment sections (Arsenijevic & Jovic, 2019). Chatbots can communicate and help resolve customers’ issues without the need for human interaction. They integrate with social media platforms mostly used by customers. Platforms such as MobileMonkey make it possible for chatbots to access social media easily.

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Chatbots used by marketing companies help them learn more about their customers’ needs. The chatbots collect customer data which would help in marketing needs. Some chatbots utilized by companies can tell a customer’s location, age, gender, and product preferences (Arsenijevic & Jovic, 2019). Such customer information is critical in developing products and learning in which regions to sell them. When using chatbots, the business is communicating with potential customers while collecting information about their needs. Studies show that the best way to earn customers’ loyalty is by learning and meeting their needs (Arsenijevic & Jovic, 2019). Therefore, the utilization of chatbots also helps earn brand loyalty from the customers. Many successful businesses are using chatbots to learn and to meet customer needs by learning about their preferences and their locations.

Creating Personalized Experiences for Customers

The most effective way to meet customers’ needs is by customizing their experience. Other ways to personalize the customer experience include using chatbots. The process involves creating ads that redirect customers to the messenger window for chats with the bot (Jacobson et al., 2020) allowing the chatbot to answer all of the customer’s questions. The chatbots allow the business to exceed the traditional perspective of advertisements which has always been about selling and not allowing the customer to inquire about anything else. Chatbots helps streamline communication by ensuring customers’ concerns and questions are responded to faster. In the past customers will make calls and made to wait on line as the next available customer care representative is being sought. This could take even 2 hours and drain a customer’s airtime. Chatbots have transformed this by ensuring that customer get instant feedbacks to their generic questions. Chatbots make the business experience better by boosting their sales, creating a loyal fan base, and offering a personalized customer experience.

Creating Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Using the right content in marketing helps give the business a larger audience. However, it is vital to first identify who your target audiences are. The contents posted must speak to the personas of the audiences. For instance, a business that sells second-hand cars should constantly post contents related to car models, spare parts, and mileages. This way, it will naturally attract more car enthusiasts into its social media platforms. This is one of the most effective ways of driving traffic to the platforms as many people will be visiting the site for latest car information and products. High-quality SEO content helps the business get connected to the right customers. Prime marketing content seeks to be exact in giving information about the product or service (Jacobson et al., 2020). Other than attracting a larger audience, a content-promoting approach can be easily used. The most relevant hashtags should be posted alongside the content. Choosing related and trendy hashtags helps businesses to attract more and relevant customers.

Creating a Community for the Audience

Social media platforms are effective in creating a community because they allow the audience to follow a brand. Once a community is formed, it expects to see and learn from the brand. The brand must keep the audience interested by posting relevant content (Jacobson et al., 2020). Businesses post blogs to ask questions in which the audience can relate to the brand. Other ways of interacting with the audience include gathering opinions on existing or new products, sharing news, liking and sharing audience posts, and engaging them by asking them to like and share the brand’s posts.

Use of Diverse Content

The audience or the community can respond to a wide variety of content. Instead of using posts, businesses can use imagery, podcasts, and entertaining videos to capture the audience’s attention (Jacobson et al., 2020). The use of such media is another way of adding a personality to the brand. Posting basic text all the time can become boring resulting in the audience ignoring any important future posts. Successful use of social media requires creating fun videos or images containing brand content.

Use of Brand Ambassadors

The best promotional tool is utilizing people loyal to the brand. Brand ambassadors use social media to convince their followers that they need certain products or services. They also provide links and information on how to buy from the brand (Drummond et al., 2020). Today, brand ambassadors help increase sales by double compared to ads by brand platforms. Current social media users trust celebrities and are more likely to buy the products that they use. Employing celebrities as brand ambassadors help to influence new customers to shop for the brands’ products and services. For example, figure 1 shows a social media post for Fendi and SKIMS posted by their brand ambassadors (Hyde, 2021). Kim Kardashian, the owner of SKIMS, collaborated with Fendi to produce products and market them together. Kardashian had over 263 million followers on Instagram, therefore helping the two businesses reach all of her followers as potential customers (Hyde, 2021). A brand represented by popular ambassadors helps to make more sales and increase revenue.

SKIMS and FENDI partner for an epic new collaboration
Figure 1. SKIMS and FENDI partner for an epic new collaboration

Creating Relevant Platforms and Running Cross-Channel Campaigns

Social media marketing requires businesses to create profiles on the most popular social media sites to reach as many customers as possible. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok are known to have millions of followers. In cross-channel marketing, a business will first need to understand the behaviors, buying habits, and preferences of its target audience before designing ways to reach them through multiple channels. It works best if one uses mediums that complement each other such as Facebook and Instagram. Therefore, choosing relevant social media is key to marketing because not all sites contain the target demographic (Jacobson et al., 2020). For example, Gucci is less likely to use Twitter for marketing as compared to Instagram because while Twitter is better for sharing ideas, Instagram is more appropriate for sharing fashion and lifestyle content. Notably, Twitter can be used to trend a product and subsequently create an awareness around it. However, since has limited character input, not much information about the product can be shared using the platform. This is where Instagram comes in. Through direct links to the business’ Instagram page, a business can lead its prospective customers to images and videos of its products.

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Brands often also run cross-channel campaigns on all of their social media platforms. While creating such campaigns, the brand content needs to be outstanding and emotional to attract the audience. The campaign may contain the same or closely different content depending on the social media platform used (Jacobson et al., 2020). The content should be posted on all social media at approximately the same time to capture the attention of the brand’s audience. An effective cross-channel campaign tells an engaging story, has a unique title, and several hashtags.

The Future of Social Media Marketing

As time goes by, analytics will occupy a central position in social media marketing. It is becoming a reality for businesses to understand the role played by analytics in social media marketing. It is a tool that businesses use to track and monitor the effectiveness of various platforms. As such, it will be a crucial decision-making tool for businesses on which areas to invest in. Moreover, there will be more video content in social media marketing as opposed to text content. Today’s customer is more concerned visual information that helps in ascertaining the quality and functionality of a product. Social media marketing will also experience an escalation in the number of celebrities used as influencers of various products. Marketing is all about reaching out to as many people as possible. Incidentally, celebrities have huge followings on social media, which businesses will leverage. For instance, a celebrity like Christiano Ronaldo has more than 315 million followers on Instagram. If he enters into an agreement with a brand to use his Instagram account to market its products, the brand will be expecting to reach out to a huge percentage of Ronaldo’s followers.

Conclusion

Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways of marketing because social media is used all over the world. Businesses often use the most advanced strategies to gain the most benefits from various social media platforms. Other than reaching a high-volume audience, the marketed brand is widely known, makes more sales, and is run on cheaper ads. Successful businesses can take social media marketing a level higher by investing more money, especially into brand ambassadors. Digital marketing will take charge of the marketing industry in the future as technology evolves daily.

References

Arsenijevic, U., & Jovic, M. (2019). Artificial intelligence marketing: Chatbots. In 2019 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence: Applications and Innovations (IC-AIAI), 19-193. IEEE.USA. Web.

Drummond, C., O’Toole, T., & McGrath, H. (2020). Digital engagement strategies and tactics in social media marketing. European Journal of Marketing, 1-6. Web.

Hyde, S. Y. (2021). SKIMS and Fendi partner for an epic new collaboration. Harper’s BAZAAR. Web.

Jacobson, J., Gruzd, A., & Hernández-García, Á. (2020). Social media marketing: Who is watching the watchers? Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 53(1), 101-774. Web.

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Nyagadza, B. (2021). Search engine marketing and social media marketing predictive trends. Journal of Digital Media & Policy, 1-4. Web.