Social Networking Sites have become an avenue for modern retailers to extend their marketing campaign and broaden their customer base. Much of it can be attributed to our ever-changing technology dependant world, where the majority of today’s citizen’s around the world are using cellular or computer devices. This allows social media to bridge the gap that had previously existed in consumer relations, allowing retailers to offer a personalized channel of advertising to every client for achieving a much further reach. (Info Credit: https://www.gillsolutions.com/marketing-agency-full-service/social-media-marketing/)
Social media marketing can offer several opportunities to both consumers as well as the organization itself, which makes it drastically different from other promotional digital marketing tactics like SEO campaigns or PPC programmes. Consumer use social media to interact directly with larger brands to voice opinions about their own consumer experiences. It also helps them to effectively search, select, evaluate and finally purchase the final product.
Similarly, organizations benefit from social media marketing by developing more of an online presence. This helps them to developed better targeted campaigns by communicating directly with consumers which in turn drives sales. Social media also plays a pivotal role in helping a particular organization gain insights into how a particular customer perceives the brand. They can then use this information in areas such as customer acquisition and retention.
This article aims to examine the strategic opportunities of social media marketing for organizations. By providing a comprehensive conceptualization and definition of social media marketing, this provides a detailed summary its role in advertising, Customer Relationship Management, and Word-of-Mouth.
Modern Marketing Implications explained
Social Media marketing is a relatively new digital marketing strategy, considered highly profitable for the organization involved. In reality, social media marketing is highly correlated with advertising and its potential to reach customers. Major social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow different degrees of reach when connecting with larger audiences spread across various demographics.
- Electronic Word of Mouth: Social media gives existing customers the freedom to communicate their brand experiences with other fellow consumers, as well as with the company directly. This also indirectly helps to influence other potential customers, while the organization can modify their existing marketing strategies accordingly. This new phenomenon is called “electronic word-of-mouth”. It helps the advertiser reach more people in an online environment and drive sales by influencing their decisions as well as perceptions towards a particular brand and product.
- Assists Customer Relationship Management: Customer relationship management or CRM has emerged as one of the most important aspects of after sales communications and thus, customer retention. CRM revolves around developing, sustaining and maintaining emotional and social relationships with consumers. This is achieved by sharing creating, posting and sharing various type of multimedia content on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This results in an increase in customer experience as well as customer relationship management.
- Viral Advertising: Viral advertising is a recent phenomenon seen on various social media platforms. Viral advertising involves the retailers are marketing and providing more information to customers on their brand. A viral approach can have a drastic effect on a brand’s image, as communication is targeted only towards the brand’s intended consumer. Thus to sum it up, viral advertising can be referred to as an unpaid peer to peer communication, comprising of provocative content, produced by an identified sponsor to persuade or influence a particular market base.
Hence the proper implementation of Social media marketing in today’s world revolves around the following factors:
- Creating personalized experiences through content, offers, bonus etc for the consumer.
- Developing a competent content marketing strategy with a consistent formula.
- Creating a Loyal community from an audience base.
- Researching Monitoring and Learning about customers to understand them better.
Four Important Elements of a Competent Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media advertising involves implementing many different elements in the right way. There is no hard and fast rule to achieve this. However, there are some common elements which have been proven to be effective for a wide range of industries. These are discussed in detail below.
- Attractive Imagery: Social media depends heavily on the visual elements of advertising. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest etc have encouraged users to upload visual based content amongst one another. This however can be used to a company’s advantage. They can use. High quality, professional and branded photos to promote their products or services. This strategy works really well in industries like designing, Fast Food, Catering, etc.
- Engaging Content: Social media also involves content, and marketing strategies should be formed after taking the importance of engaging content into account. When developing content for a professional service or brand, mistakes like misspellings, grammatical errors, and confusing long sentences should be avoided for effectively communicating to the audience. Posting plagiarized or inferior quality content will not add value to the existing marketing strategy, in some cases having a negative effect on a brand.
- Social Media planning and scheduling: Being active on social media during a campaign is the first and foremost requirement. This involves posting refreshing and engaging content on a daily or frequent basis. Failure to do so will adversely affect website rankings and will not serve the purpose at hand. Hence social media planning and scheduling will help marketers to publish timely content without fail.
- Community engagement Measures: Last but not the least, engagement with an audience base is the basis of social media marketing. Engagement will depend on how a brand builds up the trust factor in the audience, which in turn drives brand loyalty. As mentioned earlier, customer engagement is crucial, and building a community around loyal customers is the driving force behind exponential growth.
With an increased focus on developing technology-driven solutions for the marketing woes of companies, social media marketing has gained popularity and widespread usage among marketing strategists. As it stands, social media marketing aims at branding, reminding, informing and entertaining consumers in relation to a particular brand, making it essential for any modern marketing strategy in an online environment. Thus, organizations need to allocate the necessary resources to manage their online brand communications in an effective and customer-centric way.