Everyone who is in business is aware of how important marketing is for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is to expand their company and their reach to potential as well as existing clients. Although there are many traditional forms of marketing such as television, newspaper and radio adverts, social media marketing is a medium has changed the way that marketing communication is performed these days, and it is definitely for the better.
A Two-Way Form of Communication
One of the most important differences that social networks have made to marketing communication is the fact that, unlike traditional marketing methods, which were only able to offer one-way channels of communication, it offers the ability for companies and clients to communicate with each other in real time. Because various forms of social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or even email allow those who are receiving the marketing message to respond to the information they have received and interact with those who have shared it, it means that businesses and marketers are able to receive feedback about their marketing strategies almost immediately.
Smaller Businesses and Marketers can now be Heard
The increased usage of social media marketing has ensured that almost everyone who advertises online has the opportunity to see their brand go viral, whereas with traditional forms of marketing, only larger corporations were able to afford the high costs of TV and radio advertising, which gave them an unprecedented advantage. In some cases, social media marketing has enabled smaller companies to overtake their larger competitors with ease, because of the fact that social media channels literally know no boundaries. The use of social media as an effective marketing tool has also enabled advertising messages to be tailor-made to suit specific individuals, groups or companies.
Feedback Within Minutes
Another advantage to this form of marketing is the fact that customers are able to voice their concerns in real-time and in many cases, they receive feedback within hours or even minutes in some cases. This is a definite improvement in customer service levels because when it came to traditional forms of marketing, customers who wished to voice their opinion often had to wait days or weeks before receiving any type of response. Because of receiving almost-instant feedback, marketing companies can now resolve customer issues and complaints far quicker as well. An added advantage to using social media for marketing is that your client base will continue to grow on a daily basis.
Although many people are against trying anything new (even when it comes to advertising), this form of marketing will not be going away any time soon, so it is best for companies and individuals to learn how to embrace it and use it to their advantage in order to reap the many benefits that it has to offer. It is one of the most effective advertising mediums, because virtually any business out there is able to spend an hour or so per day interacting with their clients.
Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, have completely revolutionized the way companies promote their products and services. Social media communication has changed the business world forever. It is a big part of the marketing plan of the future for many companies, and it is largely free, which makes it even better.
The Social Media Revolution
Advertising, marketing and public relations are the areas of business that have been impacted the most by the social media storm. Companies are saving thousands of dollars every year in their advertising budgets by moving away from traditional print, radio and television advertising. There has even been a noticeable reduction in businesses purchasing online banner ads because they can set up their own Facebook, Pinterest or other social media page and get their message out without paying hefty advertising fees. Social media platforms allow companies to hyper-target the exact relevant audience they want to reach instead of buying an ad and hoping potential customers see it.
Making the most of Social Media
The way social media is used to communicate a company’s message is vitally important. Companies should:
- Clearly identify their mission, goals and objectives on their social media pages
- Keep the content on the page fresh by posting regular updates
- Be responsive to consumer questions or comments posted on the page
- Remain consistent with the social media marketing plan and do not let the page fall into disuse
- Change product and service offerings based on consumer response
Analyzing your Target Audience
An amazing amount of customer data can be gleaned through social media platforms in ways that were never possible through traditional marketing methods. When consumers “like” a company’s Facebook page and post comments, they provide important information. The company’s marketing department, product development division and management team can obtain valuable data about consumer behavior by analyzing the customer responses on their Facebook page. The same goes for reviews posted on Twitter or other social media outlets. The key is listening to and analyzing audience comments and reviews, and responding by making the appropriate adjustments to product and service offerings.
Direct Communication with Customers
Another unique way in which social media communication has changed the world of marketing is just that: communication. Customers can actually communicate with company representatives via social media.
- Potential customers can post a question on a social media site and get an answer from the company
- A customer can make a suggestion about product improvement, and the company can respond
- A company can run a contest that prospective customers can enter and possibly win.
- The company can offer discount coupons, and customers can make purchases via social media platforms
One thing is certain. Social media communication is here to stay, and the companies that stay on top of the social media marketing revolution are the ones that will thrive in the changing marketplace. Using social media to the greatest advantage will help forward-thinking companies impact the way consumers select and purchase products and services.