Social Media Marketing

Learning the secrets of social media marketing is a must for any business today. Hop in to know more.

What is social media marketing?

The past decade has been revolutionary in terms of changing modes of human communication. Alongside this worldwide phenomenal change, the traditional methods of reaching out to people have also undergone some radical changes. The advent of smartphones in the lives of ordinary citizens has made them connect to the global network, allowing them to be a part of this extensively conjoined system of industry, civilization, and technology.

With the rise in modern modes of swift communication, a symbiotic relationship has grown between the vast gamut of social media and the people residing there. Today, social media is a world in itself and has set up for us a perfect virtual space where unknown individuals sitting miles apart don’t feel strangers anymore.

It is this instantaneous thread of communication which has led to the surge of this new term called ‘social media marketing’. However, before understanding the phenomenon of social media marketing, we need to understand why it has been widely accepted as a concept of marketing, and of course, how people usually define this nascent episode in the world of advertising.

What is social media marketing?

It can be defined as the process by which one can connect to their audience with the major assistance of various social media platforms, in an effort to ensure the reach of their products. Social media marketing is an umbrella term and it involves a large array of functions, the most important ones of which include driving website traffic, increasing sales, and helping culminate a brand image.

As the world slowly shifted online with the advent of Facebook in 2005, all the forces have added to the development of social media as a whole. So, it is safe to presume that the proliferation of social media preceded the phenomenon of social media marketing. Consequently, after a passage of nearly 15 years, this nascent marketing method has taken flight and is not going to get down anytime soon.

A recent study says that by 2024, the total digital marketing phenomenon is going to have a budget of USD 20 billion worldwide. Therefore, this data is enough to understand the ramifications of this marketing process and the compelling driving factors behind this change. In the following paragraphs, we are going to tell you all about the factors that affected the change, and why social media marketing is central to the success of any business today. But before starting with that, let’s gloss over the development of social media and the history of this conglomeration of all the major social platforms.

It all started with Facebook which succeeded the scrap-based chatting platform of Orkut as well as the quite popular, Yahoo Messenger. Facebook combined the best of these 2 social media platforms and took to extensive protection of consumers’ privacy. Once Mark Zuckerberg’s platform took flight, it started evolving itself with each passing day. Zuckerberg realized he had started a global conglomeration of people which would slowly become a self-sustaining ecosystem in the future.

What does social media marketing mean for businesses?

The journey of social media marketing has its roots in the success of Facebook. This social media giant has slowly orchestrated the mass movement of brand identification, easy access to the target audience, and large scale advertising with zero input costs. Not only that but with the rise of social media, there has been a proliferation of digital art as well.

It is important to note that the crux of marketing lies in reaching out to the audience. By audience, we mean the potential slice of consumers who have been identified to be verily interested in a product and would most likely invest in the same. Here the operating word is identifying. Authentic identification of the target audience forms the core of any kind of marketing. And with the rise of social media that comprises the teeming millions, identification has never been easier. It is this virtual market which the marketing experts wanted to tap, and deemed important for their products to thrive.

However, it is natural for anyone to be apprehensive about switching to this nascent mode of communication, while the traditional modes have a safety net of theories and foregone conclusions of success and failure rate. But here lies the catch. The genius of advertising and marketing lies in how well can it accommodate the changing scenario within its forte. Social media marketing has developed, evolved, and made a vigorous mark in the advertising industry throughout the past decade.

The main reasons behind this are:

  • Visibility:
  • Instant communication and feedback:
  • It is cheap:

Visibility: One of the fundamentals of marketing lies in making a brand or a product visible. Making it visible refers to the process by which an impression of an entity can be successfully inserted into the collective psyche of a population. As social media is ubiquitous today, it is one great arsenal at your disposal with which you can increase visibility.

Instant communication and feedback: The traditional modes of marketing lacked one of the basic cornerstones of product and brand development. And that is consumer feedback. More often than not, consumers and their complaints weren’t taken seriously and the review mechanism used to be extremely rigid. But after the advent of social media marketing, the instant communication between advertisers and the consumers has facilitated the feedback mechanism exponentially. Nowadays, customers are taken seriously by everyone, starting from the advertising industry right up to the producers and manufacturers.

It is cheap: Unlike the other forms of marketing, social media marketing is considerably cheaper. Even more than its inexpensive nature, the best part about this marketing form is its perfect democratization. Anyone who has a social media account can post an ad about anything they got to say. So, apart from being cheap, this marketing style is perfect for those who have always been wary about ads and their effectiveness. Now you can create an ad absolutely for free!

Okay, so how social media marketing helps businesses?

Social media, in itself, is an elaborate universe of algorithms, reactions, speeches, videos, infographics, and most importantly, information. Therefore, social media marketing, by definition, means navigating these spaces and interludes of computer programs, algorithms, internet traffic, etc. It is the process of getting one’s brand image known and visible by applying various strategies which translate into profit, fame, and scope of extensive product/image development. Let’s look at the avenues that this mode of marketing gives us:

Steadying your goals: Fusing businesses with social media inherently means aligning the goals of both these fields and charting all of them together. There are various reasons for which businesses use social media. The latter helps introductory and new businesses to make their presence felt utilizing the immense reach of it. Moreover, this daily interaction with the public makes way for a clear understanding of the market dynamics, helping the businesses grow quickly and easily.

Deciding on the type of content you want to share: This is an important aspect, and also one of the best ways social media marketing helps businesses. One can choose the type of content they would like to utilize to spread their name. If you think your product would be best reproduced on social media via videography, it is advisable to choose video-friendly social media. Youtube, Instagram, TikTok would be your main fortes in that case. On the other hand, if written content is your comfort zone, you could verily start with Facebook, Tumblr, and definitely, Twitter. So, irrespective of what interests and benefits your product, there’s something for everyone here.

One of the biggest advantages of social media marketing is its direct translation capability into rising profit revenues. Studies from the last decade show a direct correlation between cultivating brand image in the collective psyche (via social media) and the increase in curiosity, public talking, and queries about the given brand or product. So, there is enough evidence to show that a planned presence on social media, combined with strategic publishing of relevant content drives traffic towards your page, website, or channel. As people start talking about your product, orders start to arrive, because there are always entrepreneurs and risk-takers amidst your target audience.

There are a variety of tools available today which help you devise social media strategies of shuffling the different platforms and automate your entire publishing mechanism

One of the greatest lacks of the previous marketing techniques was their dearth of engagement. Even the best of marketing tools, television ads, couldn’t have a space that could provide scope for instantaneous feedback. Today, there is immense scope of trying, testing and strategizing the nitty-gritty of your product, by planning engagement models accordingly. This has been one of the greatest boons of this technology-driven world.

As your social media influence and followers would grow, there would be wide doors open for letting your target audience know of your plans and progress. The audience always gobbles up something new, and this is one of the crucial points that social media marketing addresses. With extensive and direct engagement with each and every follower, your chance of reaching out to them and ensuring a secure image of your product in their minds increases manifold.

The process of engagement has ushered in winds of change, owing to the fact that it has transformed the way people receive and perceive ads today.

One mighty advantage of social media marketing is its capability to sift all your business data and provide you with instantaneous statistics in real-time. In other words, with just a few clicks you would be able to understand how well your devised marketing strategy is performing. You could compile various reports such as engagement reports, the best posts of a week, and how much of it translated into website visits, and so on.

In-depth analysis is also available in the form of Google Analytics. It is the way one makes sense of the technical jargon, and also finds out methods and practices to enhance social media presence.

While all these strategies are a form of passive advertising, there is this last resort which has its roots in traditional advertising. The fact is, social media is the most efficient space where people would see your ad. More than television, radio or print, people are always hooked to the different social media platforms. Consequently, with the instant feedback and sharing mechanisms at hand, there is a greater chance at propagating your ad via social media channels than via traditional media.

Moreover, running social media campaigns allow you to reach an audience which you may have never even considered worth exploring. Social media reach invites dialogue, and sincere dialogue is the foundation of any successful business.

Social media platforms that are currently in the know

Now that you are aware of the perks of social media marketing, it’s time you knew the various channels and platforms which business use to make their products trending. As we have talked substantially about Facebook, we aren’t mentioning it on this list. So, here are some of the famous social media platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Spotify
  • Whatsapp
  • Messenger
  • WeChat
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • com
  • Google +
  • Skype
  • Telegram

Conclusion

Social media marketing is the future of advertising. There are a very few alternatives remaining in the traditional modes of advertising which the former is still about to co-opt. For instance, social media doesn’t have the scope of grabbing too much attention, which the newspapers have traditionally dominated.

However, the vast networked space among consumers, who are in return, gatekeepers, and at times, sellers as well, wouldn’t have been possible without the advent of social media marketing. It is perhaps a boon to humankind where every word uttered could be made into something beautiful and spread just by clicking a few buttons. So, business strategies wouldn’t fare much in the future without a strong social media marketing strategy forming its backbone.

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