Social media marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing trends happening in the past ten years, and if you do not keep up, the Internet will leave you behind.
The most important thing companies need to know about social media is that it is constantly evolving, and much like fashion, certain trends go out of style. It is a beast that has not yet been tamed, but growing companies can train themselves to better understand the marketing monster that is social media.
Ever since social media tools like Facebook (2004), Twitter (2006), and Instagram (2010) gained unpredictable popularity, businesses have been trying to tap into the potential these sites have for marketing, consumer relations, advertising, and brand development.
Why Should Growing Businesses Use Social Media?
Social media has the capability to reach a wide variety of audiences, to create a means of two-way communication between businesses and consumers, and it can be used for free publicity and advertising. This tool can benefit businesses in more ways than just changing public opinion, and increasing brand awareness – it has proven to increase profitability.
Profit and Research
In a recent report done by research firm Demand Metric, it was found that almost two-thirds of businesses are using social media analytics. In this same study, three-fourths of these businesses said that their decision-making is influenced by research done through social media. This can include hashtag research (or keyword research similar to that of SEO), consumer feedback, and trending topics. The best part of this research – it is cheap, and sometimes free. Primary research so often comes with extra expenses, and to have the tools to directly address a company’s target audience for little to no cost is valuable.
More than just a means of decreasing expenses, social media marketing can connect businesses, both large and small, directly to their consumer. It is a powerful means of communication, that when used properly, can influence public opinion, and increase intelligence on consumer wants and needs.
Tools within these social media sites like comment sections, retweets, favorites, and hashtags give consumers the chance to tell businesses what they think. Whether it is negative feedback or positive feedback, it is nonetheless feedback. Companies can use this valuable information to change their business practices or create new products.
Creating a Brand Identity
Social media sites are also a great way for companies to showcase their brand identity. While these sites are categorized as means of social collaboration, they can also be used as a creative medium. Businesses can use more creative social media sites like Instagram, Youtube, Vine, and Pinterest to build and maintain a brand identity that resonates with their customers. It gives companies an innovative outlet to show customers who they are, what they represent, and why they do what they do.
Many large corporations have used social media to create a brand identity; even America’s beloved Oreo has gone to Twitter and Instagram to show their customers that they are so much more than a cookie. During the 2013 Super Bowl when the Superdome in New Orleans had a power outage in half the stadium, Oreo took to Twitter to turn a frustrating situation into a lighthearted advertisement.
This simple advertisement was not only used as free marketing, it was used to show that Oreo has a personality, and consumers found this tweet to be relatable and fun. Any company, whether it is a new business, a growing business, or a large business, can use this kind of tactic to reach out to their target market and establish their brand identity.
Social media is the best tool a business can use to promote themselves, their work, and their clients. When used correctly, it can boost your company’s awareness to your target market, and it can build strong relationships between the business and its customers. The fact of the matter is that social media is for everyone, and all companies big and small need to implement social media into their business practices in order to grow.