Small to medium sized businesses live and die by their marketing, and social media is the ace in the hole. Whether you’re a fledgling enterprise or a stuck-in-the-mud business, we’re going to outline just how important the still-fresh field of social media marketing really is. According to eMarketer, almost nine in ten companies are using it! And if you’re not one of them then that’s your first mistake.
When you market on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, people don’t perceive your post in the same way that they perceive traditional advertisements. To most consumers, social networks are a place to chat to their friends, keep up with celebrities, and respond to current events. When they come across your well-crafted post, they will not only listen to your message but if it’s good enough, they’ll share it. In this way, social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website and landing pages.
It’s all about building real relationships in real time. People are out there checking for hashtags that relate to your business, you’ve just got to put your marketing content where they can see it. Another easy way to grab would-be consumers is through responding to current events. If you have someone behind your social media accounts, ready to react in real time to rising trends then you can ride the wave of interest. Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be spamming. There’s a delicate art to letting the humanity behind your brand seep through your content.
Social media isn’t just good for marketing through. Using it to connect with your unhappy consumers and fixing their problems can be great for your company. Not only do you have a chance to retain their business but you can show other social media users how important every one of your consumers are. When people see your stellar customer service, they are far more likely to choose you over the competition. Engage Customer reported on new research into customer complaint handling, they found that “a well-handled complaint will see three quarters (75%) make a repeat purchase.” This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your loyal and happy consumers though, throwing them a retweet is a great way to market naturally.
Let’s get technical. Advertising on social media allows targeted marketing. When you advertise on Facebook, you can be incredibly specific. You can target via the user’s device, location, and even more specific demographics—gender, age, relationship status, education, workplace, or via their interests and behaviours—and with retargeted marketing, you can really push the boundaries. It’s possible to target consumers who have already visited your website (or any specific landing page). You can split this down with demographics too. If someone has already checked out your product, you can throw them a post advertising a deal to push them over the edge to becoming a lifetime consumer. And if you have a newsletter you can target Facebook advertisements to users who read it.
Social media is great for developing brand loyalty. When your social accounts are speaking like real people, and responding to the same news events that consumers are, people will see the humans behind your brand. This connection is like gold dust. Research by Convince and Convert saw that “66% of 18-24 year-old Americans who have followed a company in social [networks] are more loyal to those companies.” All you’ve got to do is pull them in with your creative, and regularly updated, profiles.
Marketing budgets can be tight for small to medium sized businesses but when it comes to going viral, you’re on equal footing with the big guys. A well-made post on Tumblr or Reddit can drive amounts of traffic that far exceed your marketing budget. It all comes down to creativity. With social media marketing, you break free from the overheads of traditional advertising. You’re not paying for campaigns that are planned well in advance (and possibly out-of-date by the time they hit consumers), you’re paying for an agency’s creativity. This agency is going to drive your social media accounts—increasing social media engagement, pointing towards your website for customer acquisitions, and increasing brand awareness. Importantly, they’re going to be responding to problems immediately, putting out fires on the spot with the correct advice and reassurance to your current customers. Some of your budget will go towards the right logos and banners for your brand, and engaging picture posts.
The importance of social media can’t be overstated. There’s just so much on offer, whether your goals are reach and brand awareness, or more numbers-based things like site traffic, leads, and conversions. Here at Duo, we help companies invest in their online presence. We’ve got the design, and experience, to take you wherever you need to go.