The overtaking of traditional media by social media sites affords new opportunities to market and grow businesses. Spends on traditional advertising have been declining, replaced by ever-increasing social media advertising spends. The new industry buzzword is social media marketing: the process through which businesses market and sell products and services by harnessing the power of social media. This has proved extremely lucrative: a SmartInsights survey indicates that more than 50 percent of businesses that employ social media marketing have seen an increase in turnover. Moreover, the usage of social media can significantly enhance the visibility of your business: according to an analysis by Sherpa Marketing ( cited by Hootsuite), more users follow companies than celebrities on Instagram. The benefits of employing social media marketing for your business are endless:
  • Increase brand reach: Platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are ideal for discovering new products and brands as customers usually browse through them to find new products that catch their eye.
  • Targeted advertising: Marketing is most effective when it is tailored to a specific clientele. Most major social media platforms collect data on traffic, clicks, post engagements, etc and have stellar analytics that analyses that data, allowing you to understand the demographic characteristics of your audience. Such tools can also help you understand what day and time you should post and help you schedule your posts in a way that guarantees maximum visibility and outreach.
  • Relationship building: Social media allows you to directly engage with your clientele. You can have live events and chats, ask for customer feedback and answer questions. The trick is to keep customers informed and engaged: product videos, giveaways, quizzes, and other competitions are just some of the ways you can do so
  • Customer support: Social media allows a fast and effective way to respond and resolve customer queries and complaints. This allows you to manage your reputation: responding politely and gratefully to positive feedback while politely and effectively resolving criticisms and complaints.
  • Collaborate with influencers: The new advertising model is based heavily on influencers: individuals who have a large following on social media platforms and can thus advocate and market products easily. Their followers believe and trust them ( and want to be like them!), and thus are very much likely to try out the products they advocate.
  • Source content in a cost-effective way: Social media is a great platform to access quality( but free!) user-generated content that can further beg used by your business itself. Clothing brands often encourage customers to style outfits and use the brand’s hashtag giving them ready-made advertised content and increasing brand awareness through the customer’s social network while also keeping customers happy and engaged.
  • Generating leads: Social media apps and sites allow businesses to directly sell to customers( for example, Facebook Marketplace), bypassing the need for customers to be redirected to the brand’s site, which makes it more seamless shopping experience overall
  • Provides a platform for retargeting: Analytics such as Facebook Pixel allow businesses to target users who have previously browsed online but have abandoned their shopping carts( perhaps due to running short on time in that particular instant and then forgetting), thus generating revenue that would have otherwise been lost.

    Written by Bhavi Shah