As with many other business owners, you may be forgiven for wondering How Effective Is Social Media Marketing?
With over 2.3 billion active social media users in 2018, it is becoming evident that social media is the next best thing to ever happen to
The business sector is not left out in the impact of this social media revolution. The effectiveness of social media marketing cannot be quantified. Marketers are already leveraging on the number of people that are active on social media to raise strategies that will further make their brands seem indispensable.
Social media marketing may not be as easy as owning a profile on social media and increasing your community, but it is certainly effective for turning a product into the number one choice for both actual and prospective customers.
By the end of this post, we will introduce you go how effective social media marketing is for driving brand loyalty, influencing buyers decision, expanding brand recognition, increasing inbound traffic and introducing your brand to potential customers you didn’t know about.
From whatever angle you may choose to look at it, social media marketing has continued to show how effective it is to both marketers, business owners and the ordinary consumer that may be looking for where to get the best version of the products they need.
Here, we will highlight some areas where social media marketing has proven to be effective for businesses and customers alike, as well as explain how best business owners can further reap benefits from social media marketing.
You must have read in several places that social media marketing is highly beneficial for driving brand loyalty.
Of course, that’s very correct, but just how does it do it. It is important for any marketer to understand the process of a thing, before making any move to achieve it. Using social media marketing to shoot up brand loyalty all starts from the engaging target market.
It is a common knowledge that social media works as a tool for attracting customers – at least to a lot of technologically savvy people, this is true. However, only a few people know how to precisely set a bar that will correctly measure social media effectiveness.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of articles even go as far as questioning the value of social media likes. Well, that’s a step too far, but it’s not why we are here. We are yet discussing how social media can specifically affect brand loyalty. Remember we said it all starts from engagement, so we’ll be looking at it through a lens of customer engagement.
Most marketing commentators have defined customer engagement specifically around active investment, suggesting in most situations that it is what leads to and drives commitment.
We are currently in a century when social media marketing should be held to a very high standard compared to other conventional marketing media, given the immense ability it possesses to affect the conversion from engagement to commitment.
Globally, people are drawn to social media by a need to connect, which is neither brand specific nor product specific. The main challenge of marketers here is to take advantage of the engagement and push it to their brand. This is easier if it is a Facebook page. In some other cases, marketers can join the conversion that’s already going on.
Generally, the first move towards using social media to develop brand engagement is through engaging with brand-related content, and there are a number of metrics that can be used to measure it, including likes, follows, shares, impressions, comments, and click-throughs.
Ideally, social media marketing is highly effective for steering other interaction in other touch points beyond brand engagement. These touch points may be inspiring store visit, driving target customers to company’s website or encouraging telephone contact. All these have become easily trackable.
When we talk about social media marketing and how it’s being held to a higher standard, we’re also talking about the impact on customer loyalty.
Sometimes, it’s not ultimately about what the consumer thinks or says, but about what they do eventually. Loyalty is probably best defined as a behavioural predisposition that can be noticed in a continuous series of behaviours, and not in a single act.
The question now is what these behaviours are and how social media affects or contributes to it.
This is one aspect where social media has become way too effective. Brands are leveraging on the power of social media to influence their target market positively.
No wonder social media influencers are earning big from what they do. Whether you like it or not, most of your actual and potential customers are on at least one social media platform.
They are not just on social media, but they are actively participating in everything that’s happening; liking, commenting, sharing, viewing etc. The question now is how effective this can be in the marketing strategy of any brand.
Since customers are active on social media, there is a high probability that they are engaging others people with similar buying habits. These days, people post almost everything on social media, including their recent purchases and their positive or negative feedbacks. Your prospects are reading, and one positive comment has immense power to convince them to buy.
In the same way, one negative comment about your product can cause them to opt for the products of your competitors, instead of yours.
It is true that you are investing in other traditional advertising media, but beyond the power of those media, your targets will prefer to let the words of friends and colleagues influence their buying decision.
As a brand that wants to benefit completely from social media, it is important to have a strong social media team that will handle your social media pages round the clock, tracking mentions, replies and references.
They’ll have the job to clarify miscommunication that will potentially arise from negative comments right there on the post so that targets will not be convinced against buying from you.
There are professionals social media managers. You can either hire them to be part of your in-house team or go for freelancers. The goal is for them to deliver and fetch you maximum returns on investment.
Another area where social media is highly effective is in the area of improving visibility, hence pushing up the recognition that a brand gets.
Sometimes, it is about speed and coverage. With a social media business profile, you have increased the opportunity to post inspiring contents and present your brand in the best voice and personality that you want.
With your compelling content that adds positive value to your audience, you are putting your brand right where it will accessible by old customers and known by new leads.
For example, let’s say a social media user from your target market stumbles on your page on social media.
They might have heard about you before, but with the kind of contents that they see on your page and how you’ve succeeded in proving your dominance in your industry, they will be better convinced that the product you are offering is the right product for them.
This can exactly be the case of your existing customers too. After seeing something new and inspiring from you or after seeing your content being shared across multiple networks, they are able to become more acquainted to your brand, and this will definitely push them towards repeated purchase.
The goal here is to convert as much leads as possible, but you can’t get sales if people don’t know about your brand. Social media marketing is highly effective in this function.
It may seem difficult when you’re starting because you are concentrating in building a community, but as your online community begin to grow, more and more people will be inclined to click on your profile or get redirected through a call to action.
That’s publicity given to you and your brand on a platter of gold. Furthermore, when the people in your community begin to share your posts in their profile, the draw the attention of their friends to your brand as well as how it can be of use to them.
Social media continues to take centre stage as a key marketing channel for small businesses that are looking to gain visibility, generate leads and drive immense traffic to their website.
This is how the whole process works: business owners start by identifying sites that are perfect for their kind of business, as well as create optimised social media outposts that put their brands where it can easily be found.
The first step to maximizing the effectiveness of social media marketing for driving traffic to your website is to understand which social networks work best for your business and how you can use them to convert your audience into leads.
The truth is that not all social networking sites are fit for your business and digging your hands into all of them will be counterproductive to your goal of achieving better returns on investment.
Yes, we are being presented with far too many social network options on an almost daily basis, but it will be best effective to pick a few platforms that are most relevant and make optimal use of it.
How do you choose which social media platform is best for your business? Begin by going for the ones that give you the most access to your target audience.
Additionally, your marketing strategy should include both where easily get the right audience and how best to provide value for your actual audience on each network.
To best illustrate how effective social media marketing is in this perspective, we will be using a couple of examples:
A local drink producer may go with Twitter and Facebook for a start. The Facebook page for transacting local businesses, with a physical address, so that customers can post reviews and check-in.
The business can go ahead to create interesting and fun contents relating to food, interact with customers by probably asking questions and receiving feedback from customers as they participate in discussions.
Once the first two social platforms begin to gain momentum, the business can now expand into other platforms that it can use to put itself in people’s search results.
By building a strong presence on the platforms that are relevant to your business and optimizing them, you are basically:
Easing the process of getting to find you on the web by increasing your web footprint, pushing your contents to be seen by more people, thus making you appear as an expert, increasing your brand visibility.
The point is that with consistency in intriguing contents, you will seal yourself as an expert to your followers, hence they will not find it difficult switching to your website.
Social Media Marketing is Effective for Targeting Ideal Customers
We talked about social media being effective for generating leads in one of the points above. But social media marketing goes on beyond that to point a business in the right direction where it can focus its campaign.
Social media ads are rocking the marketing world now. Although they may require some investment up front, if done rightly, the money you will be spending will be meagre compared with the level of complement it will give to your organic campaigns on social media channels.
Social media platforms like Facebook have already inculcated sophisticated targeting capabilities into their routine to help you target the ideal customers and to a large extent, this affects your audience to buyers rate positively.
This is certainly the best way to get high returns on your marketing investment.
The effectiveness of social media for targeting specific customers is one of the reasons why marketers want to use it.
Nothing beats having your message get to the right set of people you want it to get to. Sometimes, it’s not about the population, but about the ones that your campaign will affect positively.
The first thing is to identify your target market, then employ strategies on social media to get your ads to your target audience.
Some more sophisticated social media features will even help you calculate the indices and suggest the market segment that is most likely to buy your products based on their previous online behaviours so that you can properly develop your strategy and focus it towards them.
With Facebook ads, for instance, you can use ads platform to define who your ideal customers are. Facebook will then support you by taking your ad content to the people that exhibit similar behaviours to what your target audience is doing.
As your marketing strategy continues to bring relevant traffic to your site, you get the opportunity to improve outcomes, irrespective of what your ad goals may be.
Social Media is Effective for Helping Brands Connect With Customers They are Not Aware Off
There’s quite a high probability that most brands will rely on PPC ad traffic and search engine to find potential customers.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong about that, but marketing on social media can be more effective for bringing in new customers.
Recommendations and reviews are great ways that the name of your brand can travel far beyond your sphere. People are connecting with their friends and family on social media and as they connect, the possibility of exchanging recommendations increase.
Several pieces of research and statistics have shown that people are going to trust the recommendations that their friends are making to them, more than any advert.
This can either be an advantage or a disadvantage to your business, depending on how you manage it. Furthermore, potential customers trust online reviews almost as much as they believe personal recommendations, so there’s also a high possibility that the social media review you are getting can serve to encourage or discourage new targets that you didn’t know about from making a purchase decision that will favour your business.
Another effective way that you can create opportunities and acquire new customers is through a social listing.
By using keywords that are related to your industry to search for a trend in topics, you can see what conversation is going on and who’s taking part in it. This can introduce you to industry influencers that you can partner with m, to boost your visibility status.
Every new upgrade continues to feature new and exciting tools across all social media networks. Researching for the best ways to use these new tools is what stands you out as a 21st-century marketer.
You must, however, note that the effectiveness of social media marketing is highly dependent on how a marketer masters each social media platform use them to the best of his or her interest.
You have first to identify your specific goals, identify your audience, carefully select your platform, employ a manager that’s qualified, deliver consistently, woo influencers, grow and engage your audience, as well as measure your results from time to time.
First, you need to build a credible reputation, make moves to attract the right audience, connect and tap knowledge from like-minded business professionals, diversify your marketing efforts and use the right tools.