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Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool for Your Business

Introduction

  • Social media marketing refers to the use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to promote a product or a service. It also extends to using digital platforms (social networking websites) and media for marketing purposes, and it is a fairly recent approach to marketing (barely 20 years old) that heavily relies on user-generated content. Before social media, marketing was approached from a traditional approach that involved traditional media such as pull-outs in the daily newspapers, television advertisements and programs, radio advertisements, and magazine advertisements. The other key difference between social media marketing and traditional marketing is the ability of consumers to determine the content and its flexible marketing approach.
  • Traditional marketing also extends to face-to-face marketing approaches, and while novice marketers might be quick to dismiss these traditional marketing approaches, they are still very relevant. It is important to note that the integration of both traditional and social media marketing is crucial for the success of marketing. However, in the current evolving world, the use of social media is rising, and this means business marketers should focus on exploiting it more than traditional media.

Why Social Media for Marketing?

  • At the end of 2018, there were an estimated 2.5 billion social media users globally. In yet another survey by the Pew Research Centre in 2018, it was found that in middle and high-income countries, at least 65% of the adult population had a presence on social media. For marketers, this indicates a growing convenience and cheap platform where potential clients can be targeted while still engaging with existing clients in a social environment using a simple click of the mouse.

This statistic shows the number of social media users worldwide from 2010 to 2016 with projections until 2021. In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.

  • This has been further enhanced by the proliferation of the internet and smartphones in developing economies, hence the suitability of social media for business marketing. What makes social media a novel marketing approach is not its ability to reach many people; it is the many options it gives you as a marketer in the various ways you can get information to customers.

In addition to the traditional aspect of using social media as a marketing tool for your business through engaging with clients, you can reap the benefits of social media in marketing by applying it in four key areas: branding, analytics, advertising, and the building of social media communities.

These key areas directly impact on aspects of marketing like market research, targeting, positioning, budgeting and metrics.

  1. Branding of the Organization and Products
  • As a marketer, creating and propagating your business brand and products is all that matters. There are several social media platforms to create and establish brands. The primary ones include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
  • A brand refers to the experience of the consumer that makes him or her distinguish a product or an industry from its competitors uniquely. Your marketing objectives at the time are vital when identifying the type of platform to use given the many social media platform options. During the creation of brands, an industry should display consistency in the information they provide to consumers. If your business uses many social media platforms, you should apply successful consistency by using a common name, profile, and cover photo. Additionally, the organization should have a standard short description of a brand across all the platforms.
  • If you have developed a website, the links guiding the target clients to the website should be available on those social media platforms. Effective branding is essential for successful marketing as it not only attracts new customers but keeps the image of the firm alive. As a thumbs-up rule, you should publish posts daily on your top social media accounts and weekly on your less active accounts to engage your brands actively with your customers.
  1. Advertisement
  • As a marketer, marketing boils down to advertising your product in the spirit of growing your business. An advertisement is the publicising or promotion of your business and product across social media platforms. The popular media platforms for ads include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. During advertisements on social media, it is essential to be careful in choosing the search keywords that market your business and what you are offering.
  • Facebook segregates the advertisement section according to demography, behavior categories, and interest groups. It also provides a space for paid advertisements. Using this to gain a competitive advantage in marketing The demographic section targets the clients’ location, financial capabilities, age, work, and even ethnic groups. The behavior category focuses on the purchase behavior of the customers and includes the consumer classification, media, and job types.
  • As a result, you can target people who visited your website via other social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn.While advertising, it is crucial to establish categories for the interest groups according to your objectives outlined in your marketing strategy. On Facebook, for example, the products have been placed into the categories of entertainment, shopping, sports technology, among others, to enhance objectivity.

The advertisement section on Facebook

  1. Statistical Analyses
  • What ultimately separates a business that uses social media and those that don’t in marketing is the first-hand statistics that these platforms generate. With the advancement in artificial intelligence and complex engines that use millions of algorithms to mine user data for you, your business’s social media platform is where you should turn for real-time statistics.
  • Social media analytics is critical for understanding product reviews or the overall appeal of a business to consumers.The access of emails through LinkedIn and customised specific fields on Facebook and Twitter has made it possible to estimate the number of people who visit your digital spaces and what is required of the business are strategies to convert these visitors to clients.

The analytics on Twitter, Facebook and Google

  • Analytics are essential in both B2B (business to business) marketing and business-to-consumer marketing. On Twitter, the market analysis of a product, which informs the overall marketing strategy, is done through the analysis of impressions, clicks, tweets, and retweets. On Facebook, insights through likes, views, and sharing of the products show the analytical trends of the market.
  • The analytics focuses on the different demographical aspects of age, gender, relationship status, economic status, job title, lifestyle and specific interest groups. You can also know the location of your customers with the correct tool installed-an advantage when it comes to positioning and targeting strategies. Analytics is also key for your understanding of the purchasing behaviors of your customers and what they want, and this is effectively provided by social media.
  1. Building a Social Media Community
  • Unlike other modes of marketing, social media marketing for your business helps you build a networked community where marketing is faster and more efficient. The creation of an online community is essential for any business that targets many clients. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn groups provide a broad audience compared to your business website or a marketing campaign you have published in the dailies.
  • The building of communities on social media that encourage the engagement of clients in discussions, listening to the audience, and attending to complaints. However, be careful to establish groups that are ideal for customers because, at the end of the day, you are targeting social media users who can be converted into clients.

Comments, insights and reactions section in the building of a community on Facebook

Conclusion

  • The use of social media as a tool in marketing is crucial for any business today. For your social media marketing campaign to be successful, you should focus on a quality advertisement, appealing brands, the study of analytics, and the building of social media communities.
  • However, when you finally get good returns on investment for your social media marketing efforts and you have an authoritative position in the market, do not rest. Social media is always going to advance, and it is prudent that you be part of its evolution. Keep up with the latest trends and keep away from previous mistakes.
  • Ultimately, the key to social media marketing for your business is having fun with it—connect, have a conversation, and mingle with your customers at all levels.

Article by Chuma Obum

 Photo by Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash

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