Facebook, Instagram, Twitter have become household names. From mere social media websites that let friends stay in touch, they have become a necessity, an addiction. This can be seen from the fact that there are around 3 billion on social media and 2 billion users on Facebook alone, as revealed by Statista.
Research published in Marketwatch.com reveals that most of the people spend their waking hours on screen. US adults spend around 11 hours interacting with media in some manner. The statistics show the importance of social media in today’s world. Social media has become the center of all activities; businesses have followed their customers and converted social media platforms into a marketing hub. If you have a business of your own and you still haven’t leveraged the power of social media, then here are some reasons that might convince you to do so:
Your audience is there
Before social media came into the picture, businesses used to rely on the print and TV advertising to reach their target audience. However, with the introduction of social media, the ads started becoming annoying, and people began ditching traditional media. Instead of spending an hour to watch an episode with ads on TV, they prefer to watch it on YouTube in 30 minutes. So, businesses tracked down their customers, and it was not long before they invaded social media as well, and they were right to do so. According to Marketing Sherpa, 95 percent of the online adults between the ages of 18-34 are likely to follow a brand through social media. Hence, there are 50 million small businesses on Facebook, and 4 million of these businesses pay Facebook for advertising.
The best part about social media is its low cost. You will only have to pay a small portion of the traditional media cost to reach your audience, even better the audience that you want. If we talk in numbers, then the cost per thousand viewers or CPM for social media is $2.50 while CPM for TV is around $28, ten times more. CPM for print is around $16 per CPM as well.
The low cost makes it affordable for small businesses as well. Social media makes it possible for small firms with low budgets to compete with the big giants that have deep pockets. If you too run a small business, for instance, you have an online leather store, then you can take advantage of social media to market your products in a pocket-friendly way.
Easier to measure ROI
With traditional media, you spend a lot of money, but you are not sure who will see your ad and whether they will be interested in it or not. However, with social media, you can target your ads to the exact audience you want, and you can monitor who interacted with your ad. This allows you to check your strategies through trial and error without investing a lot of money in it only to know that you were wrong about it.
All social media platforms, whether Instagram or Facebook come with in-depth analysis that can give you insights about demographics of your audience along with their psychographics, which includes their likes and dislikes as well.
With traditional media, it is the businesses bombarding their target audience with advertisements without knowing their reaction or apprehensions. It took a bucket of efforts and several ‘sorry; all our representatives are busy’ to get hold of the companies.
Social media, however, has opened up a two-way street with the audience. It has allowed businesses to interact with their audience in real time, listen to their complaints, and make corrections right away. Answering customer queries as soon as they ask them increases brand loyalty also chances of a repurchase. According to Sprout Social Q2 2016 index, social media is the most preferred channel for customers to engage with brands. Also, customers expect brands to respond to complaints and queries within 4 hours.
If you opt for traditional media, you have to spend on different channels for engagement such as BTL or print and TV. With social media, however, you can be quite creative on one channel.
You can hold competitions and sweepstakes to keep your audience entertained. Also, you can leverage on the ongoing trends immediately. For example, Oreo very creatively capitalized on the blackout during the Superbowl. As soon as the power went out, Oreo tweeted ‘You can still dunk in the dark,’ and it immediately won the hearts of its fans.
According to the Huffington Post, “one of the most buzz-worthy ads of the Super Bowl on Sunday wasn’t even a commercial – it was a mere tweet from Oreo during the blackout.”
Airbnb also set an example with its outstanding and unique social media campaign. Unlike other brands that try to be consistent and formal on social media platforms, Airbnb focused on user-generated content. It started producing unedited and authentic content that its audience could relate with. Along with that, it posted some intriguing captions that would immediately captivate its audience.
Social media is no doubt a real treasure for businesses. However, it only pays back if it is used properly. Mere presence on social media will not benefit you at all. To be successful in social media, you need to keep your objectives and goals in mind. Some businesses may want to generate leads from social media, while others might only want to create brand awareness and keep their audience engaged. Hence, you need to start with clear objectives in mind.
Once you have decided your objectives, you need to be clear about your target audience. If your target audience is baby boomers, for example, you cannot start advertising on Instagram or Snapchat because your target audience is most likely to be on Facebook or Twitter. If you are a fashion brand, on the other hand, Instagram is the best solution for you.
Merely churning out posts for the sake of it is not a good strategy. If you want to conquer the social media world, you need to be consistent and produce quality content.
The basic rules of social media are similar to traditional media only. Just that social media gives businesses more room to be creative and gives customers more power.
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.