Marketing is an essential component of any business model. Without marketing, the manufacturer of a product cannot reach his target audience.
Interestingly, marketing as a business activity has undergone a sea change with time. From some mere graphical images in newspapers, it has reached our daily communication medium, that is, our phones.
So, what made this miracle possible? The answer is simple, social media.
Social media has emerged as a predominant medium for expressing our views, thoughts, and opinions. It has become so indispensable that even big multinational corporations use social media platforms to promote their products and services to reach prospective consumers.
As it follows, social media marketing is one of the many marketing methods business owners and companies use. It entails the utilization of various social media platforms to promote and advertise their services and products.
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- Social media marketing involves using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote businesses, products, and services, reaching a broader audience and increasing brand visibility.
- Creating engaging, shareable content is crucial in social media marketing, as it can lead to more organic reach, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.
- By analyzing audience engagement and monitoring social media metrics, businesses can fine-tune their strategies to target specific demographics better and maximize their return on investment.
How does Social Media Marketing work?
As a powerful marketing method, Social Media Marketing applies a vast range of strategies and tactics to enhance product promotion and consumer engagement.
Some of the effective strategies include:
- Collecting user details like location, demography, personal information, and preferences from notable social media platforms to segregate and classify the target audience and send them promotion messages according to their preferences.
- Creating short, eye-catching, and viral content to encourage people to like, subscribe and share those products or services related messages to their friends, family, and other acquaintances.
- Strengthening consumer engagement by encouraging them to share their reviews, comments, and recommendations regarding the product or service (termed ‘earned media’).
How to assess the efficacy of a Social Media Marketing drive?
A social media marketing drive’s efficacy can be estimated using various indicators.
Some of the significant indicators include:
- Website Reports involving tools like Google Analytics.
- Return on investment is calculated by relating marketing strategy with sales activity.
- Customer response rate, i.e., how often consumers refer to a particular company.
- Virality or reach, i.e., how often consumers have shared a particular product content.
Advantages of Social Media Marketing
Social media allows business owners more direct and intimate access to consumer information and preferences than other marketing mediums.
Consequently, social media marketing tends to have the following advantages over other marketing methods:
- Quick promotion: Today, there are hardly any people without an account on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Therefore, through social media marketing, companies can reach their consumers by clicking a ‘post’ button.
- Cost-effective: With free sign-ups and minimal paid promotion costs, social media is probably the cheapest medium to promote a product or service. Besides that, it reaches people directly via their smartphones.
- Wider reach: Today, hardly anyone is without a social media account. Consequently, social media marketing allows companies to reach a diverse consumer base.
- Better segmentation of the consumer base: Most social media platforms collect user information for registration. This feature allows marketers to collect and classify consumer data under different customer categories.
- Better insight into consumer interests: Today, social media has emerged as the most dominant platform for expressing views, thoughts, and opinions. Consequently, companies can directly interact with their current and prospective customers and have a better understanding of their interests and preferences.
Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
Just like any other marketing method, social media marketing has its share of limitations.
- Exposure of business strategies: Keeping an account of another company’s business approach is essential to social media marketing. It follows that a company’s social media presence discloses its business strategies to its competitors.
- Time-consuming: Social media marketing may not demand much money but requires time and patience.
- Requires continuous engagement: Unlike other marketing methods, social media marketing requires constant interaction and engagement with the target audience to generate the desired results.
- Slow ROI: Social media platforms may allow quick promotion with a meager amount of money. However, the return on investment in this marketing method is both slow and low among all other online marketing methods. It is because it demands a tremendous amount of time, labor, and engagement.
- Quick tarnishing of brand reputation: Social media may allow swift promotion of a company’s products and services. However, it can also make a company lose its reputation within minutes if negative information about it goes on its platform.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.