Social media is one of man’s best inventions. It is not only a great platform for people to stay connected with their loved ones in real-time, but it has also changed the way businesses market their brands and grow. Some popular social media platforms that are effective in brand marketing today include Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat, among others.
Social media channels work differently and more effectively when compared to traditional marketing strategies where people had to go door-to-door promoting their products or services, advertise by broadcasting on TV or radio, use billboards, print ads in newspapers, and attend tradeshows. In this post, we shall discuss how social media has changed marketing strategies over the years.
How Social Media Has Changed Marketing Strategies
- Customer support
Customer service aims at establishing a link between a business and its customers. Traditional methods of customer service such as emails and helpline calls can be time-consuming and frustrating, thus resulting in a poor customer experience. One way social media has changed this marketing strategy is that it facilitates this relationship by creating a direct line with your target audience. Customers can now interact with their favorite brands through quick questions and replies on various social media platforms’ comment sections and using the messaging feature. They can express their opinions, positive feedback, and complaints about a brand easily.
On the other hand, businesses can respond to their queries, offer apologies, and attempt to solve problems instantaneously. Customers would want to see if they will receive assistance when they face challenges. Through social media, you can acknowledge even negative posts and humanely respond to users. Easy communication enables you to learn more about your customers’ needs, build brand awareness and win new customers. Reports show that customers who get a good customer service experience are 38 % more likely to recommend that brand and stay loyal to it.
- Brand engagement
Social media and brand engagement are an inseparable pair. Social networks provide opportunities for brands to share content through private messaging and regular posts. Customers can then interact with this content through comments, likes, shares, and website clicks. This brand engagement helps to start discussions whether on the brand’s social media profile or the customers’ own, which can lead to increased awareness and sale conversions.
Brand engagement strategies are important for businesses as they enable them to interact constantly with their customers and turn them into brand ambassadors. As a business owner, you will know your customers’ opinions on your products or services better, and thus take any measures needed to improve your brand and solve any problems they may have before they escalate. Improved brand engagement is one of the ways social media has changed marketing strategies because, in the past, interacting one-on-one with a brand was difficult or expensive.
Social media platforms provide both free and paid advertising opportunities which is quite a change from previous marketing strategies. In the past, adverts could only be found in newspapers, TVs, and radios. With the limited media, the number of people reached was small. Social media has changed these marketing strategies by making advertising available to more than half of the world’s population who use it (58.2%, 4.62 billion social media users worldwide).
Advertisements on social media have also evolved. For instance, paid ads on Facebook can refine the target audience and reach out to them during an ideal set time. Facebook can categorize its audience depending on gender, age, race, income, physical location, and employment. It can monitor the performance of various ads and optimize them for specific days. Facebook also offers brand monitoring services where you can create a detailed report on metrics such as conversions, link clicks, brand mentions, likes, shared posts, etc.
- Marketing insights and analytics
Previously, marketers could not detect data such as profile information, online reviews, posts liked, information about customers, what drives them, etc. However, today, with the help of brand monitoring tools such as Mention and Google Alerts, you can listen to customers and know their thoughts. Another way social media has changed marketing strategies is by enabling you to access data on customer habits and trends. With social media and its associated social listening tools, you can create better ads when you understand what potential buyers want.
Targeting specific individuals is now possible with data analytics on social platforms. Your ads can be displayed to the targeted individuals only. This decreased size of the target audience makes marketing personal and also saves the money spent on advertising. Additionally, companies can now eliminate third-party market data since they can directly engage with social media users resulting in effective marketing campaigns.
- Bypassing gatekeepers
Social media has also eliminated the gatekeepers who existed between the brand and its customers in the past. Having a press release published or writing articles used to be a complicated process. There was a middle man or a professional PR who determined what was to be said or written and what message to deliver to the audience. This middle man could not provide real-time feedback or interaction with customers. With social media, brands are more responsible, efficient, and have more control over the message they want to deliver.
- Business intelligence
The various social platforms are used to eliminate chances of trial and error while deciding on tactics and strategies to use in order to run a company successfully. One of the ways social media changed marketing strategies is by enabling businesses to spy on their competitors and customers to gather information. This way, you can learn what tactics made your competitors fail or succeed by monitoring their companies, and thus avoid making the same mistakes or implement similar strategies, depending on what you find out. You could also use that information to learn about the challenges similar companies face and look for solutions for future purposes if the same problem occurred in your company.
- Free marketing
Social media has made it easy for your content to reach anybody you want by only making a click. This facilitates free marketing once you build a social media presence. Your satisfied clients can share your posts with others or refer people to like or follow your page.
- Increased competition
In the past, your company was only competing against next-door companies. Making the world a global village is one of the ways social media has changed marketing strategies. Unfortunately, due to the high number of people using social media networks globally today, the number of rivals has increased. It is vital for you to find ways to make your brand stand out to every industry worldwide.
- Viral content
Today, it is possible for millions of people to pick up a viral piece of content on social media instantly. This is an improvement to what happened in the past years when viral content only got into the hands of a few news stations. This development is a good thing, and companies are making considerable investments in their marketing budget to have their content in such viral circulation. Viral content can also have negative repercussions on your brand, especially if your product or an employee is getting canceled for doing something controversial.
- Video and live services
In this digital age, organizations can attract customers with a wide variety of content options such as video, graphics, polls, live chat, demos, and many others. These options are created creatively to resonate with every segment. Statistics show that visual content on a site is more likely to be shared on social media at least 40 times more than text-only content. Keep in mind that people remember 80% of what they see.
As you can see, social media has changed marketing strategies in many ways. As social media networks continue to expand, with millions of users per day, all businesses should seize this opportunity to grow their brands. Social media has made promoting your products and services easier, thus saving you a lot of the money, time, and effort you would have used on marketing strategies in the past.
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