With deeper smartphone penetration and internet access, people have now become more connected and informed digitally. And companies have made the most out of this communication channel by tapping their target audiences with their key messaging and interacting with them effectively. Before the advent of social media such deep rooted and far reaching communication was not even thinkable apart from advertising which was (and still is) an expensive affair! With so much practically being possible with social media and the paradigm shift in the way brands now communicate with their target audiences through it, it is nothing but imperative to keep an account of all the data on the respective social media platforms and analyse it for further use. Social media marketing has exploded in the past decade with the coming of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and almost all the companies have noticeably incorporated it to create maximum buzz for its presence and campaigns.
Some key aspects of social media marketing that have made it the giant that it is today, includes:
a) Massive reach: This is the most important aspect of social media marketing. With people even in the remotest parts of the worls using smartphones, everyone is now connected through social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, etc. The reach is immensely huge and hence it has the potential to amplify one’s reach and generate awareness exponentially.
b) Customer engagement: While ads used to be one-way communication, social media marketing is a two-way communication. Campaigns that are based at garnering user engagement prove out to be really insightful and gauge the audience’s attention and inclination towards the brands. There have been case studies by some of the leading brands who have used customer engagement campaigns and have made it so BIG!
c) The power of visual content: Visual content has far more impact and has longer recall. Without a hint of doubt, 90% of people always prefer visual content over textual or image-based. With platforms like Youube, video-based content sell like hot cakes and instantly garners eye balls if your content is good.
d) SEO: This is the science of optimizing one’s presence digitally online. This process of Search Engine Optimisation enables marketers to reach a wider audience. It is a vast field and needs specific skill sets altogether.
e) Live-streaming possibilities: Social media has boomed and how! With highspeed internet access, people/businesses start using social media outreach simultaneously for events taking place in the present. This has become a mainstream part of social media marketing, and it captures the followers’ attention pretty quick.
f) Rise of influencer marketing: There have been many pages/people who have made their presence of social media such huge and influential that they are now termed as being ‘The Influencers’. Owing to the massive reach and humongous followers of these accounts, companies often reach out to them for effective communication with regards to new announcements or launching campaigns. This is know as influencer marketing
While we all agree that social media marketing is a boon today, companies should also not overlook some basic points while using it, as a minor miss may jeopardise the plan. Some points to consider are:
a) Building trust and transparency is the underlying objective: Though companies have been using social media for their business objectives, but the users are there just to remain connected and informed. Even a small miscommunication might just result in huge defamation and loss of users/audience. Hence, in all your messaging/campaigns, one has to put in the aspect or transparency and trust to retain the reputation and build it further
b) Be clear of the goals you want to achieve: With every communication via social media, companies have a set target to accomplish, be it expanding user base, launching new campaign, aim at user engagement, etc. So, it is very important to make the analysis post the campaign effectively and then compare it with the target you had set initially. This will help understand the loopholes in your communication, in case of any.
c) Don’t go for shortcuts: Social media is a sensitive platform. While it has the potential of taking a company from zero to top, it might as well mar your image due to one sensational/controversial point that you mistakenly/unintentionally included in your campaign. Each and every step needs to be rechecked and monitored thoroughly in order to avoid any blunders.
Social media has brought the entire world closer digitally, and social media marketing has been the rage ever since. The usage of social media marketing for business growth has now become the need of the hour, and it is expected to grow multifold in the coming years.
(Author Pankaj Bansal is Founder and CEO, Newspatrolling.com)