Social Media Marketing and Smart communication technologies have become an ingrained part of society in the 21st century. With the continued development of such technologies, it is imperative to acknowledge the impact and influence social media has had on advertising.
Businesses locally grown or internationally recognised, both small and large in size, can benefit significantly from the effective and strategic use of different social media platforms for marketing purposes. The calculated use of social media Marketing can assist your business in effectively identifying and connecting with your target audience. Isolating specific user demographics, analysing buying behaviours and examining other appropriate behavioural patterns will ensure you are able to better understand the needs and wants of your potential customer base.
What is SMM?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) entails the utilisation of social media platforms to connect with your audience digitally. This promotes brand awareness, establishes brand loyalty, increases sales and drives website traffic. Reaching your audience through social media involves publishing relevant, accurate and striking content, actively engaging with your followers, analysing your outcomes and running social media advertisements.
The insight and understanding gained here can assist in improving your customer service. Social Media allows you to connect with potential customers on a more personal level through the instant feedback afforded to you by the real-time nature of these platforms. In this same way, social media marketing meets 24/7 customer service; allowing you to keep your potential customers informed and up-to-date around the clock.
Statistics suggest that more than 3 billion people worldwide actively use the internet on a daily basis. This exemplifies how almost half of the earth’s entire population make use of the internet for research, entertainment and e-commerce. In South Africa (January 2020) alone, there are a recorded 34.5 million daily internet users, 22 million of whom engage specifically with social media. So, why should you invest in SMM for your business?
Your customers are on social media
One of the best reasons for you to implement SMM is that your customers are spending time here. Not only are your customers on social media, but there’s a good chance many of them are checking these sites daily. Connecting with your target audience can be easy if you are active on the channels they use most often. Why make your customer’s come to you, if you can go to them.
According to Qwerty Digital, the most loved and used social media platforms in South Africa are Whastapp, Youtube and Facebook, with Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn following closely behind.
Social Media provides varied platforms and numerous advertising formats
Social Media platforms are incredibly versatile. One of the beauties of Social Media Marketing is that it offers you the chance to tailor-make your ads to suit your target audience. For example, while older generations make more use of Facebook, younger audiences can be reached through Snapchat and Instagram. You can even break it down to content. For example, if you’re relying primarily on visual aesthetics, Pinterest and Instagram are your ideal platforms. Whatever your goal, there is likely a social media platform that can help you achieve it.
Platforms allow you to create specific target audiences
Advertisers and social media marketing platforms have a symbiotic relationship with one another. Advertisers need the platforms to be able to raise awareness of their brand, service or product. Similarly, majority of social media platforms need advertisers to aid their funding. As such, social media platforms provide advertisers with a multitude of tools, services and strategies to support them in their efforts to reach users. For example, customised targeting allows you to reach potential customers as broadly or as narrowly as you prefer. In this way, you are able to craft unique messages fashioned for the right target audience.
Social media platforms drive targeted traffic to your website or landing page
When it comes to measuring the success of your advertising campaign, click-through is one of the most important metrics. Your click-through rate measures the ratio of users who click on a specific link, to the number of total users who viewed a web page or advertisement.
Your social media profiles therefore provide yet another channel to get more inbound traffic to your website. This suggests that Social Media Marketing is an excellent strategy to complement your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. In this way, each individual piece of content that you post to your social media is another opportunity to bring new visitors to your site. Once the visitor arrives at your site, you will have the opportunity to convert. The more quality content that you post on your social media channels, the more opportunities you have to engage new leads and direct them back to your website.
Consumers are looking for recommendations on social media
Word-of-mouth marketing has traditionally been one of the most powerful tools in any company’s marketing toolbox. This is no different for social media platforms. Not only is it free, but it goes a long way in helping you build relationships with potential leads, and maintain loyalty with returning customers. In many ways, social media has become the new outlet for word-of-mouth marketing. Now more than ever, brands are encouraging their customers to leave reviews on their social media profiles, recommend their brand to friends and family, and provide testimonials.
As a result, consumers are more likely to buy brands that have been recommended to them, or that have excellent reviews. Not only do consumers trust reviews on social media, but they often seek them out before making a purchasing decision. For this reason, it’s important that you actively encourage your happy customers to leave your brand a review on social media and recommend your products and services to others. This is a great way to generate some of that valuable word-of-mouth magic that helps sales soar.