Are you one of the many business owners that think and believe that Social Media Marketing is just a waste of time? Well, think again and get your facts straight for you might be making a terrible business decision should you persist with this line of thinking. What you may not understand is that social media is fast becoming a very strong digital marketing tool that can connect your business with targeted audiences – many of whom could be potential customers – if the process is done right.
Many entrepreneurs and business owners from different niches and markets have come to realize the full potential of social media marketing to their businesses. Whether they are just a startup company finding their way into the global digital marketplace, or a strong and established brand wishing to explore new arenas to conquer, social media marketing can be a very powerful tool to help you achieve your goals. If you’re still not convinced with these statements, then the following list of reasons why you should use social media marketing for your business will definitely open up your eyes.
1) Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy with Social Media Marketing
Top research company eMarketer released their “Web Development Top B2B Priority in 2013” report just recently, highlighting that social media is the second best digital marketing channel for them right after their main websites. Social media channels are important to these respondents that they are willing to make it the third top priority for digital marketing spending in 2014.
It is expected that this trend will persist and increase as the year progresses, a clear indication of how important social media marketing is for businesses. It is also a clear indication that business owners should take a hint from what established businesses are saying and give more focus on social media marketing if they plan to get ahead in their industry niches in the coming year.
2) Reach More Targeted Audiences with Social Media Marketing
An interesting research from Forrester highlighted that social networks are becoming a go-to resource for online information for 50% of users in the 18-23 year old bracket. The same report also indicated that 43% from the 24-32 year old groups also use social networks as a source for online information. Derived from another research conducted by Pew Internet, the following graph describes social network usages across different groups. The graph indicates a tremendous increase in social media use, with the 18-29 age groups of young adults raking in the biggest usage increase, from 9% to a high 89%.
These figures indicated an interesting characteristic of social media marketing that allows business owners and digital marketers to target specific groups of online users or communities with the same likes and preferences. Take Facebook for example. Communities within the whole Facebook community are being established every day, with Groups and Pages sprouting almost every minute of the day focusing on one particular niche or topic of interest.
As a digital marketer, you can connect and interact with members of a particular group, doing your part to build relationships by sharing valuable information, earning trust and interest enough for them to come and visit your sales pages and get an understanding of what you have got to offer them.
3) Directly Interact with Targeted Customers Using Social Media Marketing
The last statement earlier was probably why the social media revolution took off in the first place – the ability to directly interact with other online users using social channels. This feature is what generally describes Web 2.0, which is an iteration of the previous Web 1.0 system that only showcases static content. With Web 2.0, online interaction was made possible, allowing online users to easily make comments, “like” a post, tag a picture, participate in online surveys, rate products or sellers, and easily book a hotel room.
Using proper procedures and etiquette, you can leverage on these social interaction channels to gain better engagement with your targeted customers. Business owners can have a better line of direct communication with customers that no other traditional advertising methods could ever achieve. The more you interact with your online users, the more trust is built, which could eventually turn online users into loyal customers.
4) Reach a Wider Audience with Social Media Marketing
The features of Web 2.0 that make social media interesting for many people allow them to share, like, comment, re-tweet, re-post, or whatever social media term a particular social network use to describe interaction with other online users. These activities are usually reciprocated by also receiving likes and shares for their own posts not only to their direct connections, but also to their subscribers and friends’ own networks and circles.
These exchanges are what make great content go viral, which can even spread more exponentially and reach even wider audiences as exchanges are made public through the newsfeeds, which can later be seen by friends-of-friends and even the general public. As your content go viral, it can reach more and more people who may be genuinely interested about your brand, product or service, driving highly targeted traffic to your landing pages or sales pages – and generate revenue.
5) Gain Better Insights of Your Targeted Customers with Social Media Marketing
Previously, Digital Marketing Philippines presented information about a recent social networking research project from Pew Internet. The report highlighted social media usage among adults with access to the Internet at a high 72%. From a gender perspective, 74% of female respondents make use of social media while male social media users have a bit lower figure of 62%. A more detailed breakdown of social media usage demographics can be seen in the following table from Pew Internet.
Figures like these can help you gain a better insight of your target customers. It would also be important to note that Facebook and Twitter are not the only social media players available. There are other sites like Yelp.com, Epinions.com, Shopping.com, Yahoo Answers, Aardvark, LinkedIn Answers, and Quora where people get reviews, opinions, and recommendations about products, shops, restaurants, destinations, and other services – giving you a better understanding of their spending habits and other online activities which you can leverage for your business.
6) Leverage the Power of Word-of-Mouth through Social Media Marketing
Word of mouth has been proven time and time again as the most powerful and most effective form of marketing and in the digital marketing arena social media marketing comes closest to word-of-mouth as other channels can be. The power of word-of-mouth relies on the fact that 92% of people will trust what their families or friends say about a particular brand, product or service more than what advertising and other forms of marketing say. This is established by studies such as Nielsen’s “Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages”.
The same report also says that more than half of consumers really do not trust or find traditional advertising materials credible, which give more influence and power to word-of-mouth. Social media marketing can help you build that level of trust with your targeted audiences, enough to give them great interest in what your content has to offer in terms of providing for their needs or catering to their interest.
7) Gain Greater Customer Trust through Social Media Marketing
In another Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, it establishes the fact that consumers place high value on the opinion of people they trust. The survey indicated that 90% of the more than 25 thousand respondents from 50 countries say that they trust what people they know say about a particular brand, product or service and would most like follow their recommendations about these things.
These figures just reinforce the fact that many people value the opinion of friends, relatives and other people they respect. This is a clear indication of the power of opinion as an advertising tool that can influence buying activities from online consumers – and opinion is what people most like share through social media. This buying behavior is practiced way before any online services have already been established and is one powerful way business owners and digital marketers can leverage on to gain better results from their digital marketing efforts.
8) Increase Your Sales through Social Media Marketing
Figures from Item#7 establishes the importance of building trust through social media marketing and this in turn will be substantial in increasing your sales. If this will not convince you enough, then perhaps more data from another Nielsen study will convince you. The report is entitled “A Multi-Mix Media Approach Drives New Product Awareness” and the research conducted here established that up to 77% of consumers have a greater possibility of buying a new product if the information they gathered about what they intend to purchase came from their families or friends.
If this data is not yet enough for you, then a separate study from Market Force will prove these facts even more. The report says that a greater percentage of consumers, 81%, will most likely make a purchase after being influenced by what their social media friends post. Harnessing the power of social media marketing can help you achieve all these and gain better sales from all your campaigns.
9) Get Better Search Engine Optimization through Social Media Marketing
Search engines and social networks are two great but distinct tools online users go to for sources of information for whatever purposes they may require. But as explained earlier, online users would trust or are more likely be swayed by advice or recommendations from friends, loved ones – people they know. This “social” touch is important for many people and will most likely influence their buying decisions online.
That is why major search engines like Google and Bing are integrating the “social” element from social media right into their own search frameworks. One great example is the recent partnership between Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing where they plan moves to make search engines more social. This trend will most likely influence search engine optimization in the very near future so it would be best to start focusing now on social media networking to get a good hold of this “social” element in your marketing now.
10) Get Ready for Rise of Semantic Web through Social Media Marketing
With moves to make search engines more social is the eventual move towards Semantic Web or what would be more popularly known as Web 3.0. Search engines will focus more not on mere keywords but on the meaning of these sets of keywords, making search results more relevant and closer to the information people are actually searching for. On top of that, semantic web will also consider “social” elements more heavily, with results being ranked based on what a particular online user’s social media friends and other related consumer demographics is saying or recommending from the social media sphere.
As this modern world progress, the digital marketplace will be ushering in new systems and programs that incorporate both high technologies and social elements. This is just a practical trend and direction for the digital world to take for it is still indeed humans who will still be using and benefiting from all these. So indeed, social media will be here to stay and will be integrated more into people’s lives, the society they live in, and the marketplace they operate on.
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