Social Media is an emerging trend that provides a variety of advantages for its users, whether for personal or entrepreneurial purposes. In the past decade, we have seen the transformation of social media from a mere avenue and scheme for personal expression and strengthening individual associations to what it is today: a cost-effective and far-reaching structure that acts as a conduit between businesses and customers.
Instagram is a social media site that was initially meant as a canvas where users can capture and share photos of sceneries and events easily between families and friends. Now, it is being used by entrepreneurs and retailers to showcase products and also by customers who wish to purchase items without having to brave the crowds. Twitter was a site where you could tweet random thoughts and ideas in the form of short messages. Now, you can use it as a quick way to post your website’s URL. Facebook, the leading social media website today, allows you to reach friends and classmates that you have not been in touch with for years. Now, people are using it to market their products and services as well provide a way to gather feedback from customers.
Most start-up and even, established companies and institutions nowadays utilize different social media websites in their marketing strategies. But does engaging in Social Media automatically equate to the success of an entrepreneurial endeavor? Will utilizing social media to sell and promote products and services immediately translate to profits? What are the advantages of using Social Media as compared to its traditional counterparts? What can entrepreneurs do to guarantee that Social Media becomes an effective tool for marketing?
Let’s aim to answer these questions one-by-one.
Social Media Marketing = Success and Profits?
The realistic answer, not necessarily. It is important to note that just like all of the previously utilized marketing methods, using social media to promote and market products is not a surefire way to increase profits and ultimately spell success for the company. Like any of its predecessors, it requires an understanding of your market. What are the demographics of your intended market? Are your products meant for people or generation who constantly accesses social media websites and the like? If yes, then SMM might be a good avenue for you. By marketing your products online, where more people can directly access information about your products, you have widened the scope of your existing market. You are shortening to length of time needed to reach more people who will purchase and even just be acquainted with your product.
Are there any advantages that we can expect from this Marketing method?
In this modern age when everyone knows the latest news update or made aware of the hottest fashion trends, social media certifiably offers a significant number of advantages for businesses that utilize this method. Are you promoting a new product? Post about it on Facebook. Are you launching a new custom web design? Tweet the link on Twitter. A few words and a simple click is all it takes to let the world know what you and your business can offer. What used to be done by printing flyers and calling prospective clients piecemeal can now be done in a matter of seconds. The lead time is also reduced as well. You do not have to wait for printing and distribution of marketing collateral that much anymore. You can post about your business while on the subway. You can post about it upon waking up. You can share your products while waiting for that long line at the cinema. You can also monitor comments, reviews and feedback real-time, too. Before you had to ask customers to give reviews by asking them to write it on a form but now all they have to do is fill-up an online form embedded in your website.
What should I do then to get all these benefits?
Simple, remember these three things: Quality, Consistency and Connectivity.
Quality. One needs to publish content, whether blog entries or Facebook posts, that offers quality to its readers. Great quality content will not only attract more buzz to your product or service but will also ensure that your usual audience remains with you. It is always better to have a few hundred quality posts than a thousand ramblings because it shows your prospective clients that you value quality and might be a reflection of the quality of the products you offer.
Consistency. One has to be consistent about the business’ posts on social media. You also have to consistently post content on your media. This way, your audience traffic will not dwindle but will continue to build up. It also shows your customers that you are motivated to provide them with constant information about you. By being consistent, you can also monitor what your customers are saying about you.
Connectivity. Since the primary purpose of social media is to connect, the primary purpose of engaging in this method of marketing should also be to connect. Apart from aspiring to promote your products, it would be much more effective if your goal is to build and strengthen relationships with consumers and even your general audience.
Social Media Marketing allows you to attract customers because you are promoting a quality product and also maintain that connection because of the kind of relationship that you have built and honed with them. Also remember that even if social media gives you benefits at the click of a hand, its success is not ensured unless you’re in it for the long haul.