Social marketing works because ultimately, people are social creatures who like to talk to each other, share their lifestyle adventures and have their voice heard. Social marketing allows this interaction between business and consumers and it is virtually the only way it can occur.
It is pretty well impossible for an individual to phone or email a company and get a person who knows what they are talking about and can tell them what they need to know. And with many businesses outsourcing their enquiry department it is often very difficult to understand the accent of the person who answers the phone. And since so many people spend a lot of time on social media or online surfing, it is simply a great way to interact with them.
Social marketing also works because you have control over your time. You can schedule a certain amount of time per day to answer queries or to check out what people are saying, rather than being caught at a busy time on the phone or during a business meeting. It gives you more time to formulate a reply to questions when you can read what is written and think about the answer before typing it in. So in effect, it makes you more efficient and productive to go through social media for marketing.
Social media gives you the best chance to connect with your target audience. You can choose what type of social media platform to use – which will be the one where most of your target hangs out. For instance, if your target customers are business people, then LinkedIn is the way to go. But if you have goods for sale that are visually appealing, Pinterest would be the better platform, since it relies on images to a large extent.
Social media offers you the chance to talk with your audience rather than at them. Responding to people makes them feel important and that their concerns are being noted and acted upon. There is no other way a business can do this apart from social media. Through social media you can admit a mistake, apologise, empathise with a problem and generally show sincerity and integrity. So even if there is negative publicity, you can come through it looking like a business that cares and can be trusted.
Social media also works because so many people spend time on their iPhones or tablets and are so much more available these days. Even just a decade ago this was not the case, but today so many people spend a lot of time doing things online, from chatting with friends to banking to purchasing goods and services.
With social media you can establish brand recognition and tell people what you want them to know about the company, the goods or services that you may provide – and much more cheaply than taking out paid ads. You can establish a community of followers that like your company and often invite their friends to join.
In addition, sharing blogs, images, videos and so on gives followers a reason to click through to your website, increasing traffic organically. Then once they come to your website you have an even better chance of converting them to customers as you present more details about products and offer them various discounts or simply the opportunity to buy what they want easily.
Remember that if you don’t use social media for your business you are leaving a gap that your competitors may be happy to fill.