Simply put, the use of websites and social media pages to market or promote a service or product is called Social Media Marketing. Think of this kind of marketing as a more evolved form of digital marketing or e-marketing.
The big point of social media marketing is the sheer number of users it can touch – not just present customers but possible future customers too. Along with them, the campaign can be viewed by members of the media, the general public, and even employees of the organisation who can then speak about the product themselves.
One of the ways by which marketers are aided is through the fabulous data analytics tools that these platforms come equipped with. Using these tools, companies can know every little bit of information, including whether or not a campaign has been successful or not. It’s not just the creation and execution of a marketing campaign that clinches the deal online. It is also about making sure it runs smoothly, addressing glitches and queries in real time, navigating through the comments and ideas thrown in by users, and generally setting the tone of how the brand or the product needs to be viewed.
There are many options for marketers to use here. Social media websites are the most common. Among them, the most popular choices are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat. Each site has something unique to offer the marketer. For instance, WhatsApp and Messenger receive somewhere around 60 billion messages every single day.
With Facebook Live, real time streaming is now possible, as it is on YouTube as well. Marketers can use it to show product launches and events. Facebook Live gives users a sense of engagement and involvement and statistics show that more people watch a live video than one that’s been pre-taped.
On Snapchat, marketers can use the ‘geofilters’ option. This lets them create images, choose the location they want to see it at, and the duration it needs to be online, and then with a simple payment and approval, it goes online. People see the image and then visit the space to attend an event or a promotion.
Twitter’s Moments let you post a series of tweets and pictures in the order you want it, along with the location specified, GIFs, videos, and other ideas as well.
Over a 100 million users showed their love for Instagram Stories within a month of it being launched. Create a story using tools, live stream, camera options, and what have you, and make your video. Links to the stories can take users to the company site. The marketing campaign can be visualised as a story and this creates a sense of involvement.
Marketing can go one step further and use tools such as GaggleAmp and Circulate.it to learn about how their marketing strategy is going. This will let them tweak and modify the plan as and when required. Both tools come crammed with information that can be the key differentiator in the process.
Social media marketing brings together people with shared interests. This sense of engagement and community feeling is where the success of such a marketing campaign truly lies.
Social media influencers wield the kind of power that marketers and advertisers can only dream of. This is why they are so important to companies and brands. Simply put, they get the job done.
Today, the average customer is spoilt for choice. No matter the product, there are tons of options to choose from. And no matter how innovative the advertising or marketing campaign, there’s not too much going for the customer to decide what product works for him or her. This is where the influencer’s job becomes so important. There’s something about the connect the influencer has with the audience that’s irreplaceable and, sometimes, impossible to mimic.
When an influencer speaks about a product experience, there’s a huge bunch of people listening and making their own decisions. They base it most on the trust they have on the influencer, rather than the product specifications alone. This is one of the key reasons why influencers are so vital to any marketer. They create dependability with their actions.
Sometimes, their actions are as simple as a tweet, blog post, like, share and comment. Among the audience, word of mouth spreads the message faster than any other ad campaign possibly could, making the product even more visible. Apart from word of mouth, peer recommendations also play a powerful role in creating awareness and sales. When this recommendation comes from an influencer whom the audience member likes and admires, then its effect is even stronger.
A marketing campaign, no matter how good, need not appeal to everyone. But an influencer appeals to an audience because of the content that they create – target specific, current, creative, and personal. This means less work for the marketing team and ideas they may never have even considered.
There’s another aspect here too- the influencer’s own aura or personality. What their behaviour is like is what the audience connects to. For instance, an influencer who’s on point with fashion can be a great asset for a fashion brand or a clothes start-up. One shout-out from them or a click here link is enough and the company can see a complete change in fortune. Similarly, a sports personality can influence sales by the kind of clothes and kit they use. This personality works indirectly to cause sales to occur. Thus, a marketer needs to be careful about whom they approach with what kind of product.
The social media influencer also comes with a readymade and receptive audience- a tough job simplified for the marketer. Influencers tend to have an active blog, a host of tweets on a daily basis, interesting posts and conversations on Facebook, pictures of Instagram, and an impressive profile on LinkedIn. Marketers get this entire audience group in one move – the influencer endorsing the company or the product.
An influencer’s audience will re-share the message, connecting to their own circles, and then the process is repeated again, creating a ripple effect with long lasting results.
With social media influencers, you have a group that’s aware of a trend even before it happens. They are trailblazers who try something first and find better ways to connect to an audience. For this, and many other reasons, they become important to any marketing campaign.