Social Media Marketing
We have seen how the internet and social media have changed the consumer’s buying behavior and their interactions with companies. Despite the first years of skepticism towards these tools, many companies have already begun to adapt to the new marketing forms (and new digital tools).
This is because by now more and more people are using the internet for every kind of need. In particular, social networks keep on growing especially thanks to the constant use of mobile devices (smartphones and tablets): we can all agree upon the fact that companies cannot and should not miss such opportunities for growth and visibility.
Let’s take a closer look at this aspect by listing 7 reasons why a company should be on social networks.
If at first companies and professionals distrusted the internet and social networks, which were seen as mere “advertising spaces” or trivialized as a “new fashion”, now they appreciate their many advantages.
Still today, too often the enormous potential of social media is not carefully evaluated or it is underestimate. Instead those tools make companies grow. The added value that these platforms can bring to every type of business and the importance of social media marketing activities, are aspects that in many cases should not be taken lightly (we refer to last minute Social Media Manager with not enough competence). This would be a serious mistake for a company.
WHY SHOULD A COMPANY USE SOCIAL NETWORKS?
INCREASE OF VISIBILITY AND POPULARITY
Social networks are growing day by day at an impressive speed: to get an idea of the phenomenon, in January 2015 there were almost 30 million Italians who had an active account on the major social platforms (source: Slideshare, We are Social). Entering the world of social networks means making yourself known to a large number of interested users and having more opportunities to increase your business. Not to mention the word of mouth (buzz) that can be generated online, with obvious surprising results. This is the great power of the internet: to spread the news quickly to all the people connected at a global level.
IMPROVEMENT IN WEBSITE POSITIONING
Social Networks are considered excellent tools to convey traffic from public business profiles/ pages to corporate websites (and vice versa of course). On average, a user connects to the major social platforms for about two and a half hours a day, according to We Are Social’s Digital, Social & Mobile 2015 report. In this period of time, among other things, the user scrolls the stream in which different posts, images and news will appear, including announcements and promotional banners of products or services that could be of interest to him (hence the importance of paid advertising campaigns carried out directly on and by the Social Networks). At this point the user could decide to visit the advertised company website or he could click on the banner and be immediately “catapulted” into a specific e-commerce page (the famous “landing page”). In both cases, there will be an increase of contacts interested in the company and the products or services that it offers.
Last but not least, it is also important to be present and active on social media for the Google algorithm that will assign a higher score to the websites that have greater engagement on social networks. This translates into a boost to the higher positions of search engines.
INCREASE OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
A constant and targeted presence on social media allows the company to get in touch with thousands of potential customers every day, to listen to their needs and to gain their trust and loyalty. The feedback that a company can get from its users on social media, with which it creates a real bilateral dialogue, is very useful to grow and also to get advice and opinions about a different supply of products and services.
It is a famous case that of Algida and of the campaign spontaneously started by a large group of users who have requested the reintegration into the market of a product that had been withdrawn over the years, but which had remained positively in the memory of many. Algida has been able to grasp this suggestion intelligently, increasing its profits and satisfying its audience.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH USERS
Social Networks can help companies build relationships with users, facilitate the exchange of opinions and allow immediate feedback on their products / services. These factors are fundamental for improving and guiding business strategies.
Once a bond with the users is built, they will feel part of a “big family”. They will talk about the shopping experience, how they live in this tribe and how these two aspects can improve. They can even become brand ambassadors and advertise the company’s products and services to their contacts and friends.
An explanatory example of what has just been said is provided by Apple, a brand that revolves around a real tribe of loyal followers! This tribe of Apple lovers is one of the winning cards of the company, which in addition to selling products (which are certainly excellent) also sells values and messages that allow Apple owners to stand out from the rest. And if on one hand Apple sells products with a powerful semantic charge, able to communicate the values and the corporate message, on the other hand the consumer buys an object that contains a powerful link with the brand and a sense of belonging to a community in sharing common experiences and values. Obviously these tribes are composed of people from all over the world who can keep in touch with the company and among themselves thanks to social networks.
INFLUECE PURCHASING DECISIONS
To link to the previous point, we remind you that social networks, together with the internet, play an influential role in users’ purchasing decisions. Thanks to the presence of brands on social media, getting information about the product you want to buy and reading the comments of other people who may have already purchased that product, allows the potential customers to find their way among the various competitors and choose which offer is the best one.
SELECT YOUR OWN TARGET
A large audience is on social media and they are available to share opinions, thoughts and a lot of information about themselves. All this information can be useful to the company to target users, create buyer personas and targeted tools. Social media allow companies to select the various targets to approach: an example can be the Facebook Insights tool which provides various quantitative and qualitative data about users who relate to Fan Pages.
Of course, social media has greatly simplified user profiling, so companies don’t need to use disturbing methods that perhaps don’t ensure even ensure equally effective results.
CUSTOMER CARE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA USERS
This last point can be of great help to companies that want to know what people think of their brand, without the aid of other tools, such as online surveys or phone calls (which can be disturbing and intrusive).
Moreover, the daily presence of the company on social media allows us to build a direct relationship with users, to listen to different opinions and to promptly transform every criticism into an opportunity to improve and build customer loyalty.
In this regard, many well-known companies use social networks as Customer Care tools and provide assistance on social platforms ensuring shorter response times.
LAST TIPS IN A NUTSHELL
Now that the reasons for being on social media and their importance have been understood, it is necessary to have clear goals and resources and to set up an effective digital marketing strategy.
There are some features that your Social Media Marketing strategy must absolutely contemplate:
Time / Moment to publish content (concept of Right-time marketing).
The publication of the content must take place at the right time (day and time) and in the right place (on social media or on the blog), in order to be visible to as many users as possible, who connect to the different channels at specific times of the day ;
Audience awareness and its power to make a message go viral.
If positive or negative news touch the sensitive keys of the users (for example the “slips” of a company or the launch of a new avant-garde product), those will not take long to use the web to spread very quickly the news in question. This behavior can have repercussions on the company taken into consideration: the scoop can be advantageous or destructive for the company itself;
As already highlighted several times, quality is more important than quantity. Especially considering the multitude of content published on the internet every minute. In the midst of this industrial quantity of posts, blog articles, photos, etc., content that really stand out is the high quality one. Never forget it.