There is no doubt that social media has drastically changed the world. It has made communication easier and faster than ever before. It has made connecting with family and friends effortless. While it can be argued that social media does have its downsides, it is undeniable that it has many upsides as well, specifically for businesses.
Wherever consumers are gathering, marketers will be sure to follow, and social media is no exception. Over just a few short years, what started as a means for people to connect with their friends and family has become a marketer’s paradise. Social media allows businesses to connect and engage with customers in an environment that puts the customer first. In addition, it’s flexible nature is ideal for nailing down creative strategies.
Here are 6 Ways That Social Media Has Changed the Marketing Game
1. It Allows For Customer-Centric Marketing
Customer-centric marketing puts the individual consumer first when it comes to the messaging, the design, and the delivery. In order to do this, a marketer must:
- Attract: Turn strangers and contacts into leads
- Acquire: Convert leads to sales by putting the right message in front of the right consumer at the right time
- Grow: Create authentic engagement that leads to repeat business
The beauty of social media is that marketers can do all of those things, and more. Think about your business Facebook page. You have the ability to connect with strangers anywhere in the world, and turn them into customers. You are able to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time through Facebook advertising. You are able to engage with customers on a long-term basis through posting, commenting, and direct messaging.
2. Insights and Data
Social media gives marketers access to comprehensive amounts of data and insights such as what ads a user is clicking on, what their interests are, and even their purchasing habits. With this information, marketers now have the ability to study their target audience over long periods of time without direct contact or disruption. With such a wealth of information, a lot of the guesswork has been removed from traditional marketing. All of this can be used to develop highly targeted advertising campaigns because it informs marketers what messages, imagery and delivery methods are working best, and which ones to cut. It is truly invaluable.
Back in the day, when print advertising was the main way to market a business, it was a lot of guesswork. It was also very expensive. Marketers would spend days, weeks, months (sometimes years!) crafting the perfect message and visual. Once the advertisement was placed into a newspaper, magazine, or billboard, it was unchangeable. If the dreaded typo happened, or worse, viewers found something offensive, there was no way to edit. With social media, this problem is non-existent. Due to the digital and instant nature of social media, it is extremely flexible. You can measure marketing success almost instantly, and adjust accordingly. If a certain message isn’t attracting any engagement, it’s incredibly easy to remove it and replace it with something different. Social media is a great way to test out marketing messages and strategies.
4. Bypassing the Middleman
In the past, there has always been a middleman in marketing. Whether it was publishing a press release in a newspaper, or working with a media company to place an on-air advertisement, there was always someone standing between the brand and the customer. Social media changes this and allows brands to be more responsive, efficient and to connect directly to the customer.
5. Organic Advertising
In an ideal business and consumer world, marketing is so natural that customers don’t see the campaigns as overt advertisements. This has been difficult to master in decades past. Now, with various social platforms at their disposal, brands can take a more customer-centric approach to marketing. By being available to customers 24/7, brands have been able to become part of an authentic social media experience. And it’s because of this natural fit that it delivers a much higher return on investment.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one the most popular forms of social media advertising at the moment, and continues to sky-rocket, specifically on Instagram. Not only popular, influencer marketing is also one of the most organic forms of advertising, which is why a lot of brands (and consumers) are preferring it. If you are not familiar with the term, influencer marketing is when a person with a large and engaged social following posts about a brand’s products or services. While the influencer is legally required to state that their post is an ad or brand collaboration, many consumers are more likely to trust an influencer’s opinion.
The Future of Social Media Marketing
As things are always changing, such as which platforms are popular, new platforms popping up, algorithm changes, new techniques such as influencer marketing, etc., there’s no telling what the future of social media holds, exactly. However, that’s the beauty of social media—it’s unpredictable which means there will always be new and fresh ways to reach and engage with customers.
Like everything else, social media will most definitely change and evolve, but it’s likely not going away any time soon. Which is why it’s important for businesses to continue investing in such a high-returning growth medium.
Social media and marketing have become so synonymous that many businesses have entire social media marketing departments, or at the very least, they’ve hired an agency to manage it for them. As more and more platforms are developed, and customers become even more accustomed to interacting with brands on social media, the value and need for it will only increase.
To get started, or to build upon, your social media marketing strategy, contact us today to discuss your business needs and goals. We are happy to provide a free estimate and would love to help you create a strategic social media marketing campaign that will allow you to market your business to the right people, attract new customers, and make more sales.