Social media, a huge phenomenon that seemed to appear overnight and spread through the whole world like a virus. Have we ever stopped and asked ourselves, ” Why use social media ?” Social media is a phrase thrown around a lot to describe an online platform. But what can we really define social media as? Is it just an online community dependent on user interaction, and content sharing? Is it an online communication instrument that allows users to intermingle by sending and receiving information? All these could work well as definitions for social media. However, these definitions are too shallow to describe social media; it is much deeper than just online user interaction. According to renowned publishers, social media was defined as a group of Internet-based applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content (UGC).
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a very important tool and an answer to the question “Why use social media.” Online marketing is basically when companies rode the “social media” wave and started taking advantage of it to increase its reach to more customers. Social media marketing is also the use of social media platforms to promote a product or service social media marketing is now an indispensable tool for any company hoping to increase exposure and recognition. We may never find one satisfying answer as to why use social media? However, there are several very compelling reasons as to why the use of social media and website for promoting businesses is becoming an extremely crucial aspect.
What Is Social Media Marketing?
The extreme nature of today’s competitive market and the need to thrive within it is what drives business to find marketing alternatives to stand out. Direct contact between businesses and their customers has always been limited. Before social media existed, the only methods of informing the consumer of a company and its products were through direct phone calls or mail advertisements. The idea of reaching a consumer through social networking is the nature of what social media marketing is. A more technical definition from scholarly experts defined social media marketing as “the technological component of the communication, transaction and relationship building functions of a business, which leverages the network of customers and prospects to promote value co-creation.”
Moving away from all the technicalities, social media marketing is simply a new type of online marketing. This evolved form of Internet marketing includes creating and sharing content to reach a business’s audience. This accomplishes two things; it helps a business reach its prospective consumers and attains brand recognition for a company. Business engages in activities like posting videos, images or text updates. Keeping the brand alive through social networking allows consumers to be aware of the company’s brand and seek further information through more direct contact. A lot of business owners are not convinced and still ask why use social media? Below are some of the reasons why more and more businesses are choosing to market digitally through social media.
Why Use Social Media For Promoting Your Business
No matter what type of business you have, what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to, using social media for business purposes should be a top marketing priority. Not engaging in social media marketing is like putting a “closed” sign on your shop all day. Every other business is most likely using social networks to market for their products. So if all your competitors are online marketing, they’re probably pulling in a wider audience and maybe even stealing your customers. Utilizing the power of content and social media marketing is the best way to increase your audience and customer base. Still asking “Why use social media?”. Here are just some of the reasons why the use of social media can help in promoting your business.
- Brand Awareness
Using social media greatly increases your visibility as a business. Not only that, recognition of your brand is enhanced substantially. When consumers are engaged and aware of your brand through social networking, the business’s brand becomes more relatable.
- Brand Loyalty
Businesses engaging in social media campaigns have been proven to have more loyal customers and repeat purchasers. Connecting directly with your audience and being available anywhere for your customers with the click of a button is a huge plus. Marketing through social media is a great tool to stay connected with your consumer base.
One of the first answers that come to mind when asked why to use social media for marketing purposes is the cost efficiency aspect. Connecting with your customers online is the most cost-efficient method of marketing. Setting up a business profile on any of the social networking websites is basically free. Although there are paid options to increase visibility and reach a wider audience, staying connected with your clientele online is still free. Even paying for social media ads, the average cost remains far below any other marketing opportunities (e.g, Television, billboards or radio).
- Boosting Your Site’s SEO
Search engine optimization is the simple use of certain keywords to ensure your webpage can be easily found in search engines. By engaging in social media marketing and with some effort when posting updates, you can enhance your business webpage ranking in search engine. The way a search engine works can be used to your advantage by increasing traffic to your actual webpage through your social media profile.
- A Higher Conversion Rate
A conversion rate is the number of people who take the action your company deems desirable. This action can be a sale, a subscription or a registration. After building a consumer base online and gathering a following, you get the opportunity for customer conversions. With every text update, image or video your business posts online; you’ll get a reaction from a customer. This reaction can lead to a visit to your main webpage. The visit can lead to a purchase. This is one of the simple explanations as to why the use of social media can boost sales.
- The Humanization Element
People prefer to do business with other people rather than faceless companies. When engaging customers as real people with real reactions, the company feels more relatable to them. Relating to a business increases customer loyalty and increases the chances of the consumer choosing your business over the competitor.
- Enhanced Buyer Perceptions
In a heavily competitive market, information is as valuable as money. The insights a business can gain from consumer reactions and comments is worth a lot. Knowing what interests the consumer and what the customer actually needs gives a business the chance to react to those wants. A business that reacts and gives the consumers what they want is gaining a heavily competitive edge.
- More Customer Interaction
Above all, social media is a communication platform. Giving your business a voice and your customers a chance to react is unexpendable. Responding to a customer’s comment or complaint is very much appreciated and will make the consumer feel somehow connected to the organization. Acknowledging comments from your customer shows you care and that the business is attentive to the needs and wants of its patrons.
Types of Social Media
There are various types of social media; each has its own purpose and use. Below are some of the most popular and how you can use them to market your business.
- Social Networks
Social Networks are the most popular form of social media. They allow the user to connect with people of similar interests, which is one of the main reasons people use it. Users can also create and share content easily among each other. Social networks also allow you to catch up on friends’ most recent news. Using social networks for marketing is a must-do for any rising or established company. consumers can follow up on your business’s most recent news and products. Allowing the consumer to stay up to date on your company’s progress is the best way to stay in contact with your customers.
- Media Sharing
Media sharing websites allow the consumer to share different types of media. They also offer the option of commenting, sharing and other social features. sharing videos or images related to your business is one of the ways to market your company for free. What’s more important is the reaction you get to the shared content. Analyzing the customer’s reactions and comments can give great insight into business innovations.
Blogging is one of the older forms of social media. People can publish ideas, opinions and online reviews. Keeping a blog as a business can greatly increase a company’s visibility through content marketing. Increasing brand awareness is one of the main reasons companies keep blogs. Customers can easily stay up to date with the most recent updates and products.
- Online shopping websites
Online shopping has become very popular recently and not only is it another channel to sell your products, but you can see how customers react to it. Most shopping websites give their customers the ability to rate and review the products they buy. Again, this also gives you valuable information about your products and how to make it better.
The Future of Marketing
Why use social media when we can use the conventional means of advertisement? Although still relevant and important, traditional means of advertising (e.g., television, radio, billboards) are becoming a wave of the past. Social media is where people are nowadays and it has changed how we communicate forever. Want to reach as much of your audience as possible? Sure TV ads still work. But at a fraction of the price, social media marketing is becoming the future of advertisements.
Direct contact with the consumer is a very important aspect of marketing. each customer must have his/her own personalized experience with the company. With social media, it has become very easy to connect with the consumer. For a lot of mentioned and unmentioned reasons, the debate of why use social media has finally come to rest. There is an obvious winner. However, each business must decide for itself how to market their products.