The effect social media has on your marketing campaign
More and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon to reap the rewards offered by powerful social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The fact that millions of people can stay connected all over the world, messages can reach people in real time, and the popularity of brands increases over time, makes social media a firm choice for marketers. According to Forrester Research Inc. (2009), the cost that companies spend on social media marketing will grow annually at 34% compound rate through 2014, and beating email marketing, will be a $3.1 billion industry. And it’s not just the Fortune 100, it includes small and medium businesses too. It is the fastest growing marketing channel in the world. Companies are keen to be part of the social media world, because it is becoming an almost essential part of our lives, with people spending 35% of their online time on social media sites. Furthermore, 50% of people can now more readily access these sites by the invention of the ‘smart phone’, where social media applications can be downloaded straight to their handset. These platforms can readily amplify a brand’s reputation by providing engagement between a brand and the public, for example by asking their opinion of their latest product. Loyal fans can also market the brand for the company, by viral marketing. For example if you send an offer via Facebook, if your “fans” like the offer they will share it with their friends. And then those friends might share it with their friendship group. So your marketing campaign may reach more customers than initially targeted.
The discussion of your brand/company is advantageous to your marketing campaign because 74% of consumers are influenced on what they buy according to fellow socialisers via social media. Furthermore, people don’t even have to actively be told about the brand, they can just see for themselves on their friend’s Facebook page that they have interacted with the brand or discussed it with someone else. They may not have even heard of the brand so this in effect is marketing for the brand without your company having to use a lot of resources. If you design a Facebook page for your company, this will allow people to become a fan. It can be used to provide information about your brand, including new products, competitions, and exciting news about your company. Develop a presence on Twitter and potential and existing customers can ‘follow’ you and receive your latest updates. If they have a Smartphone they will be able to see this message instantly and will grab the attention of prospective customers and keep your brand vivid in their mind. The impact that these platforms have on a business is significant, with 60% of Facebook users who become a fan of a brand more likely to recommend that brand to a friend, and 67% of Twitter users who become followers of a brand more likely to buy that brand’s products. These benefits have caused thousands of marketers to exploit these sites to promote their own organisations.
The aim of a social media marketing campaign is to raise awareness of your brand. But you won’t be successful if you just spam people with services/products within your company’s portfolio. Offer an incentive that will actively encourage people to become a part of the social media site i.e. a follower of a Tweet. For example, offering a free t-shirt to the first one hundred people who ‘like’ the brand’s new t-shirt line. This reward must be substantial; if the consumer’s work involved is more than the reward is worth, the effort will not be put in to bother becoming a “follower”. A substantial reward will give higher participation to the marketing strategy. Many marketing campaigns devised on Twitter encourage followers by stating that if they follow the company and retweet (RT) a brand’s message, they will be eligible for a prize draw. If you do offer an incentive, state all the terms and conditions so that your campaign does not backfire and you end up with confusion/angry consumers later.
Another method to raise awareness of your brand from your marketing campaign is to upload videos. Provide interactive and engaging material which is accepted as reaching a wider, targeted audience. Your brand is also likely to be more vibrant in your customers’ minds and will remain in their memory for longer. Compliment this means with a blog. This will keep the customers up-to-date on your company and allow them to remain engaged in a meaningful dialogue.
We have provided the statistics and highlighted the rewards that social media can bring to your marketing message, so now have a quick look over your business plan and discuss how social media can benefit you and your business. With the significant increase in digital marketing it seems that social media could be the future of our marketing campaigns.