Most adults use the Internet today, so establishing an online presence is essential to growing your brand. One of the most effective—and inexpensive—ways to market online is through social media.
What is social media marketing?
Social networking sites provide a unique marketing opportunity for your business. With millions of users on every platform, your potential outreach is colossal. Coupled with the modest cost for using these platforms, social media is a potential goldmine that you can’t afford to overlook.
Social media marketing refers to using social media channels to gain exposure for your business. You can forge these connections in various ways depending on which social media platform you use, but the idea is the same throughout them all: Engage your customer base.
Once social media users connect with your social media profiles, you’re in a prime position to send them information about your business like upcoming deals, peeks behind the scenes, and more. People consume content of all types over social media platforms, so you can vary your strategy to incorporate text, photos, and videos to see what works best.
How many people use social media?
As of 2017, 81% of Americans have profiles on social media, giving you a huge population of people at your disposal. The potential audience of your business grows exponentially when you start using social media, and that’s especially true for businesses that offer services via the Internet. If you’re not using social media sites, you’re falling behind.
What about traditional marketing?
Even with all of that information, is social media marketing better than traditional marketing? If you want to know if social media marketing is better than traditional marketing, let’s take a look at a few traditional marketing stats to put things in perspective:
- Forty-eight percent of direct mail is never opened.
- A whopping 86% of people skip television ads.
In addition, it’s important to recognize that social media isn’t a one-time ad that you send out, and then it’s gone. Social media is an ongoing project that continually yields results.
Social media is also a step forward with the digital age in terms of connectivity. Socially speaking, people stay updated with the latest news, share their lives, and read about news all in the same location online.
Still, traditional marketing has its place. Traditional marketing and social media marketing can work together to create the end result you seek — more exposure, more customers, and more sales. But keep in mind that social media marketing provides many opportunities that traditional marketing does not.
Recognize the different strategies
Traditional marketing relies on a one-way system where the brand sends a message to a massive audience via mail, radio, television, or another traditional avenue.
This strategy poses minimal potential for interaction between consumers and brands. It also limits the chance that your customers can hear word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or other people that they trust, an incredibly helpful feature that naturally comes with social media.
In addition, social media gives you the chance to directly address customers and interact with them on a one-on-one basis in a public forum. Polite discourse and demonstrations of your care toward customers will do wonders for your public image, as well.
How to get started with social media marketing
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start your social media presence. You can start using social media marketing with only a few quick steps as well.
Create social profiles
Creating profiles for your business on the major social media platforms has the potential to yield outstanding results. Take a look at some of the most popular outlets for your business, like: