Known as the digital age, the twenty-first century is actually the era of technology, internet, and social media. Day in and day out we are all engaged to a great extent into our cell phones, operating one or the other social media platforms. It is basic human nature to feel the need to socialize, but because of our extremely busy life, we may not find the time to meet the people we love and care for. And that’s where social media kicks in. It helps you to interact, freely with your loved ones by providing you an easy gateway that can be accessed through the internet. Efficient wireless communication. And that’s why, today, almost every other person has an ID on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and other such social media platforms. The point here for a business person is that this is the very place where you’ll find your entire customer base!! Isn’t that amazing? All your potential customers, gathered in a huge network, on these platforms! And all you now need to do is, get some tools to efficiently communicate your message to them. That’s called Social Media Marketing. And all Social Media platforms aid you in performing this art for your brand! At times for free and at times for money! This makes it furthermore important to understand what Social Media Marketing is and why it is so popular today!
What is Social Media Marketing?
In order to know the importance of Social Media Marketing, we first need to understand what it is. We are all familiar with the term social media. We even use it daily and are addicted to the many platforms of social media. Basically social media platforms are a common arena where people can communicate and share stuff with others. That’s the basic work of social media. But social media is not limited to this. It is also a great source of entertainment. And, it is also a great tool for Marketing!
Social Media Marketing is using social media platforms for communication of your marketing message with your current and potential customers. This can be in the form of interactive posts, informative videos, social campaigns, challenges, hashtags, and paid promotions. And almost all social media platforms have inbuilt tools of data analytics that help you monitor the progress of your campaigns and track the engagements, comments, clicks, likes, shares, and conversions. So clearly, social media has got way more commercial strength than social! And once you learn the art of social media marketing, you can work magic for your brand!!
Social Media Marketing as a part of Digital Marketing
A fair question may arise here that if using social media platforms for marketing is Social Media Marketing, then what is Digital Marketing and how are these two different? For starters, the basic difference between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing is that Digital Marketing works with all aspects related to Digital platforms while Social Media Marketing is all about things to do on a social media platform. Elaborating this, when we talk about digital marketing, we are basically looking at marketing using digital technology, internet, and a creative plan. Now, this can be done using Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, E-Mails, Websites and even Social Media. That’s where the main part comes. In essence, Social Media Marketing is nothing but a part of Digital Marketing which is a way larger concept than Social Media Marketing. By making use of Social Media platforms, you can engage in effective interactions with your customers. And no digital marketing effort is ever complete without undertaking social media marketing. So, it is necessary to understand how to use this tool, what it does and how popular it has become in today’s world!
Why is social media marketing more popular in today’s world?
There is no second thought in the fact that Social Media is indispensable to our lives. We cannot abandon ourselves from this. Even if we try to, we are going to end up building a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). That’s what makes Social Media Marketing so popular these days. Because it is in these virtual communities that businesses find their most potential customers and also new business opportunities! But this is not the only reason. There are many reasons why social media marketing is gaining huge popularity today:
- Easy access to a vast customer base: When you want your business to go beyond boundaries, you need to think big. You cannot confine in one region. Your customers are usually scattered over huge geographical areas. And it becomes difficult to communicate with such a vast customer base offline. But if you see it, you’ll realize, almost every other person is present on social media. Today, everyone has a social profile that they are visiting daily. And that creates an opportunity for businesses. You can easily reach a huge customer base in a single click with the help of social media marketing. This is really efficient, and saves a lot of time too! You don’t have to go search individual homes for reaching your customers individually, rather you can reach them directly in a single go. And precisely the presence of huge crowd on social media platforms has made social media marketing so popular today!
- Tools for Customizing the Target Audience Selection: That’s a very good reason for gaining popularity amongst the first brands. Social Media Marketing offers you handy tools for customizing the audience you want to target. You get handy features to specify their age, gender, the region of their existence, etc with a few clicks. And your message gets delivered to the people you have selected to be targetted. Isn’t it easy? Customization of where and to whom your message would reach helps you save a lot of time and cost. And moreover, you keep the reigns of the horse in your hand!
- Low-cost benefits: Another important reason for the popularity of social media marketing is the low-cost benefit. Now when it comes to Marketing, businesses actually have to spend huge chunks of money in advertisements on TV, newspapers or radio. And this creates a hole in their pockets. Social Media platforms, on the other hand, have offered them an easy, convenient and cheaper replacement of these high-cost advertisements as they can pretty much reach their target audience through Social Media Marketing very efficiently.
- Tracking of promotional campaigns is easier: Social Media Marketing has a load full of gifts for its users. It comes in with inbuilt analytics that helps you track the progress of a campaign that you’ve started. It’ll tell you how many people have been reached, how many have interacted with your post by the way of a like, share, subscribe or comment, how many more will be reached and many such similar questions that would put you in the anxiety of uncertainty, get answered easily. This is what makes it so different from traditional marketing, where you don’t have things under your control. All you have is to wait. Wait till the results get clearer. But in social media marketing, you don’t wait, you get into action right away!
- Attractive medium to creatively interact with customers: What drives so many people to Social Media? It’s the attractiveness of the platforms that creates an addiction for the users. And that’s why it becomes easy for brands to attract and convince customers with creative ideas using social media marketing. For instance, it has been quite a practice now to create memes fusing brands with current trends, or using hashtags to create a social media challenge, or create informative videos for people. They may also collaborate with influencers on these platforms to gain sight of the audience. And in the most cliche way, they can have paid promotions. And all you need for this is nothing but a profile on these social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- Easy way to take up orders: It is magnificent to look at the ease of communication with Social Media Marketing. These platforms come handy with easy ways to coordinate orders and carry out business without even having a physical shop. It’s like your own virtual shop! All you need is to create a business account on these platforms. It really has features that can make life easier. You can use the profile as a catalog of items you want to provide. You can take up orders via direct messages. You can use shopping features to help tag your posts with a price. And the best part is, payments too can be done via social media platforms as they have connectivity to digital wallets! Doesn’t life seem simpler?
- Easy way to gain feedback and reviews: Feedback is extremely important for any business. You cannot go around giving people what you have. You need to know what they want. You need to convert their problems to your solution. And you need to sell that solution to the customers. For this, you need to take feedback from your audience on their satisfaction from your product/service. And with social media marketing, that’s a two-edged sword. You get to know what people want more from you, where you are lagging, and what more should be done to improve this. Second, these reviews can be used as a word of mouth to attract potential customers by building trust and credibility. It’s like hitting two targets with a single shot!
- Easy way to inform customers about upcoming products: Marketing is all about communication. And social media marketing is the best medium to do so. Through Social Media Marketing, it is easy to search the target audience who could relate to your product and then provide them information about the new products as and when you plan to launch them. Memes, direct messages, video collaborations, special promo codes combined with discounts offers, paid promotions, etc can all be used very well in creating awareness about new products!
- Easy way to make the product popular: Social Media is a magical world. You may get viral in an hour and become a celebrity overnight. There is even a term used for this: Social Media Celebrity! And now while people like Priya Prakash Varrier, got famous for a wink and the Zomato delivery guy, got famous with his smile, similarly any product with a creative mind behind, can easily go viral. And what’s more important than people by hearing your product’s name, buy it while you sit back at home and watch. Social Media Marketing is the key to this miracle!
- Address the social issues that your product helps in solving: Social Media is filled in with social groups. Earlier, in the days of no social media, people used to communicate on the internet through chat rooms. These chat rooms usually had a common interest of the people at its center. People then used to share their views on the central issue with each other. Today, the chat rooms are long gone, but Social Media do have groups that are focused on particular issues. It may be in the form of a WhatsApp group, or a Facebook group, the purpose remains the same, to discuss common issues. There are groups for maternity tips, for yoga, for sports, for entrepreneurs, for writers, and you name it. And all you need to do is to map your product around the issue at hand and launch it like a sweet little bomb in these groups. An easy and effective technique to make your product the center of discussion!
Besides these, there are many other reasons that make Social Media Marketing a boon for businesses and helps it gain the popularity that it has today. And all you need to succeed is a creative head and a bit of knowledge into the tits and bits of the Social Media Marketing world!