There’s no doubt about it: the modern marketing world is changing all around. With the advent of social media, it’s now easier than ever to reach a large number of users in a short space of time – and with more rich and interactive content. Facebook, for example, has over two billion active users, while LinkedIn has 500 million users and counting. Like it or not, failing to get involved in this rapidly changing atmosphere is a recipe for disaster.
Social media marketing is changing businesses in many positive ways, but also in some negative ways. While it can allow your brand to reach customers easily and quickly, it also means that complaints can become magnified or even go viral in just a few short clicks. This article will explore these phenomena and offer some advice on how to manage any problems that do arise.
A vast number of users
The first thing to note about social media platforms is that they bring together a whole host of users into one easily accessed place with a centralized advertising function. Perhaps other than television, very few other major advertising platforms have this advantage: direct mail requires leaflet deliveries to each building, for example, while billboards are often transient and seen only on the off-chance. Advertising on Facebook can be done in a few clicks, and there’s no way that the user can fail to see it.
However, it’s in the number of users that social media marketing reveals its true potential for a business. With each of the major social media sites enjoying millions – if not a few billion – users, the potential to reach possible new consumers is very high. For the moment at least, paid-for marketing channels on sites such as Facebook and Google can often work out to be relatively cheap given that they are operated on a pay-per-click or a marketplace, auction-type basis.
Images and video
Graphics and animations have always been a key part of many business adverts, of course. The popularity of billboards and television as marketing channels is a testament to that! However, with social media, the opportunities to use marketing collateral such as video are immense.
Uploading a video to a social media platform doesn’t take long, and because it’s not being published in a context of constant high quality – as a television advert would be – you don’t always need to invest in the usual full set of production standards. Instead, you can marshal simple graphics, user-generated video and more for effective and direct marketing.
Potential for interaction
Social media sites are set up to give both content providers like you and those at the customer level a relatively equal chance to have their voices heard. This means that your customers can – and should – become brand ambassadors! By making the most of common social media marketing tactics such as competitions and incentives, you can quickly turn your customers into advocates who are willing to do the work of sharing your digital messages for you.
This kind of interaction is especially useful for those who run e-commerce stores. It may be worth finding out more info about an Amazon marketing service and how it could help you, especially in the realm of encouraging positive customer reviews.
Complaints and problems
As with most things in the marketing world, the potential for interaction is both a blessing and a curse. As anyone who has ever visited the Twitter page of any major brand will know, disgruntled customers, are more than happy to take to public social media platforms in order to air their grievances. In order to mitigate the risks posed by this, it’s wise to advise your marketing staff to gently move the complaint into the direct messaging or inbox function of the platform on which it appears as soon as possible.
Social media marketing has been a real boon for many businesses – even though there are often hitches along the way. It offers a whole new way to use images and video, for example, while it can also bring the potential for interaction to a much higher level than before, creating longer-lasting brand partnerships that go the distance. While the potential for complaints does remain high, that’s no reason for discerning businesses not to jump in and make the most of what these revolutionary digital tools have to offer.
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