There is a reason why light bulbs evolved from fire, why laptops evolved from desktops, and why cell phones evolved from landlines. The reason is technology, and the efficiency that is derived from using technology.
This can be compared to how digital marketing has evolved from traditional marketing practices. Since we have access to computers and are communicating online, brands and companies need to adapt to digital marketing trends, specifically social media marketing. Companies that do not adapt will not survive in the modern day marketplace.
Social media marketing is vital to forming brand awareness among segments of your target market. In North America alone, 89 percent of the population is online, with 77 percent of Americans using social media.
Forbes reports that “successfully reaching one’s target audience is no longer just putting out TV and print ads. These days, social media is the new arena of digital marketers, as 3.3 billion people are active social media users.”
So, as consumers shift their focus to social media and away from television and the radio, it is essential that brands keep their marketing message in front of their audience on social media. And what do you get by adapting your marketing to the social scene?
1. Interactions with a Loyal Audience
Social media opens up doors for companies to engage with their audience in ways that traditional marketing never could. Social media users can engage with brands by following or liking the companies’ pages, in addition to liking, commenting, sharing, and tagging posts published by company profiles.
Businesses can also like and retweet posts made by users and respond to any comments users make on their posts. It is crucial that brands be active on social media to keep their audience interested and engaged, and thus staying at the forefront of customers’ minds when making a purchase.
The number of likes and followers represents a portion of your actual audience, which plays a fundamental role in speaking to the credibility of your business. As people get more familiarized with your brand on social media, your following and engagement will grow, giving a more realistic representation of your audience. Social media is a measurement of social validation for people, and is also used as social validation for your brand or business.
2. Real-Time Customer Response
Messaging and commenting features on social media platforms give companies an opportunity to offer customer service by responding to questions and providing users with the information they desire right when the user interacts with the company’s profile. This ability helps companies to streamline the information prospective customers search for in the purchase decision process. For this very reason, social media serves an advantage to brand advocacy for companies.
3. Eyes on Your Quality Content
What content companies publish and how they engage with users begins to define their brand persona and image, which are two vital factors in brand perception. Profile pictures and cover photos give companies an opportunity to brand themselves and gain exposure of their logo, taglines, and the products or services they are trying to promote.
The branding on social profiles should be congruent with the marketing message on all other channels and platforms to be effective. If done properly, brands will excel in gaining brand awareness by reaching a mass audience with the same marketing message.
4. A Good Online Reputation
Brand perception is ultimately defined by the likability, trustworthiness, credibility, expertise, and authority of a brand. Those factors are represented in a variety of ways using social media marketing, such as through reviews and recommendations on your practice’s Facebook page. Users can see what people think of your practice by the star rating displayed on each business page, and how many people have that opinion based on the number of reviews and recommendations.
5. Influencer Attention
Influencers play a vital role in brand perception. According to Forbes, “potential customers are more likely to believe a real person over an advertisement about how good a certain product or brand is.” Influencer marketing brings about a level of likeability, trust, and authority that small companies and local businesses would never be able to achieve or afford with celebrity endorsements done through traditional advertisement.
Survival of the Fittest
By utilizing social media marketing, your business will have the opportunity to communicate with your audience directly, and you will gain a greater amount of control over your brand persona and image. Brands that do not utilize social media will not be competitive with brands that do, creating a weakness for themselves and a potential threat of the competition taking their audience.
The level at which companies adapt to the evolution of digital marketing and adopt social media marketing practices will ultimately determine the fate of their brand, and whether it lives or dies. In order to survive in the digital marketplace, your practice needs to adapt to social media.
Is your practice ready to adapt to social media marketing? Page 1 Solutions offers a wide range of social media services to all clients on an à la carte basis, catered to each practice’s individual business needs. Contact your IMC or Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910 to get started today.