Social Media a Marketing tool

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Inventions like social media are the product of the invention of technology. In the business world too, the social media has evolved to play an important role. When social media began, it was believed that it was insane to never benefit children and businesses. Things changed now. Globally, there are more than 3 billion internet users. Popular websites are becoming marketing giants that provide marketers with invaluable customer data and also provide a free way to connect with them. In all, social media could be defined as a changeover. This is one of the biggest technical advances in the business world. Even the layman has benefited has they can communicate with their friends or business world across the world comfortably. This paper shall delve into how social media is beneficial business and the best ways of optimizing its benefits.

  Social media is very useful to business as it helps them gain valuable insights on clients. It is trending because of it is quite beneficial to businesses.  It generates large quantities of data about clients in real time.  Every day there are over half a billion tweets, almost 5 billion Facebook likes plus million of photo and video uploads on Instagram (Lee, 2014)

.  In this is information about one’s consumers, who they are what they like or what they feel. With Frequent active engagement and listening, one can easily obtain important customer information and utilize it in making better decisions and strategies.  Social media helps in enhancing brand awareness and loyalty.

When a business has a presence in social media, it enhances the process of customers finding that business and connecting with them. When one connects with clients on social media, they are likely to improve client retention and brand loyalty. Consumers often want to deal with businesses that are easily available and can get quick feedback in case of a problem (Saravanakumar & SuganthaLakshmi, 2012). In fact, many businesses have realized that clients love communicating with them through social media rather than visiting their premises or through emails. Clients, on the other hand, have realized they get a quick response in social media than physically visiting the offices or even calling them.

Social media is a trending marketing tool for businesses because it offers an inexpensive way of promoting businesses and distributing content.  Social ads are a cheap way of promoting one’s business. With linked in, for instance, one can get segments like location, company, job titles, ages and such. In a Facebook advert, a business can target a specific group on the basis of location, demographics, interest, behaviors, and connections (Saravanakumar & SuganthaLakshmi, 2012). Additionally, one may track and gauge the performance of social media adverts in real time. Social media generate higher converting leads compared to other adverts. It advances sales and client retention via constant interaction and prompt customer service. In fact, social media has been cited by many studies as an excellent way of identifying main decision makers and new business opportunities.

It also offers rich client experience. Over 60 percent of consumers are on social media for customer service. They expect prompt response and businesses that engage them to succeed. Firms participating in social media customer services experience larger financial gains (Schaefer, 2014). Social media also works for businesses by increasing website traffic and search engine ranking. When a business experiences more shares, chances are they will rank high in Google search engine for variants of social media for business.  

Social media also is a trending topic in business because it helps one in finding out what their competitors are doing. With proper social media screening, a business can obtain key information about their competition.  Such information can help a business in making strategic business choices to have a cupper hand. For instance, one can establish a search streams to check industry keywords and mentions of their competitors and their products. Based on that, they can then enhance their business to give product improvements, service or content that might not have been there.

  Social media can help a business in sharing content faster and easily. Previously, advertisers had a hard time ensuring that their content reaches the targeted clients in a short time. With social media, however, one only needs to share their content about their business in the social media pages, and chances are a majority of their clients are already following them (Schaefer, 2014).  It seems many businesses have perfected this because they always give information about new products or discounts and sales in social media. Social media has an advantage of geo-targeting where one can deliver a message to a particular group of audience depending on their location. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have tools which permit one to convey the precise type of content to an audience.

 Social media as aforementioned can be an excellent and effective marketing tools; however, it ought to be established well.  There are many ways of ensuring that effective. Social media mostly in based on enhancing brand awareness and establishing relationships with one’s consumers. This is something that cannot be achieved by the traditional advertising methods. To ensure the effectiveness of social media, one has to select the right platform. For instance, for a tech firm, Facebook, linked o twitter is more appropriate whereas for fashion Instagram and Pinterest is more ideal.   Social media is not just about marketing blindly but rather having a social media strategy, and that is how it will work for businesses. It is not just sharing content but rather understanding the moods, interests, and feelings of the clients and target audience. One should never throw their content blindly or over promote their business. The content has to be relevant and useful to clients and other prospective consumers. One has to be consistent when using social media.

  There are many challenges that one faces when establishing social media advertising.  One of the major challenges in social media marketing is a genuine connection with the audience. One challenge of using social media as a marketing tool is to connect with their target audiences on a personal level. Interacting with them aids in humanizing one’s brand and established real, genuine relationships (Schaefer, 2014).   The creation of a social media marketing strategy is also another challenge. One may know what they want to accomplish, however with no strategy; they might not know how to get there. An effective strategy is a pathway to one’s goals. There is also the issue of multichannel strategies which is a huge challenge since every channel has different format and tone that determines how the content ought to fit.  The target audience also has their own preferences and habits and might have to consult various channels. One needs to have all channels work together to establish a unified brand impression in response to the consumers’ social behavior.  

There is the issue of declining organic reach.   Social media has millions of users daily; there is a huge amount of content being produced by each of the channels. To engage the users, social media channel utilize algorithms to eliminate junk and only exhibit content that is the most relevant and captivating to the user (Heymann-Reder, 2012).  Whereas customers like the filtered feed, the algorithm can be wearisome to marketers. Initially when a person follows a page, he or she would s all posts; however, things have changed nowadays, and it poses challenges to marketers. Due to huge traffic in social media, amount of post displayed reduces.

Another challenge is data management. Gathering data from social media listening and learning about customers or gauging brand reputation need filtering through social media data.  The information gathered can help one’s business.   The problem faced is the quantity of data present and distribution of data to the appropriate individual within one’s business (Lee, 2014). When data management is appropriately done, then it can bring about new leads, talks about one’s products, and industry trends. It also helps in building profiles for the audiences and gathering information across all platforms to aid in delivering personalized service.

Generating good content is another challenge.  Social media is time-consuming as one needs to keep up the trends and come up with captivating, relevant and valuable content. One has to be creative and be well versed in the latest happenings. The content as well as has to resonate well with the target audience while ensuring consistency and conversation (Lee, 2014). The content has to reflect brand values and personality. Additionally, constant posting and excellent tone of voice are paramount in keeping the audience engaged.

Balancing content quantity versus quality is another hurdle.  To some brands cutting across social media, means posting more. Whereas this might be effective for some, for others, it, however, may irritate followers (Lee, 2014). On the other hand, brands which create less content struggle to show value. The key is having captivating, valuable, engaging content.  People follow brands which have excellent content rather than those who post more(Cox, 2012). Content reaching a large social audience especially for a startup business may present a problem in social media marketing.

 Yes, one may have strong, captivating content; however, they may have few followers. Dealing with this would be perhaps incorporating brand influencing into sharing content. Additionally, encouraging the few audience that one has to share the content in their circles. People are known to share entertaining, valuable and captivating content.  One last challenge in social media is perhaps determining return on investment (Cox, 2012).  It can pose a challenge is determining which consumer behavior resulted in a conversation. Gauging the impact of marketing helps in known which resources social media marketing needs and it shall strengthen one’s performance.

Social media may present some challenges in execution; however, it remains to be the best marketing tool ever invented.  It only requires due diligence when enforcing. Thing like excellent marketing strategy, using many platforms, having creative, valuable and relevant content and as well as constant engagement with the audience goes a lot way in customer retention and brand awareness. What is beautiful about social media marketing is that it is very cheap; therefore it is ideal for startup or struggling businesses that have no finances for advertising. Additionally, people nowadays get information on social media; therefore print media or electronic media is regarded old school by many people, thus making social media the most effective form of marketing.

References

Cox, S. L. (2012). Social media marketing in a small business: A case study (Doctoral dissertation, Purdue University).

Heymann-Reder, D. (2012). Social Media Marketing. Addison-Wesley Verlag.

Lee, P. Y. (2014). Social media challenges for advertising business and creative management in the social media era. International Journal of Research in Business Studies and Management, 1(1), 1-11.

 Saravanakumar, M., & SuganthaLakshmi, T. (2012). Social media marketing. Life Science Journal, 9(4), 4444-4451.

Schaefer, M. W. (2014). Social Media Explained: Untangling the World's Most Misunderstood Business Trend. Schaefer Marketing Solutions.

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