Top 10 Roles of Social Media in Marketing
The role of social media in marketing has completely changed over the last 10 years. From businesses reaching out to customers to businesses pulling the customers, the Marketing industry has changed and evolved to the next level. Offline and traditional marketing strategies have now completely shifted to digital marketing strategies. Social media is playing a key role in digital marketing. We should know some of the most “Hit Concepts” of social media in marketing but let us first begin with an understanding of basics:
What is Social Media?
Social Media can be defined as a group or gathering of people connected through computer-mediated technologies for a defined purpose. Major mediums are social networking, blogging, video sharing, etc. The purpose of all social media platforms is to create engagement with the audience. It serves an audience with information or entertainment or current updates. Social media is the biggest growing digital platform as per current statics with near to 2.65 billion people using social media and this figure is expected to grow by 3.1 billion by 2021 (Image Source fiverr.com)
Why Social Media is so popular?
We have all heard it many times- Human Being is a social animal. Remember! It becomes difficult to keep up with social life in a fast-paced life and stressed work environment. Hence social media helps us all to remain updated, informed and engaged in our social life. From a kitty party video sharing to “check-in” status at a movie theatre, everything is on social media these days. The behaviour is now changing to a level where people get up in the morning and become active on social media. It won’t be wrong to quote: “My phone knows me more than my family and Social Media is a place where I can be found”
Is Social Media Marketing Required?
As a marketer, I would say yes to this question since it opens various avenues to reach our targeted customers. No marketer can deny the role of social media in marketing. It not only opens various avenues in reaching out to the targeted audience but also creates a unique platform for the exponential growth of a business. Yes, social media can provide exponential growth to a business with a pinpoint targeting of the customer.
What is Social Media Marketing?
By now you must have clearly understood why, how and what of social media. Now let’s move further to understand the role of social media in marketing. Social media marketing in simple terms is the use of social media platforms and websites to increase web traffic. The role of social media in marketing is also to create brand awareness with the end objective of sales of products or services.
What are the Different Channels of Social Media?
Social media is there to assist you in every possible way. Do you want to express “What’s on your mind?” Don’t worry Facebook is there? Do you want the world to know “What’s happening” say it through Twitter? Do you want to start a post, LinkedIn is there. “What is your question or link?” Ask at quora. Want to share or see any video content, check out YouTube. Above are some of the most popular social media platforms. Various other platforms are also ensuring their presence among the audience. Needless to say there’s still lying a huge scope of exploring the role of social media in the marketing business. Try and explore some of them on your own, trust you will soon reap the benefits of this search!
Image Source: dreamstime.com
How does social media marketing work?
The role of social media in marketing has grown up hugely with widening social media presence across the audience. In simple terms the presence of social media in marketing is mammoth. Any smart business person will always make the most of it. Social media marketing can help a business grow by leaps and bounces just by putting smart strategies in place. Using the wide presence of social media is a key role of social media in marketing. Social media marketing work as per your business objective. For this, you will have to understand the customer journey in a purchase making decision. An elaborative image below tells clearly how the customer progresses his journey in making a purchase.
The role of social media is important at each step of the customer journey. It helps in achieving the business goal for prospects at each stage. Businesses need to decide on their target audience and start their marketing activities through social media. For example, if you have just set up your business then your business objective should be to create more awareness about your brand. Hence you must target a larger audience through social media. Another example could be an E-Commerce company. It’s business objective should be a purchase made by the customer. Therefore the target audience should be from consideration to the decision stage. Remember, for new businesses it is not advisable to go very niche unless you have made your brand presence in the market.
Why the role of social media in marketing is so important?
Social media aids in providing relevant statistics of their target customer behaviour. Their likes and dislikes, demographics, etc. which otherwise have to be collected by spending a huge amount of money on marketing research companies. The role of social media is of extreme importance in digital marketing due to its widespread presence. It is very unlikely for a business to grow without the help of social media. The key aspects of social media are mentioned below which makes it pivotal in digital marketing
- Reach of social media in marketing
- Average time spent by the audience on social media
- The need for social media
- The Trust Factor
We all wonder as marketers which is the best strategy to follow to increase or expand businesses in digital marketing. While the opinion may differ from one digital marketer to another, all of them would agree on the role of social media in marketing. We would like you to understand this with a live example. Let’s take a brief look at a case study of a new flower shop opened by Harish- The new entrepreneur in town:
Harish has started his new flower shop. He is planning to drive business through digital channels. But he is confused about where to start. Harish wanted to link his business with people’s experiences through different occasions and want to advertise on the same. His business tagline is “Share happiness” was also gaining popularity. However, his reach to the audience was very limited and he was failing to meet his business objectives decided for the first 6 months. Harish’s business goal is to create awareness about his flower shop.
Harish has gone through various options of probable solutions to increase his customer base. He decided to consult a digital marketer. Very precisely the marketer has suggested him to use social media as a channel and choose his target audience. Harish has a new business set up hence his prospects are at the first stage of the customer journey. His business objective through social media should be to create brand awareness.
With the initial hick-ups of Harish has started his journey to create an audience through social media platforms. Soon, Harish has started receiving responses through SMS, Emails, Website as well as social media pages for his business. Also, people have started sharing their experiences with their colleagues, friends, families. This is the power of social media. It is the place where people will only make you a brand. The only key instruction here is to be very precise on your target audience.
10 Key Roles of Social Media in Marketing
The entire success of using social media in marketing depends on meeting the ultimate business goal. Social media brings amazing results to the growth of a business. However, its real potential is still underestimated due to an irregular pattern of customer behaviour. By saying this we are trying to quote a customer who made a direct purchase on your website is not accounted for the success of social media. This list can be longer than this but we have tried our best to mention major key roles of social media in marketing:
What is reach? The total number of people who see your content is “Reach”. It is very important for any business, especially for a start-up business. I being a businessman need to have my customer base in place in the first place. In any traditional marketing, we tend to use our contacts, references, networking and other methods to find the relevant customer. Social media marketing has made it easy for us to find targeted customers at the digital platform. The role of social media in marketing is to reach its target customers with simple automation through social media networks.
Increase Website Traffic
The second key role of social media marketing is to drive online traffic. The term online traffic is referred to visitors landing on the home web page through various digital platforms viz Google, Social Media, Direct Traffic, etc. Social media is the second-highest potential digital traffic channel after Google’s organic search. It is considered to be one of the best contributors to the increase in website traffic. Businesses are facing stiff competition in placing themselves on the first page of Google with a keyword search. It is again a lengthy process and requires a lot of research and patience. The role of social media in marketing is gaining a lot of momentum to target the right audience through social media.
The above two roles of social media in marketing is of no value if you failed to engage with your target audience. We marketers call such strategy as Much Ado About Nothing. Any ad, video, a post should add value to target customers. The message that you want to deliver to your customers should be short, crisp, aligned with your business objective. More importantly visually impressive. For any good content, your customers are your level 2 marketers since they would like it and they are most likely to share it further. Customer engagement is the key role or key objective of social media in marketing.
Brand Awareness and Brand Promotion
Let’s understand this in two parts i.e. Brand Awareness and Brand Promotion. Brand Awareness is a requirement in social media for new establishments of businesses. While Brand promotion is for established brands in the market. At times both objectives coincide with each other too. For both objectives, the role of social media in marketing is the key to success.
Precise Targeting of Audience
Social media is a digital platform which has a plethora of audience. Though not everyone is your target customer. Your target customer is the one who helps you achieve your business objective. Social media is a digital marketing tool that facilitates a marketer with various options to choose the right audience for a business based on their behavior on social media, their likes, and dislikes, demographics, etc. Needless to say, the role of social media in marketing the product to the right audience can be a game-changer in driving business revenue.
Do you know about the average time spent by any person on social media? As per Statista 2017 statics, an average of 135 minutes spent on social media by anyone which is 9 minutes higher than 2016 data. With this logic, the average time spent on social media by any person should be between 145-150 minutes by now(2019). The role of social media in marketing is huge if we solely talk about content and is a tough place of competition. The best part is that the audience always appreciates and engages themselves with good content. As a marketer, I would suggest promoting all types of content (Video, Text, etc.) through social media to engaging their audience.
New Product Launches
Product launch is an interesting concept of the role of social media in marketing. There is a lot of buzz around it in digital marketing. It gives a lot of goosebumps to talk about this concept since this is so interesting. As a digital marketer, I would choose only social media as a platform to launch my new product. Due to the magnanimous presence of social media and high customer engagement, for an upcoming product, it brings a lot of freshness or newness to user experience. One may create a lot of buzz around the product, run quizzes and campaigns for the brand to engage their audience.
Building Trust with Customers
Customer trust is quintessential for the growth of any business. Social media is making a lot of news around brand building and brand trust among the audience. Most of the customers are likely to go after reviews and ratings shared by other clients. It is mandatory to engage the customer with brand recall. Products that are a one-time purchase in 5 years of time horizon likely to lose grip on their customer base. It is considered that the next purchase will be considered by the customer most likely after 3 years. But that’s where most marketers go wrong. Focussed engagement with existing clients builds brand trust in the market helping to grow healthy and reliable business. Do note, customer don’t prefer to repeat the purchase of products where they don’t see themselves to be associated with. Think about it!
Have you ever noticed it? Post making an unsuccessful purchase on any shopping app, the same product appears in an ad form on social media? Well, this is a form of remarketing and social media is playing an important role in re-marketing products or brands. As we discussed earlier, customer engagement is crucial for a business to grow. It also means that the customer is considering you as an option to fulfil their objective of some kind. However, they are still at the consideration stage of a buyer’s journey.
Enrich Customer Experience
The role of social media in marketing is not to limit brand only to purchases, sales, revenue generation, brand promotions. It also enriches the customer journey. How does this all happen? Nowadays marketers think from a vaster point of view. Making a customer completes his purchase is an intelligent and appreciable task. But winning a customer himself is being smarter than the others. A lot many marketers now believe in making their customers experience their brand. Social Media Webinars, Social Media Blogs are defining new-age social marketing standards for all digital marketers. The role of social media in marketing is helping brands in true enrichment of their customer experience.
Role of Analytics in Social Media
Analytics is very important for any business. In marketing, delivery is directly proportional to the measurement of business. Analytics helps to measure a business in every possible way with a lot of nitty-gritty. It is a must for any business to have the right analysis of traffic or lead generation. Google Analytics is one of the most comprehensive analytical tools to measure traffic, analyze the demographics of the audience many more. Analytics is very important for social media marketing to ascertain its success. It also tracks the progress of lead generation or traffic routed via social media marketing. To establish the role of social media in marketing analytics play a key role.
Role of Social Media in Marketing; Do’s and Don’ts
Work ethics exist in all kinds of roles and responsibilities and this applies to all digital marketers too. Social Media Marketing is a serious job and it requires a lot of ethical professionalism by the marketer. It becomes a serious notion for those who are into freelancing or part-time social media marketers.
Stay professional in your approach while using social media
All social media marketers are responsible for enriching the role of social media in marketing. Therefore, stay focused, updated and original at all times.
Value Your Customer
The customer is king and he is your actual asset, staying faithful, truthful with customers is very important. Accepting mistakes in front of your customers on social media enhances their faith in the brand. Valuing the customer is also a key role of social media in marketing.
Establish a Definite Business Objective
Establish a definite objective for the role of social media in marketing. It gives a lot of edge over the competition. Define business objectives and showcase both your long term and short term business goals. The outcomes of such efforts are more likely to be positive.
Be Genuine and Authentic in suggestions
The role of social media in marketing is to build a genuine and authentic brand. Recognize yourself as a brand that is true in its nature.
Interact regularly with Your Audience
The role of social media is redundant for any brand that fails to interact with its audience regularly. You should not expect to make an expense each time in acquiring a customer. It is not advisable to be a spendthrift as a digital marketer. Therefore, start interacting with customers through various engaging content.
Ensure presence on maximum social media platforms
It is wise to have a maximum presence across all social media platforms. More presence means more reach, more engagement and more brand awareness. The role of social media in marketing is to enhance brand presence throughout social media platforms.
Learn from Mistakes
Committing mistakes are common but learning from them is equally important. I have also learned from mistakes made by other digital marketers shared on various platforms. Remember good research can save from many hassles and can really bring in good results.
Deliver brand promise
Any brand reference needs to be authentic and appropriate
Remain on top of your integrity as a brand.
- Social media is not a replacement in marketing, use social media in marketing alongside other digital marketing tools and methods.
- Don’t use aggressive or vulgar content, promotion of such content should be prohibited.
- Expenses must remain in control.
- Stay Away from disputes on Social Media
- Don’t ignore customer feedback/Query
- Avoid personal opinions and personal suggestions at all times.
- Don’t fake
- Staying original is best at all times. Plagiarizing is not a good practice, avoid it.
- Social media requires a definite business goal, create a niche and valued presence. Don’t generalize brand through social media marketing.
- Don’t overcommit as a brand