37% of shoppers use social media to find information about products before buying and 70% of advertisers plan to increase the mobile social advertising budget. Read between the lines to know just how important social media is for business to thrive and succeed. It is a crucial and vitally important arm of digital marketing.
You could get by with SEO. You could manage with PPC. However, ignore social media at your peril. 3.5 billion people use social media which is over 40% of the world’s population and Facebook alone has over 2 billion users. Over 90% of social media users belong to the millennial class, the one with present and future purchasing power.
The social platforms
Before proceeding to the role of social media in digital marketing take a look at the various platforms:
- Facebook: inarguably the biggest and the most versatile, allowing short and long posts, stories, images, and videos.
- Twitter: Famous for short tweets that can go viral
- LinkedIn: Purely professional, absolutely vital to create a professional social image
- Instagram: Image-based but allows stories and way to use the platform to sell besides sharing videos and creating followers
- Pinterest: Image-based site
- Youtube: Video all the way
The best thing to do is to implement all aspects of digital marketing in parallel. However, you can get by with only social media. That is how powerful it is. Still, using it as a tool alongside others will get you the best results. It is a versatile tool that plays different roles at all stages of the digital marketing journey.
Letting the world know
Go social, create social media accounts, and interest with individuals and groups. People will know about your existence.
Getting to know people
You can do on social media what you cannot do on your website or through PPC or email marketing: you can reach out and establish contact. It is easy to say Hi and connect. Like someone’s post, retweet a tweet, give thumbs up. People are in the same boat. They are looking to establish a connection and grow groups of contacts and so can you. People will come in useful.
Create your brand and reputation
Work at it and you can use several posts to build up a composite image of your brand. People will soon begin associating with it and maybe even share it with others in their group. You can create an online persona on social media. You can share images and videos. You can inform, entertain, educate, and even sell direct. If you have a strong brand presence you can expect more people to directly or indirectly recommend you.
You as a person, your product and company
Social media is primarily about you as a person. What sort of image do you wish to project? You can script it the way you want. Your company and product will link to your person. Once you create a trustworthy, authoritative presence you will find you can promote not only yourself and your products but also become an influencer to help others.
Customers are increasingly using social media as a platform for customer services. They expect companies to engage here. Do so. It becomes a great place to show just how much you care and customers will respond on a positive note. Do so and it builds trust. Show concern for them as people and it has a positive impact on your reputation.
Where else to launch your promotions, holiday offers, seasonal discounts, and all goodies like reward points but on social media? Social media is wonderful. Keep at it and you could soon have thousands of people connecting with you. Launch any promotion and they pick it up as well as relay it quickly. Email would probably take days to spread the message. You could run advertisements in newspapers or local TV channels but they are too expensive. Social media is free.
The vital backlink and landing page connection
Social media is great for connections and relationship building that you can leverage to sell but you cannot turn social pages into eCommerce pages. Not to worry. In digital marketing, the most common ploy is to use social media to launch a campaign or an offer and then insert a link to a landing page on the website. This is one way to leverage the power of social media to promote products. Focus on this. This is where conversions happen, which is what digital marketing is about, in away.
SEO is Expensive so is PPC – start with social media
You need a website at the very least if you wish to sell. You could, of course, go the eCommerce way and become a seller on a marketplace but you will find that a website is better. You develop your identity instead of being just a seller on a large eCommerce platform. When you start you may not have the budget for content marketing and PPC. This is where you can leverage the power of social media to promote yourself, your products, and your website. As stated above, introduce yourself to new people, link to your web pages. Post content people will like and mirror it on your site. Social media is free. You just need to invest time and effort until you generate sufficient revenues to engage someone for full-fledged SEO and SEM.
Use social media as a platform for research to know what people like, what they are talking about, social media trends, and so on. It will help you with your digital marketing effort. Whenever you post something to ask a question and their replies will be enlightening.
Social media is so powerful that if you do it with dedication you could achieve stupendous success. Work on only two platforms or get an expert in digital marketing to handle your social media activities.
Feeling inspired to run your own social media marketing campaign? Contact us and let’s start!