Social media is no longer limited to use for staying connected or expanding social circles. It offers a viable way to market a business and products or services the business offers. Marketers are beginning to realize the Internet, and specifically, social media offers many advantages over other marketing channels and methods.
Social media sites do not limit types of users. Businesses and individuals alike can create profiles and connect with others. Social media is a great avenue for B2C (business to consumer) marketing and communications. It may soon become acceptable as a means for B2B communications, in certain industries. It is also an excellent way to introduce a new business, as marketers can choose to target specific user groups or ask existing customers to promote the products or services on their social media profiles.
Growing social media campaigns among small local businesses (it's what we do here at SocialMotion Media) are becoming an everyday marketing activity, as social media can spread the word more quickly than printed media or other local advertising. TV commercials and billboards are expensive. They also don't reach the target audience to the extent that social media can, even in a smaller community. People have become so inundated with other forms of advertising, they often disregard or overlook new ads or printed materials. Social media is often the preferred method of communication among social groups. It's where they may spend much of their spare time, rather than on the phone or contacting others via email. It makes sense to reach potential customers this way.
As social media marketing becomes more widely used, the need to reach customers via this traditional method also increases. Over three-fourths of the U.S. population have a profile on one social media site or another. Read more about the statistics on social media use in the U.S. at Statista. In another year, that figure is expected to climb to nearly 3 billion. This is a profoundly broad audience.
Even if a company wants to reach a small proportion of this audience, social media is the quickest, most efficient way to do so. More people turn to social media for regular communications, so reaching them where they spend most of their time and are more likely to see new marketing messages, is a good idea.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from social media marketing in several ways. There is little to no cost for promoting products this way. So, by using social media, a start-up business can substantially reduce overall costs for marketing and promotions. While some experts believe social media is a short-lived trend, businesses say otherwise. Many believe social media has helped to increase recognition of their brand or products. Customer loyalty is also easy to achieve via social media because it provides consumers with an easy way to stay in touch and connected. Read more about the Growing social media campaigns among small local businesses and entrepreneurs is rising at Socialnomics.
One of the primary objectives of a marketing campaign is to turn interested potential customers into paying customers. Social media makes it easy to do that. Companies can reach clients with individualized messages or reach groups of consumers with a message relevant to their needs. Social media marketing can help businesses close deals or sales more readily than direct marketing calls or emails. The social media presence helps to establish a sense of trust and openness, which would otherwise be harder to attain using other channels to spread marketing messages. Social media creates a sense of immediacy. It can make use of attractive and relevant graphics to enhance a message, and let customers know what the business has to offer, in a clear, concise manner.