Social media has earned its seat at the table in businesses and marketing organizations of every shape and size.
In 2020, an intentional social media presence is essential for any business for multiple reasons—and to say that social media has revolutionized the way businesses communicate to their audience is an understatement.
In the last 10 years, social media has changed the landscape for how businesses market themselves. Instead of relying on traditional word-of-mouth marketing to acquire a larger audience, businesses can now target their preferred demographic in just a click of a button. In fact, over 90% of businesses are taking advantage of all the benefits that a social media presence has to offer. Most businesses have found great success with their social media strategies while others are left scratching their heads trying to make sense of this ever-evolving industry.
The reality is, the social media craze isn’t dying down. Instead, it’s imperative for your business to have a social media presence in today’s world.
Still need convincing? Let’s crunch some numbers.
Facebook—the platform that started it all—has around 1.7 billion active users looking to engage with friends, family members, and businesses. Not to be outdone, Instagram has grown rapidly over the last few years reaching over 1 billion users who scroll through the app daily. On top of that, a little birdie told me that Twitter has 330 million monthly active users engaging with their followers, celebrities, athletes, and businesses. And you might be thinking that those TikTok videos you see popping up everywhere is just a fad, but there are over 800 million active users on the platform—and it was the most downloaded app for Apple users last year.
If those numbers don’t sound like opportunity knocking on your door, then I don’t know what does. Here are several ways social media can help you target, engage, and convert your preferred demographic.
Social Media helps you build authenticity
While traditional forms of marketing and advertising like outdoor billboards, magazine ads, and commercials are still alive and well — in fact, the average cost for a 30-second Super Bowl ad was $5.25 million in 2020 with a viewership of 102 million avid football fans — these forms of advertising can lack authenticity and come across as overly brand-polished messaging. And that — authenticity — where social media shines.
Social media enables businesses to have direct, meaningful conversations with their audience in real-time, rather than relying on other marketing and advertising tactics that only speak at your audience. Company messaging can get lost in traditional forms of advertising, while social media essentially humanizes your brand and invites your audience to participate in your social conversation.
Perhaps one of the most iconic social media strategies is Dove’s Self Esteem Project which continuously encourages its audience to participate in their ongoing campaigns that makes use of hashtags like #nolikesneeded to #speakbeautiful. They even tapped into the world of sports with this type of messaging to help squash the stigma that female athletes are subjected to with their #mybeautymysay campaign during the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Dove even set up a dedicated hub on Twitter to allow people to participate in the campaign. Users were able to click on a discouraging quote and automatically send Dove’s protest tweet to the person or company the remark came from. These ongoing social media efforts have proven to be successful as Dove continues to use its messaging for the greater good by continuing to evolve the #mybeautymysay campaign year after year.
Social Media is an affordable way to build awareness
Perhaps one of the most attractive attributes of social media marketing is the reality that it doesn’t have to cost anything to yield impressive results. Unlike placement ads on TV, magazines, and websites, having a presence on a social media platform doesn’t cost a thing — accounts are free and organic success is obtainable.
On top of that, most brands test their marketing efforts out with a fully organic social media strategy to grow their audience. As long as you are creating effective content, companies can save big by trading in or adjusting traditional marketing tactics for a social media strategy.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to throw a little money at your social strategy, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter make it easy to dial-up your organic strategy into a paid campaign to grow your audience.
Brands can build market awareness with owned, paid, and earned tactics on social media. They can capture the attention of an audience organically, set up a paid ad to reach their preferred demographic, or earn social media coverage from influential accounts who broadcast their message to a larger audience.
The best part about this is that you will remain in control of how much you want to spend on a certain campaign — a true set-and-forget feature that social media offers to all businesses to make sure they stay within their marketing budget.
Social Media makes it easy to manage your brand
Social media has essentially become the front page for brands around the globe. It offers flexible channels to broadcast news, announcements, and showcase their mission or vision to the public.
Social media has even opened the door for entrepreneurs and companies that prefer to not have a brick-and-mortar location. A great example of this is the furniture company, Article, who sells direct-to-consumer only through their website to help them provide their furniture at a lower price point due to the lack of rent and infrastructure overhead. They have become a household name by primarily targeted advertising through social media platforms and securing ad placements on popular podcasts.
The current pandemic has provided myriad examples of how social media is helping businesses to communicate to their audience and stay top-of-mind. Many businesses have had to close their physical locations, but social media has given certain businesses the opportunity to stay present and active in their communities, as well as continuing to generate revenue. For example, fitness studios have been forced to close their doors, but social media gives them the opportunity to host virtual classes to help them stay afloat by providing their customers with a way to workout at home.
The bottom line is, social media is an accessible and cost-effective way for brands to tap into the minds of consumers all over the world. If done right, in the long run, social media marketing can help set your brand apart and help you become an authoritative figure in your industry.