As 2020 winds down, businesses need to take stock of their performance thus far and plan for the coming year. Thanks to Covid-19, it has been a tough year for most businesses and industries.
There has also been a major shift in consumer behavior, with the internet playing a more prominent role in marketing and facilitating sales. Social media in particular has seen a huge upsurge of use.
With more adults and teens being forced to stay home, it is only natural that they would turn to their devices for distraction and interaction. And thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, they can easily entertain and share various content.
So how does this translate into any benefit for businesses?
Most social media channels provide advertisers with various ways in which to connect with audiences. From publishing content on their own pages to having adverts run on personal news feeds, there are many ways to market products, services, and more.
This type of advertising has gained much traction thanks to its targeted capability that does not exist with traditional modes of advertising. Being able to define your audience according to such parameters as location and interests can help to ensure your advertising money is being spent wisely on an audience with an improved likelihood of becoming paying customers.
The free ability to engage with audiences cannot also be underrated. It has never been so easy to directly and publicly interact with consumers than now. How this is handled can have a significant impact in demonstrating the transparency and responsiveness of the business, and hence its reputation.
While search algorithms can still sometimes be difficult to decipher, it is obvious that social media engagement has become an important factor in ranking. When using search engines, you will now find that social media pages can often appear as top-ranked results.
For businesses to achieve and retain top ranking, they must apply a marketing strategy that includes social media marketing efforts. Establishing a strong presence on these platforms and using content to update and engage with audiences can be a big help.
Refining Marketing Strategies
Because of the high audience engagement on social media, it becomes an ideal channel through which to collect data. From likes to polls, there are many ways you can collect information from your target audiences that will influence future business decisions.
This can help in identifying leads that will give your business better direction. Social media is fertile ground for research purposes that can help in diverse ways including product development and setting marketing budgets.
Matching Audience to Platform
Every social media platform tends to have a certain demographic that dominates. For instance, according to Statista, the top social media platform for U.S. teens is Snapchat. Facebook is the preference for adults. When it comes to gender, women spend more time on YouTube, while men consider Facebook more essential.
When looking to engage consumers, or market products more directly, it makes sense to understand how different platforms appeal to different audiences at any given time. And apply this knowledge judiciously when making social media marketing decisions.
Just as content is king in SEO, so too does this apply to social media. The quality of content that is shared is valued according to how much engagement it drives from audiences. Attracting a few likes is no longer good enough. Some platforms have begun testing content posting without the like function.
Be it memes or human interest stories, social media platforms are giving more visibility to posts that stimulate more conversation and sharing. Brands can build better awareness when aligned with content that encourages more stimulating and longer conversations.
Making The Most of Social Media
To get the best out of your social media marketing efforts, there are a few guidelines you must adhere to. Content creation should be carefully undertaken. Consider the demographics of your target audience and what content best appeals to them. Try to make it unique and value-adding.
Be consistent in the production and sharing of your content. Also, in the kind of message you want to impart. Do not be all over the place as this can cause confusion and break interest. Identify a message that resonates with the values of your brand and run with it.
Try to keep up with customer engagement. While you may not be able to respond to every comment and query, do make an effort. The more your audience sees you are engaging with them, the more loyal they become as followers and likely to turn into paying customers. The basic courtesy of answering queries is always good publicity.
Social media marketing continues to grow with a momentum that cannot be ignored. Not only is it highly targeted, but it is also the most cost-effective form of marketing, delivering better returns than even SEO.
For any business to remain competitive in 2020 and beyond, establishing a viable social media marketing strategy should be a priority. As more consumers shift towards this as their main source of online information and news, it pays to build a strong presence that will make it easier to stay visible and engage with audiences.