Let’s start off with clarifying a couple of things. Most importantly, what is social media? “In a practical sense, it is a collection of software-based digital technologies … that provide users with digital environments in which they can send and receive digital content or information over some type of online social network.” (Appel, Grewal, Hadi, & Stephen, 2019) In layman’s terms, social media is apps where people can send things to one another. When we think about it in layman’s terms, we get a very important word, “people.” Without people, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business, etc. would fail. It is the people that makes these platforms successful, so when marketing on these apps, companies must think of the people first.
I am a firm believer that a good communicator should always communicate not so that they can understand the message, but so that their targeted audience can best understand the message. This is especially important in the world of social media. Gone are the days of one-way communication where a business paid for a commercial or simply a billboard. Consumers want and expect so much more from these businesses. They expect to see a social media presence at the very least but would also love to see engagement from the business with their customers. (Business Recorder, 2018) “The consumer is in control, and companies that can capture, analyze and act on the unstructured data wafting around the Web will come out on top.” (Regan, 2010) A wonderful example of this would be Wendy’s Twitter account. Many consumers know that if they tag Wendy’s in a tweet, there is a fairly high chance that the corporation will respond, although it may not be the nicest response! Wendy’s has managed to appear relatable with their target audience, and many members of that audience don’t see them as a big, bad corporation but as a friend on Twitter.
So why is any of this important? If your business is doing great without social media, go you! But I urge you to consider just how much more successful you could be with social media too. In today’s day and age, “social media is serious business with traceable consequences to your bottom line.” (Regan, 2010) Every smart business out there is looking for an ROI, but some still refuse to take advantage of the free social media platforms that can give you a high ROI. “Facebook reported having 2.38 billion monthly active users and 1.56 billion daily active users as of March 31, 2019. Globally, the total number of social media users is estimated to grow to 3.29 billion users in 2022.” (Appel, Grewal, Hadi, & Stephen, 2019) With almost half of the world’s population on social media, why wouldn’t you try to reach them with your marketing message? With only 250 Facebook “Friends”, a genuine SEO effort, and 60 posts with a decent number of comments, your business could generate roughly 400 qualified potential customer site visits. (Regan, 2010) These site visits can quickly become calls to your business or people through your door.
For the immediate future, there are three themes in the current social media environment that will continue to influence the social media landscape. “The modern-day consumer is living in an increasingly ‘omni- social’ world.” (Appel, Grewal, Hadi, & Stephen, 2019) Today, there’s nothing that you can’t do online or through a social media app. Banks allow you to open accounts and deposit checks through their apps, Facebook has Marketplace where you can sell things to other people, and you can even have your groceries delivered to your door through the Walmart app. Society is quickly becoming used to doing everything from their phones in real time, so businesses must adapt in order to stay relevant.
Overall, social media has taken the marketing world by storm, but has brought many opportunities with it. It is now up to the businesses to take advantage of these opportunities to grow their companies. For more information, or help with a social media plan for your company, contact Kip & King Marketing.
Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2019). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 79-91.
Business Recorder. (2018, 3 16). The rise of social media marketing. Business Recorder.
Regan, C. (2010, December). The Value of Being Social. Retrieved from chiefmarketer.com.