Business and Social Media Marketing
EMarketer and Forest Research have announced that most brands spent the majority of their marketing budget on mobile advertising in 2014. As people around the world become increasingly obsessed with looking at their mobile phones it seems that old media, such as newspapers and magazines, are just not getting noticed.
So, with this in mind, just how important is social media to business?
Fundamental. Crucial. Essential. These are just some of the phrases given by our panel when we asked them this question. Almost everyone on the panel felt that all businesses can boost their market visibility and sales performance through the effective use of social media.
As many of the panel pointed out, it seems that everyone is on social media, therefore businesses should be too. Facebook alone has over 1.35 Billion users, which gives businesses the opportunity to instantly reach thousands of users with just one click.
‘If you don’t use social media you’re really missing out’ (Liam, 18, Totnes)
‘I think people should utilise it because everyone uses social media these days’ (Nath, 20, Coventry)
Businesses can use social media to drive awareness of their initiatives and products. Many companies announce their sales and run competitions on Twitter and Facebook. This gives followers the opportunity to snatch sought-after products before anyone else (except those also on social media of course). Moreover, social media creates an awareness of smaller businesses, drumming up interest in both the local and national community. Several of the panel are business owners and claimed that social media is central to their success.
‘It’s a great way for brands to reach out, publicise what they’re doing and show new products’ (Erica, 47, Hornchurch)
‘If people want information quickly then they are more likely to search for it on Facebook than anywhere else’ (Katie, 25, Wallsend)
‘It’s much more up-to-date than other forms of communication’ (Tanya, 36, Norwich)
‘It’s a cost free way of advertising’ (Tim, 48, Bangor)
Yet, social media is not only about sales. It allows people to directly engage with brands, resulting in stronger business/ consumer relationships. For the first time, brands get to showcase their personality and have fun with customers in an informal environment.
‘It shows there is a face behind the marketing’ (James, 20, Southampton)
Whilst social media generally introduces positive conversations between businesses and consumers, it also permits consumers the right to publicly post negative comments about brands.
‘It can backfire when people directly complain because everyone can see’ (Kat, 33, Chester)
However, businesses should grasp such comments as an opportunity to show the world how well they handle complaints. If a company deals with a complaint well, the company will appear professional and approachable by thousands of consumers.
‘I always have a nosey at the complaints on there and see how they’ve been dealt with, as it gives you a good idea of how the company would deal with you’ (Jennifer, 33, Manchester)
So essentially, social media is a MUST for any business looking to be successful in the current market. It’s the cheapest, quickest and most effective way to show millions of consumers just how fantastic your brand is!
‘It’s cheap, it’s effective and it’s the main form of digital marketing’ (Jihao, 20, London)