Every major company has an online presence. At a bare minimum, corporations should have a well-maintained and responsive Facebook page, Twitter feed, and their own branded website with clear, accessible links to the aforementioned social media platforms.
A presence on social media makes a company appear approachable and in touch with its customer base. Through social media, companies can react swiftly to customer service complaints and compliments, and this method has the added bonus of lifting the cloak of secrecy that used to accompany communications between companies and consumers. Companies can convert potential problems into opportunities to promote customer service success stories, which can lead to a lot of free advertising.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is of significant interest to companies. Targeted marketing campaigns can drive traffic to a company’s website or to other social media channels, encourage readership and customer engagement, and boost sales.
Marketing professionals have been quick to respond to the relatively recent emergence of alternative marketing platforms and have noticed their effectiveness. HubSpot reports, “80% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts increased traffic.”
Being able to quickly and proactively respond to other users’ mentions of your products or services is also an excellent opportunity for free marketing, brand awareness and promotion.
For instance, if a celebrity makes a social media post about a product, service, industry or trending topic, savvy social media managers can seize the opportunity to either react positively or distance themselves from the subject, depending on public perception and trends.
A Direct Connection to Your Audience
What makes a social media approach to marketing unique is the quick, unhindered access a company has to its audience. Companies are able to make changes, support their customers, advise and reassure during times of change, and communicate in real time. They are also able to utilize marketing strategies unique to the online space such as hosting Twitter parties, holding Facebook giveaways, live streaming special events or product launches, and announcing company news before media outlets.
Social media managers can connect directly with a company’s targeted demographic and build a community of consumers. They can also analyze customers using tools built into particular networks. The sales team can use the findings to increase their closing rates by identifying the right market.
Quality Content Is Key
Once a company uses social media to interact with its clientele, it must provide quality content that users actually want to read, share, and interact with, using polls, surveys and by contributing to comments. The company can then ensure that its brand is front and center of any conversations that interest its target market. For example, a company making baby products may publish long and short form content on its site that addresses and discusses parenting issues, thereby engaging with customers directly.
This “humanization” element makes customers feel at ease and increases a company’s likability. According to “The Top 10 Benefits of Social Media Marketing” published in Forbes, “Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.”
However, companies need to be careful that their campaigns are seen as sincere and not just an attempt to promote their products. Modern consumers are smart and know when they are being primed for a sales pitch. The best approach is to aim to develop an ongoing conversation.
People who are serious about becoming business leaders are no doubt already considering a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA). Social media literacy is becoming an increasingly important component in a range of business degrees and features as a course in many quality programs.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) understands the importance of tapping into the advanced opportunities to identify, target and connect with consumers. Its online MBA program offers an elective course in “Social Media Marketing” to prepare graduates for the wired world of modern business.
Becoming a leader in business requires a diversified approach to success, and a knowledge of the possibilities afforded by social media marketing is essential.
Learn more about the TAMU-CC online MBA program.