The impact of social media on business is undeniable. Many believe that social media has a 100% higher lead-generation rate than outbound marketing. Not only that, but customers who are reached through social media are more likely to buy something than those reached through other channels.
However, social media marketing isn’t a silver bullet. Crafting an effective social media marketing campaign takes time, effort, and strategy.
Keep reading to learn the impacts of social media on your marketing and a strategy that works on any type of social media marketing.
What is the Role of Social Media
In the contemporary business landscape, social media plays an increasingly important role. It provides a cost-effective route to reach potential customers and build brand awareness. Social media can generate leads, drive traffic to company websites, and create valuable backlinks.
Perhaps most importantly, social media provides businesses with a direct way to interact with their customers and get feedback in real-time. As the importance of social media continues to grow, savvy businesses will find ways to leverage this powerful tool to their advantage.
The Ten-Fold Impact of Social Media on Business
In the past, businesses could control the messaging about their products and services. But with the descent of social media, customers and clients now have a direct line to the businesses they patronize and can share information instantaneously with a wide audience.
While this shift in dynamics presents challenges for businesses, there are also many advantages to be gained by leveraging social media.
Some of the ways social media has impacted business communications include:
Transparency in Business Environment
There is now a more open and transparent business environment. Customers and clients can easily reach out to businesses to ask questions, give feedback or lodge complaints. This transparency can foster trust between businesses and their customer base.
An increased level of openness also means businesses must be more responsive to inquiries and complaints to maintain a good reputation.
Increased Reach at a Lower Cost
The reach of businesses has increased greatly at a lower cost. In the past, business communications were often one-way messages that came at a high cost to produce (e.g., television commercials, print ads, etc.).
Social media allows businesses to correspond with their target audiences at a fraction cost. Additionally, social media provides an opportunity for two-way communication, so businesses can get real-time feedback from their customers and adjust their messaging accordingly.
Real-Time Two-Way Communication
There is now an expectation of real-time two-way communication. Social media has created a 24/7 news cycle where information is shared instantly. It has led to an expectation from customers and clients that businesses will be available around the clock to respond to questions or address concerns.
While this can be challenging for businesses, it also allows them to build stronger relationships with their customers by being responsive in real-time.
Businesses have been very formal, almost impersonal entities. Thanks to social media that is no longer the case. Social media has given businesses a human face by allowing them to interact with their customers more personally.
This personal interaction builds trust between customers and businesses and helps create loyal customers more likely to continue partnering with a company they can trust.
Market Research and Competitive Intelligence
Social media has also made it easier for businesses to conduct market research and collect competitive intelligence. In the past, companies would have to hire expensive market research firms to collect this data.
Now, they must set up a few social media accounts and start following their competitors. They can quickly and easily see what their competitors are doing well and what areas they need to improve.
Businesses can also collect data on their target market by analyzing the demographics of their social media followers. However, while this information is valuable, it can also be dangerous in the hands of unethical business owners who may use it to take advantage of their customers or their competition.
Enhanced Thought Leadership and Brand Equity
Social media has helped businesses develop enhanced thought leadership and brand equity. Thought leaders are individuals who are recognized as experts in their field. The media often call upon them to provide commentary on current events or issues affecting their industry.
Brand equity is a customer’s perceived value when they think of a particular brand. For example, Apple has high brand equity because its customers perceive it as a premium brand producing high-quality products.
Businesses can use social media to develop thought leadership and brand equity by regularly sharing industry news and insights with their followers. It helps position them as experts while building trust with their audience.
However, if a business abuses this power by spamming its followers with too much promotional content or posting inaccurate information, it can quickly lose both thought leadership and brand equity.
Improved SEO and Website Traffic
One of the most important ways social media has impacted business is through improved search engine optimization (SEO). By optimizing their website for social media engagement, businesses can increase their visibility and get in front of more potential customers.
Additionally, social media can drive traffic to a company’s website, leading to increased sales and conversions.
Optimized Advertising and Promotion
Another way social media has impacted business is by making it easier to advertise and promote products and services. In the past, businesses would have to depend on print ads, TV commercials, or word-of-mouth to get their products to potential customers.
Businesses can now use targeted advertising on social media platforms to quickly and easily reach their ideal customer base. Social media makes tracking advertising campaigns’ results easy so businesses can see what’s working and needs improvement.
Ubiquity and Easy Access
One of the good things about social media is that it’s accessible to everyone with an internet connection. This ubiquity gives businesses of all sizes the ability to reach a global audience with minimal effort.
Social media platforms are dynamic, which means there are always new opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers.
Finally, social media has leveled the playing field for businesses by giving smaller companies access to tools and platforms that larger companies have used for years. In the past, marketing campaigns could cost thousands or even millions of dollars—something that only big businesses could afford.
But now, even startups and mom-and-pop shops can use social media to reach a wide audience without breaking the bank.
There’s no denying that social media has profoundly impacted business—and that impact will only continue to grow in the future.
Types of Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Now that we’ve covered the positive impacts of social media on marketing, let’s look at some of the most common types of social campaigns.
There are five main types of social media campaigns: awareness, engagement, and conversion. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Awareness campaigns are designed to increase visibility and reach. The goal is to get as many people talking about your brand, product, or service. A good awareness campaign will target key influencers in your industry and work to get them to share your content with their followers.
Engagement campaigns are all about building relationships. An engagement campaign aims to attract potential customers to interact positively with your brand. It could be through likes, comments, shares, or any other interaction.
The key is to encourage two-way communication so that you can learn more about your target audience and what they’re looking for.
Conversion campaigns are focused on generating leads and making sales. If an awareness campaign is designed to get people talking about your brand, and an engagement campaign is designed to get people interacting with your brand, then a conversion campaign is designed to get people buying from your brand.
Ideally, you should offer something of value—like a coupon code or free shipping—in exchange for an email address or other contact information.
The goal of a retention campaign is to keep your existing customers engaged with your brand. You can do it differently, but some common social media strategies include hosting contests, offering discounts, or creating loyalty programs.
Advocacy campaigns are all about getting your customers to champion your brand. The most effective way to do this is by giving them a reason to believe in what you’re doing—whether that’s a cause you’re passionate about or a unique product or service you offer.
Once you have their buy-in, you can ask them to share your message with their networks.
Each campaign has its own unique benefits. And while they require different approaches, the bottom line is that they can be extremely effective in driving business results. So, here’s a strategy that you can use with whatever campaign type you’re eyeing.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Before you can begin reaping the benefits of social media marketing, you need to create a foolproof strategy. It is not a sophisticated process. It’s quite simple, but it will work for any campaigns you plan to launch. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Set Social Media Marketing Goals
The first step in creating a social media marketing strategy is to set goals. Be clear on what you want to achieve with your social media marketing campaign. Do you want to increase brand equity? Draw traffic to your website? Nurture leads?
After you’ve settled your goals, you can start deciding which social platforms will be best for achieving those goals.
Step 2: Identify the Best Social Media Platforms
Each social media platform is unique. Some platforms are better for certain types of businesses than others. For example, if you are a B2B, LinkedIn might be a better platform for you than Snapchat.
Once you’ve identified your goals, take some time to research which platforms will be most effective for achieving those goals. Then, create profiles on those platforms and populate them with high-quality content.
Get updated with the latest features, trends, and tips on popular social media platforms. It will ensure that you’re using each platform to its fullest potential.
Step 3: Manage Your Content
Simply having an account on Facebook or Twitter is not enough – businesses need to have a content management strategy for their social media channels.
Creating engaging content is only half the battle – businesses also need to ensure that their content is properly scheduled and distributed. An effective social media content management strategy will consider all of these factors.
First, take stock of which platforms your target audience uses most frequently. Then, create a schedule for posting content and assign someone to manage the accounts. At peak hours, more people are likely to scroll through their feeds. Finally, monitor the results and adjust the strategy as necessary.
Step 4: Engage with Your Audience
Always keep the lines open for social media users. Responding to comments and Reviews shows that you care about what your customers think—and it can help improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. So take time each day to check for new comments or reviews, and respond accordingly.
Step 5: Building Relationships With Influencers
One of the best methods to get your brand in front of a new audience is collaborating with influencers with a large following. When you collaborate with an influencer on social media, their followers will become exposed to your brand and what you offer.
Do your groundwork before you reach out so that you can partner with an influencer who will be most beneficial to your business.
Step 6: Cultivating a Social Media Following
A key part of any social media marketing plan is growing your social media following. The bigger your audience, the more prospective customers you’ll have. But simply increasing the number of followers isn’t enough—you also need to ensure those followers are engaged with your content.
Try posting regularly, using relevant hashtags, and running contests or giveaways to encourage people to follow and interact with your brand on social media.
Step 7: Taking Care Of Your Audience
Your social media followers are more than just potential customers—they’re real people who deserve to be treated with respect. Be responsive when someone reaches out to you on social media, and take the time to answer whatever concerns they may have.
If someone leaves a negative comment, try to resolve the issue offline if possible. And always remember that interactions on social media are public, so it’s important to be professional at all times.
Creating a social media marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or overly time-consuming—if you know what steps to take.
To best take advantage of social media and its’ ten-fold positive impact on business, you must create a social media marketing game plan that works on any type of campaign. Doing so will help your business in multiple ways, such as building thought leadership and increasing website traffic.
You can run different social media marketing campaigns depending on your business goals should be aimed at engagement with potential or current customers. With some time and effort, you can use social media to level the playing field for your business and reach new heights.
Here are frequently asked questions regarding the impact of social media on business that may guide you as you craft a winning social media strategy.
There are many ways to measure the success of your social media marketing campaigns, but four of the most common metrics include the following:
1. The number of new followers or fans you acquire over a given period of time.
2. The level of engagement (e.g., comments, likes, shares) your social media posts receive from your followers.
3. The number of leads or customers you generate from your social media efforts.
4. The revenue you generate from your social marketing efforts.
The best frequency for your social media updates will vary depending on the platform, your followers, and the type of content you share. Experts advise posting at least once a day on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and at least twice a day on Instagram.
If you’re just starting or have a small following, it’s important to be consistent with your posts so your followers can keep track. And if you’re sharing valuable content, you should aim to post even more often than the suggested frequencies listed above.
1. The most obvious risk is that social media can be used to spread rumors and misinformation about your company or its products.
2. Someone can also use social media to steal your customers or trade secrets.
3. It’s also possible for disgruntled employees to post negative comments about your company on social media websites.