Coca Cola has attracted over 63 million fans on its Facebook page and customized Twitter feeds for each local market it operates in. On Pintrest they have taken a different approach with only one board posting Coca cola ad campaigns while the others are all random images. Digital marketing and social networking is paving the way for greater connectivity, and direct customer interaction. Social media presence has become imperative for creating brand recognition and along with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pintrest and Instagram are also gaining traction as digital influence for real-time engagement, customer service and e-commerce.
Building Brands through Engagement and Entertainment
Social media and digital marketing platforms create space for engagement through interesting content that are relevant and entertaining, and create opportunities to sell themselves to consumers. Social media marketing budget is expected to rise from 7.4% to 18.1% in the next five years, this in spite of the marketers’ inability to gauge the ROI on social media marketing. However, marketers unanimously agree that they are now able to engage with customers at every step of their purchase journey. The large amount of information generated online enables them to connect at a deeper level with customers and this is the expectation of customers too.
Marketing digitally, Smartly
To get the most out of digital marketing, brands need a coordinated strategy with extensive knowledge of target audience, run ads, and create optimized content that will be suitable for each channel. As the importance of advertising as a revenue source is getting firmly entrenched, social media companies are also establishing in-house advertising teams and analytical tools to help brands design strategies specific to their platform.
Creating a Social Media Strategy
Businesses, irrespective of their size, use social media most commonly for marketing, and are increasingly integrating it with sales, services and product development. Social media strategy is no longer sidelined as an indulgence, but has taken mainstream place of importance as a core business process. Digital marketing functions are integrated into customer support applications and data generated from social media tools are important determinants of brand management. It is a direct channel for listening to customer feedback and recommendations, and companies can now collaborate with social groups for product testing.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform
The monthly active users on social network –
- Facebook: 1.28 billion
- Google+: 540 million
- Twitter: 255 million
- Instagram: 200 million
- LinkedIn: 187 million
- Pinterest: 40 million
Even though Facebook far outstrips its competitors, they are not the greatest supporters for organic reach of brand pages. The way to market on Facebook is no longer about getting likes and shares, but to create click-through and impressions.
Lesson learnt is that though size does matter, demographics and relevance to the brand matters equally. For businesses that deal with services for corporates, LinkedIn is far more relevant for digital marketing than Facebook or Twitter.
Where to Market while Social Networking?
Three factors can be taken into consideration while determining which social network to choose –
- Relevance to marketing content
- Potential viewers
- Is it aligned with marketing goals
Facebook is always a good starting point despite the competition as more than 70% adults are active on this network. If you are aiming at younger, tech-savvy crowd, then Twitter is ideal as the users here are always seeking information. LinkedIn is perfect fit for B2B products and services and Google+ is relevant from SEO point of view. Instagram and Pintrest are great sites for visuals and photos, so they cater largely to food and fashion.
It is difficult to maintain a simultaneous presence on all social networking platforms, as the approach for analyzing data varies. Hence, it is important to create a fit between the business aims, marketing goals and social platform before executing a social networking strategy to serve clients better.
About the Author:
Sonal Maheshwari loves pursuing excellence through writing and has a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for intellipaat.com, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training.
The courses offered by Intellipaat address the unique needs of working professionals. She is based out of Pune and has an experience of 6 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Project Management, Digital Marketing and more.