Social Media Marketing- Challenges and Importance

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 682 , Published on 01 July 2016
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The impact social media can have on the society can be estimated from the fact that “Jasmine revolution” was the result of Facebook campaign in Tunisia which later led to uprising in many other countries which came to be known as “Arab Spring”. Back home in India, successful campaign on social media led by BJP in general election created such a wave that BJP swept its rivals in many states while parties which have earlier ignored social media in political arena have now created dedicated PR teams to promote their agenda and to handle any negative publicity on social media.

Social media is growing continuously and by 2015, global penetration was more than 30%. Facebook dominates in the global landscape with 1.5 billion users and is adding 6 users to its platform every second. In India, 10% of the total population is active on some form of social media platform. This amounts to 134 million people out of which 97 million are active through mobile. It is set to grow exponentially as change in behavior related to mobile use is complementing the penetration of social media. Facebook and Whatsapp dominates the number of users with 125 million monthly active users. The another pattern that is important from the marketing point of view is that nearly 53% users are in the age group 20-29 out of which 24% users are female. 68M male and 21M female access social media through smartphone. These statistics hints about type of audience that can be targeted and tremendous potential that it would have in future when more than 50% of population will be on platform.


Image: pixabay


The importance of social media for marketers can be put in following points:

• Social Media can be used to impress targeted audience:

If you use traditional medium then only 20% of the total audience would be your target audience but in social media you can exactly target the audience who have the potential to become your customer and if you get positive feedback from them it would create multiplier effect. Similarly unsatisfied customers can lead to disruptions so they need to be handled very carefully to avoid negative publicity.


• Improve Brand Recognition:

Social media networks offers new channels to increase you presence and communication with the customers. This makes your brand more accessible for new customers and makes existing customers more familiar with your brand.


• Increased Brand Loyalty:

It is because of level of interaction that you can establish with your customer base like in Twitter and Instagram marketing you can read status updates and tweets of your customer to get insights into their daily lives. You can also use social media to connect your business with other non-competing but complementary businesses like journalists who can also provide you with unbiased feedback from customers.


• As users are receptive so more opportunities are there to convert:

People view Facebook and other platforms as social network and not as a marketing gamut so they are more likely to hear what you have to say and take more interest if some friend or follower share about your company. The other reason that make people more receptive on social media is the opportunity to react through comments, likes, up-vote and down-vote. It does not mean that every reaction would be positive but every positive reaction opens up new horizon and an opportunity to convert a potential customer into a customer.


• Higher conversion rates:

Marketing via social network led to higher conversion rates because of its humanization element as brands do act like people on social media platform which added trust in relationship and consequently result in more conversions. Some studies have pointed out that social media is 100% more effective in conversions compared to out-bound marketing. Added to this social media allows you to retarget your customers. For example in Facebook, you can download Facebook pixel through which you can find who had visited your site and can target that particular customer. Besides social media allows you to target customers on the basis of their age, gender, location, education level and even the purchase history of the customers and the pages they liked which also increases the chances of conversion.


• Response time is minimum:

In case of any problem with your product or service, customers give immediate feedback and you have the opportunity to resolve any issue right away before it negatively impact your brand image. Many studies have pointed out that customers appreciate those companies more which responds to their complaints.


• Level playing field:

It is because of low cost of social media marketing that bigger companies which have huge advertising budget cannot take advantage of it over smaller companies. The companies or brands which were successful in going viral were those who use clever and attention grabbing tactics and were having interesting content which is possible even for smaller businesses. According to a report by Hubspot, more than 84% marketers found that 6 hours of effort per week is sufficient to increase traffic on your site.


• Richer customer insights and experience:

Social media provides us with the opportunity to know about the interests of customers and their behavior on social media. This can be accessed by monitoring the comments find out which type of content generate more interest. Then by segmentation customized content can be produced for different groups of customers according to their interest and this would led to higher conversion rate.


The importance of social media increases manifold from the fact that potential losses are minimum. With few dollars and six hours a week of investment is significant enough for an unbeatable return. Also with increasing penetration of social media number of people on this platform would increase to 50% from present 10% in India which would make social media a marketing platform which would give incredible returns.

 

This article has been authored by Vikrant Singh Gangwar from IIM Kashipur


References:

• http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/social-media-use-doubles-in-rural-india/article7334735.ece

• http://www.statista.com/statistics/284436/india-social-network-penetration/

• http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2016/29891/social-media-follower-growth-benchmarks-for-brands

• https://www.aabacosmallbusiness.com/advisor/5-reasons-why-social-media-marketing-important-172938196.html

• http://www.ringboost.com/blog/importance-of-social-media-marketing-and-advertising/

• http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/sharpening-your-skills-social-media


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