Social Media: Doing Business a Favour or just Adding a New Flavour?

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on May 16, 2015

Both big and small companies are realizing the importance of Social Media influence on the public and how fast they need to adopt methodologies in this sphere. Businesses try to seek attention of such audiences and come up with an online sales promotion idea to increase their vitality online. Sometimes they send them free samples, coupons or discount offers. They don’t miss any such opportunity!

The SMEs and entrepreneurs are using Social Media Marketing platforms as a launch platform. They create an online buzz and earn the engagement of prospective buyers. Also, it’s not always the frequency of posts that matter to the viewers but they also look for relevant and quality content. Companies also keep a watch on their competitors’ strategies and potential distractions it brings to their customers.

Now let us look at the reasons why B-2-B businesses invest in social media marketing?

First, they want to increase their brand awareness as most of the younger generation takes to online shopping like fish to water. It provides them an excellent mass platform to target each segment. Second, it is very important that they increase the web traffic and make their presence felt through various viral channels of promotion. Third, these businesses want more insights on the market trends and social media provides the best visibility into consumer tastes and preferences.

Quite often we must have wondered that to what extent B-2-C businesses acquire customers online and how to they grow so fast?

The answer is FACEBOOK! Yes, one will be surprised to know that more than 60% of businesses grow through Facebook. How do they do that? But before we find that out, let us realize that we often help these social networking sites to promote their products without much of our realization. Brands often come out with tactical promotional ways such as photos, links, quizzes, albums, videos, Ads, and we often make them our statuses. All they got to be – Is to be VIRAL! Businesses use Facebook as a vital tool as it is more Fun-Savvy and helps businesses to grow through networking. Friends add friends. They form communities and groups. They share opinions about various brands and events, likings and disliking, favourite brands or famous brands. It someway connects them and discussions happen. This creates a buzz and the brand becomes viral. Hence, trafficking towards that brand goes up leading to more sales and visibility.

It’s the creativity that sells! – Online video campaigns on Youtube, MSN and Yahoo is raising the bar of visibility for the some of the brands. The “Ali Vs Ali (Ad campaign by Adidas)” increased the search on yahoo for Adidas by more than 100%. The video was aired for a while and it led to excellent marketing online.

There could be more than 100 reasons why a customer would love to follow a brand on Social Media, but a few mentioned over here top the list!

What attracts the customers, rather potential customers more, are promotional sales and discounts. Brands often do a lot of engagement activities online and create viral atmosphere online. Very recently, Asian Paints came with the competition wherein participants had to create their own “Wall of Decor” and the winner’s design will be incorporated as one of their Decor Styles in the business. Here, the companies directly touch the sentiments of the customers and create the positive vibe about their brand.

Online Marketing on Social Media Platforms – Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

Twitter is one of the most recognized social media means wherein people follow businesses for promotional sales and discounts. Any twitter user, on average, follows minimum 3 brands. Pinterest tops the list when it comes to luxury brands. The specialty retailers are increasing everyday on Pinterest and it still has a long way to go! A few Brands have also tried to explore Instagram by posting at least one picture per week on their accounts. Luxury retail, luxury auto and clothing are some of the categories which have visible brands and are socially active on Instagram. Though not widely used, it is yet another social media marketing channel that is gaining momentum.

Everyone wants to save time today and does not have so much time to visit shops or spend time exploring Ads on T.V. to find out what’s new lined up for a particular brand. Social media platforms seek attention of its customers by launching new products online and spread quick message across the world. A lot many times, entertainment comes as a free package along with any such communications.

Business Development – Lead generation has now become much more viable than it was 10 years ago. The businesses are growing faster as we can penetrate deeper and better into our target audience. Customers often express their preferences, choices and tastes which help the businessmen identify a prospect. More often, companies themselves ask for specific feedback to improve their service and brand presence.

Cost Saving – The traditional marketing techniques were very expensive. It not only requires huge funds but also time and physical efforts. With Social media marketing on board, both, the customers and the businesses, are able to save their time and make wise decisions without much physical efforts. Businesses reach out to huge masses at once and for them, communication with each customer has become convenient and easier. Most importantly, it is cheaper!

Customer Service and feedback are two other prime reasons. Social media platform gives customers to openly speak about their feedback. It also keeps the companies on their toes so as to respond to their customers in no span of time so as to retain them and keep them happy. Customers give open feedback on social networking sites about their experience with a particular company/product/brands and such stories help the businesses to understand their target audiences better. Products can therefore be improved or customized as per the requirement.

Here is why we say – Social Media Marketing – A connecting link between Business & Customer!

A customer nowadays prefers exploring social media marketing campaigns over traditional marketing means and often gets influenced. Before making any purchase, be it a car or a camera, a book or a laptop, one first approaches the social media for primary research. Hence, I believe Social Media Marketing is playing a vital role to provide convenience and service support to both, the customers and the business.

This article has been authored by Neha Verma from IMT Nagpur

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