Is Social Media Just About ROI?
Is return on investment (ROI) all you really think about when you set up your marketing campaigns? You want traffic, you want conversions and you want sales. A good social media campaign can and will get you all of those things, but remember that you have to go farther. It's about much more than the initial return that you see or an instant uptick in sales. It's a long-term branding effort that has a widespread reach, and you must give it the time and priority that it deserves. Find out how your campaign can pay dividends for years to come, strengthening your brand and setting you up for success on multiple levels.
Social Media as the Norm
First and foremost, companies need to adapt to the modern culture by understanding that the vast majority of potential consumers and returning customers are going to use social media. It's the norm. It's the standard. In the past, companies looked at social media marketing as a specific approach for a specific audience -- namely, young people. But that's not what it is in 2018. Social media is used by everyone, from every background, of every age.
Instead, experts note, companies must think about social media as part of a broader branding picture. It is one part of their overall advertising strategy. It must be inclusive and engaging. It must complement the other avenues and work with the overall brand. Niche audiences are gone. Social media today is the norm for almost all consumers, with changing platforms and shifting interests, and the advertising has to reflect that.
Another key to social media marketing is creating a sense of brand awareness. You're building up your image in the public eye. You're putting your company and your products in front of millions of potential customers. This does not always create instant sales, but brand awareness can have a long-term impact.
A common example of this process often revolves around car manufacturers. The vast majority of consumers will not see an online ad for a new sedan and then head to the dealership to make a purchase. Smaller products get sold that way all of the time, but few people have the means to buy a car on an impulse. However, those ads create brand awareness and ensure that, in the back of their minds, people know what the company offers. When they independently decide it is time for a new sedan, they remember those ads and that brand, and they look into the various makes and models it offers.
Social media is important to this process because you have a chance to quickly get promotional materials, logos and content in front of a vast audience. When people see your branding consistently for months or even years, it creates the proper image of brand strength and dependability, and your company will be at the top of their list when they decide to buy that type of product.
Engaging with Customers
Of course, a good social media campaign also gives you an unprecedented chance to engage with returning customers and potential customers. The type of engagement you choose gives people a connection with your company that they simply do not get anywhere else. One comment or response can make all of the difference. Do not underestimate the emotional impact. If a customer comments on a post with a question and gets a quick, friendly response, they may feel like something of a personal relationship has been created, giving your company that slight but all-important edge even when product quality and prices are equal to the competition.
Creating Your Campaign
The type of social media campaign you choose ultimately depends on your company's brand identity and end goals. What is most critical is to run a successful campaign that reaches out to as many potential users as possible, focusing on branding and engagement for long-term growth and sales gains. While this may not give you an instant return on investment, it strengthens your company over time and pays dividends as the business grows.