Social Media as a Digital Marketing Tool
There are many out there that are yet to grasp the enormous benefits that Social Media Marketing can offer a business. No matter how small or how large a company, if done properly, Social Media Marketing can open a lot of untapped opportunities due to the vast target audience available, which is only increasing. Social media allows for businesses to interact and connect directly with their customers and target audiences whilst also reducing their advertising and marketing costs on more traditional forms of media.
For those that are yet to realise the untapped glory that Social Media Marketing can offer a business; then read on. Firstly there are 3 main reasons why marketers and business leaders alike are attracted to the Social media;
- Level of adoption – almost everybody is jumping on the social media bandwagon these days which has seen a phenomenal growth in user rates. For example; Facebook has over 400 million active users (Ireland accounts for over 1.2 million of this figure – in Ireland alone you have the potential to target over 1.2 million people!!). Although Twitter is yet to reach the dizzy heights of popularity that Facebook has accomplished in Ireland its adoption and user rate is ever increasing. In January 2010 Twitter was recorded as having 150,000 Irish users, 7 months later this number is sure to have increased and continue to do so
- Regular interaction – since the introduction of Smartphones to the Market it is now easier than ever to stay in contact via social media applications. While on the go, people are updating their statuses and blogging on a regular basis. Therefore, more people are online more often
- The average user age bracket is expanding – no longer is the age group restricted to those in the 20 – 40 age group (a traditional marketer’s dream). With the influx of improved and user friendly technology it is expected to see more and more users from a variety of age brackets get involved with social media and participate in the activities that goes with it
As mentioned above, Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular Social Media sites in Ireland (and probably the world). Below is a list of benefits that Facebook and Twitter can bring about for a business;
Facebook facts and figures:
- Over 400 million users worldwide
- 50% of active users log on daily
- Collectively, over 500 billion minutes are spent on Facebook a month
- Average Facebook users are connected to 60 different pages, groups and events
- Average users create 20 pieces of content per month
- There are over 100 million Facebook users accessing their accounts via mobile devices – this figure is only set to increase
These are some of the figures that should get business leaders and marketing professionals alike who aren’t already on Facebook to get on board and create a fan page for their respective businesses.
By having a Facebook fan page or a presence on Twitter the opportunities become endless;
the number of fans is unlimited, SEO benefits, great for link building, targeting the right markets, networking, interaction with target audiences, Market expansion, cost effective advertising, 24/7/365 selling and interaction, adding value to your business, Brand and product/service offering, improves credibility (viral marketing techniques), promotes your “Brick and Mortar” presence as well as instant feedback allowing for 2 way communicative marketing between you and the customer, participating in Industry Conversation, gaining intelligence on your competitors (if you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, there’s a high chance your competitors are), real time reputation management (status updates are instant, you can monitor what is being said about your business in real time), promotion of blog or company website, market research purposes and Press Releases
A Facebook fan page also allows for instant status updates (great for driving instant sales and promotional use) and higher levels of interaction for customers.
Twitter and Facebook have become Internet darlings and clearly excellent Digital Marketing Tools. However, these promotional tools are only as effective as you allow them to be. It may be free and appear to be easy to use but it’s important that the right amount of time is invested into making these tools operate to the best of their ability and in turn serve your business and revenue figures. Engagement is important. It’s crucial to ensure that your pages aren’t boring and neglected. Updates should be regular to encourage higher interaction levels and thus new customers (and new and repeat sales).