Hard Facts of Social Media
Social media is the hub of human connection online. It is where people interact across borders and oceans to interact with one another as well as brands. The very size of users on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram make them viable options for digital marketing. However, the numbers aren’t all there is to it. Facebook changed its algorithm. Instead of relying on organic reach, marketers must go out of there way to make certain the content being posted is high quality so it won’t be considered spam. Twitter has made similar moves, trying to weed out bots and spam. That doesn’t mean social media marketing is dead. It just means you must provide more quality content so that it remains relevant to users. Social media provides an easy way to interact with customers in building trust and gaining feedback. Through analytics, you can see how consumers engage with your brand and the conversations surrounding it. But is it necessary for every brand when social media campaigns require so much to be seen by the public?
What is the Alternative to Using Social Media?
If social media marketing doesn’t work for your brand, the best alternative is to merge digital and traditional marketing strategies. Even if a brand doesn’t use social media, there are different ways to gain analytics. E-mail can help in gaining this information, and by being the distribution of content. Brands can gain a lot of insight through their e-mails alone. They can check the percentages of how many interacted with the e-mail, how many clicked through and the percentage of those that opted out. Prioritizing click-through rates is the best way to gauge customer engagement.
One of the biggest advantages of social media is the ability to constantly be there for your customer, so replicating that outside of social media is a necessity. To do that, it’s best to show the face of your brand. A good website can boast video chat, tutorials and customer testimonials which will offer social proof of your brand’s quality. Encouraging customer reviews and offering free incentives can really go a long way in ensuring brand loyalty.
Beyond Social Media
Finding unique ways to market your brand may help you stand out from the rest of your competitors. By going beyond social media and taking a different approach, brands can find different avenues to promote themselves. Creating an e-book might be an interesting option. It would set up your business as an authority leader in your industry. Brands can set up distribution on sites such as Amazon which would give them a global reach, much like a social media site. An e-book has a long shelf life, unlike a tweet or a Facebook post. Other things of note include display advertising, online PR, active website engagement, and having a web presence. Going beyond social media means taking different routes to engage with customers.
Does Every Brand See the Value of Social Media?
It takes a lot of work to create a following on social media. It can take literal months to see the benefits of all your hard work. However, the long term benefits of this approach can outweigh the time spent. Brands cultivate loyal, life-long customers through social media. It goes beyond a single purchase transaction. Brands are trying to increase traffic, build awareness and offer people information that is useful to them. However, social media is not the answer to all marketing needs. Due to content shock, less people are seeing your content and so it makes it less appropriate for gaining revenue. But it is good for branding and engagement, meaning that it is perfect for creating customer loyalty. So long as brands keep that goal in mind and don’t focus on click-throughs as their ROI, they will find that having an engaged audience is just as important.
Hard Truths of Social Media Marketing
It’s not easy to build up a community on social media. While at one time it seemed like the easiest and most viable method to gain organic reach, due to algorithm changes it can be incredibly difficult to make headway. In order to keep your content in front of customers, you must create quality content that won’t be parsed out by the algorithm. Another challenge is that while there are a massive amount of users, the competition is just as fierce. It takes a lot of time and effort to gain a following and put out all that useful relevant content. Not only does it take a lot of time to gain that following, keeping and growing your audience over time is even more difficult. The amount of data gained from your audience can also be overwhelming to parse.
Some industries don’t work for social media, or specific types of sites. For instance, Snapchat caters to a younger demographic and so wouldn’t work well for healthcare, legal, and law enforcement industries. Part of this also has to do with the fact that there are confidentiality and privacy concerns. Of course there are other reasons as well, such as if your audience doesn’t use social media, your product won’t make a successful viral campaign, and if you can’t offer some kind of educational material for it. That said, there are very few businesses which can’t find some use out of a social media marketing campaign.
The likelihood that social media will ever be obsolete is slim to none. It connects people easily and conveniently. Though it may see changes over the next few years due to the emergence of blockchain technology and the ever growing privacy concerns. The truth is social media may well stick around for the foreseeable future because of the large amount of people that use it. Facebook has the largest user base, and though it appears to be steadying out instead of growing, those users will likely remain.
If you can find the advantages despite the difficulties for your brand, you will find a valuable key to the success of your business.