Why is social media so important for brands?
Social media has made its way firmly onto marketing plans as it’s affordable, measurable and delivers results but in order to understand exactly where it fits into marketing strategy, we should take a step back and look at the key goals of marketing.
Marketing is defined as a process of ‘planning, conception, pricing promotion and the distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organisational goals’*.
The key part of the definition is the concept of ‘distribution of ideas’. This is where social media channels can be extremely powerful. They allow brands to communicate with their customers in real time and crucially, they allow for dialogue. Furthermore, each channel can be used for a specific type of customer and communication, which helps businesses to tailor their messages.
The popular social media channels
Facebook is the largest social media channel with 1.55 billion active users each month. This site allows businesses of any size to connect with customers. The content has a lifespan of several days with ongoing conversations. The user profile is 24-50 age group with younger users shifting away.
Twitter has 255 million active users each month and its 140 character messaging interface and real time messaging makes it ideal for businesses to engage with customers but the content has a short lifespan. It’s popular amongst 18-29 year olds and has strong mobile saturation.
Instagram uses images to connect customers with brands by liking, sharing and commenting on pictures. It has over 600 million users worldwide and its user profile is skewed towards younger users with almost 59% between 18-29.
Other networks include Google+, Foursquare, Pinterest and Snapchat, which has six billion daily views. It’s evident that using this method off communication allows businesses to reach more customers than ever.
Using social media as part of a marketing strategy can strengthen your brand in several ways:
- Social media build brand awareness. According to Growthgurus.com, 78% of small businesses use social media to attract new customers and 33% of customers identify social media as to how they discover new products and services.
- Social media can give your brand credibility as it is seen as actively focused on engaging with their customers. Furthermore, 63% of consumers who search for brands online are likely to pick those with an active social media presence.**
- Social media can increase customer loyalty. 71%of customers who received a speedy response on these channels would recommend the brand to others.**
Brands can therefore benefit enormously by using social media to find and engage customers, so it should certainly form an integral part of a marketing strategy.
If you would like to find out how social media marketing can help your business, contact Verity Payne at Sphere Social Media