Nicole Kelly, guest blogger
By now, we’re all aware of how powerful, influential, and extensive social media platforms are. News on these platforms spreads like wildfire due to millions of people sharing and re-sharing information, talking to each other, spreading ideas and beliefs, and overall, connecting with each other.
This means that any piece of news about your brand, positive or negative, also spreads very quickly.
Indeed, many companies around the world were made by a social media marketing strategy taken in the right direction, and just as many have fallen into obscurity because of bad decisions made offline and/or online, and the word of their failure spread quickly.
Thus, social media, when used correctly, can prove itself a massive asset for your rising company.
With a few right decisions, you can capture the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of followers and provide you with a solid foundation for growing your business.
And just how big of an asset can social media be? Well, let’s take a look at these five reasons why social media is your biggest marketing asset.
It Helps Solidify Your Brand Image
When it comes to branding, you’re always looking to make the experience of your brand consistent. This is because a consistent brand image helps support your vision of quality - the quality of the product and, more importantly, the quality of service.
If you can manage to be that consistent in your image, you’ve done a great job at establishing your brand in your market niche.
Another good thing about solidifying your brand image is that it raises brand awareness, as well as making you memorable.
After all, this is the purpose of creating a brand - to create a single, captivating, and lasting image that will not only capture your audience’s attention, but also leave a lasting impression in your audience’s mind.
Brands that are all over the place cannot create such a strong image, or raise such awareness.
The simple lack of consistency and constant shifting in brand image means that these brands are often viewed as annoying fads that will do anything to make a quick buck. Essentially, it makes them feel cheap and predatory.
Finally, the whole point of creating a solid brand image is to create trust between you and your audience.
An audience that trusts you generates far more leads that convert into customers, far more often. On top of that, if your audience trusts you, they will form a community around you that will help introduce and onboard even more people, bringing them into your fold.
And, this is where social media shines. With social media, you can very easily get down to eye level with your target audience, and show them the passion and drive behind your products, as well as humanize your brand in such a way that they can connect with you.
Thus, businesses worldwide utilize social media to create a brand that not only stands for quality, but also speaks to the customer on a more personal level, one that is trusted and respected, and one that will create a lasting legacy down the line.
It Helps Discover Your Audience
However, to do all the above, you first need to actually discover your target audience.
When you create a product, you’re creating something that serves a specific purpose, i.e., something that is supposed to fulfill a specific need that people might have.
This will be your starting point and your defining characteristic for whom you should be targeting in your marketing campaigns, i.e., the target audience you'll be trying to present your product to.
By having a specific target in mind, it will be much easier for you to create marketing strategies for your product that will reflect the best of what it can and can’t do, and how it can help your potential customers.
Again, you can rely on social media to help you in this endeavor.
By using social media and creating marketing campaigns that are specifically tailored to social media platforms, you’ll be able to quickly spread the word about your products, and garner the necessary attention quickly and efficiently.
Essentially, what you’re doing here is trying to get the audience to reveal itself, rather than trying to discover it yourself. You’re trying to make the customers come to you, instead of you going to them.
The reason you’d want to follow this approach, and utilize social media, is that the alternative approach is very outdated, and considered downright intrusive by modern consumers.
Before, brands had to do cold calling to sell their product, but with the power of social media, they can swiftly reach out to thousands of people, and attract customers in such numbers that more traditional marketing methods could never hope to achieve.
It Creates Loyalty
It’s one thing to convert a lead into a customer, but it’s an entirely different thing to retain that customer.
Customer turnover is one of the major problems most businesses want to solve. As a brand with a firm identity, you don’t want to be a one-stop-shop for people, one that is used once and then forgotten.
As most experts in social media marketing will tell you, by creating a brand, you’re trying to build a community around your company and its products, and, in order to achieve this, you need to create a loyal and recurring customer base that will not only consume your product, but help bring others into the fold as well.
Again, social media provides the answer to this problem as well.
If you remember yet again, the power of social media lies in its ability to increase the brand affinity with the consumers.
By becoming your customer’s equal, you’re telling them that you’re one of them as well, and people tend to trust those that are similar to them a whole lot more than any brand that remains cold and distant - essentially, a stranger.
By creating this loyal customer base, you’ve also managed to create an army of marketers out of your own customers. People love to share their opinions and feelings with others, and social media platforms are the perfect place to do that.
With that said, if you’ve got a loyal following, you’re essentially creating a community that vouches for you, as well as engages in word-of-mouth marketing, recommending your products to their family and friends, thus not only increasing your revenue potential but also creating an even bigger community.
It Helps You Keep Up With Trends
Following what we just said about people sharing their opinions, people on social media also like to share fads and popular social trends. People like feeling cool and included, and the best way for them to do that, in this day and age, is to engage with the latest trends.
Take TikTok, for example. This platform is incredibly popular with younger people through the many challenges they post, daring others to come and perform some entertaining task for the sake of creating funny clips.
If you, as a brand, can join in on the fun, or create your own TikTok challenge, you’ll instantly create a lot of brand awareness, and probably start getting more and more followers as your challenge starts going viral.
Here lies one of the greatest advantages of social media - it’s open to anyone. Anyone can participate, and anyone can join in on the fun; anyone can be a part of the group and be included in the latest fashion.
From there, it then becomes clear that brands can leverage the open nature of social media platforms to start noticing these fads and popular trends, and use them to their advantage by creating events that have those popular trends at their center, thus enlarging their crowd, and bringing more people into their community.
One of the major concerns when running a business is always the return on investment. As a business, especially a fledgling one, you’re always trying to leverage the time and money you’re putting into something with the revenue you’ll be generating from that time and money invested.
Luckily, social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing.
With only a few thousand dollars invested into a social media marketing campaign, you can generate tens, if not hundreds, or thousands of dollars in revenue. Not only that, but this cost-effectiveness only improves with time as you’re solidifying your brand and creating a following.
Again, it all comes down to how easy to use and open social media is. It costs you nothing to create a page on Facebook or open profiles on TikTok or Instagram.
It costs you nothing to post pictures and content centering around your product, and it costs you very little if you want to promote your content via pay-per-click ads.
Thus, with very little investment, you can achieve much. However, in order to do so, your marketing strategy has to be thoroughly and thoughtfully prepared, or it will miss its mark entirely.
In the end, due to how cost-effective it is, how easily it can achieve viral status, and how far-reaching it is, social media is easily one of the most powerful assets a business can have.
So, if you’re a new business trying to establish itself, and make its mark in the marketplace, learn how to leverage this precious asset, and you’ll find yourself growing in size quickly and steadily over a long period of time.