Worldwide social media users have crossed the 2 billion mark already, opening new avenues for businesses to use it as a robust platform for marketing. Social media is witnessing persistent growth, and marketers have been using it to reach out to masses with their products to tap into prospective buyers, improve customer service, increase brand value etc.
Social media marketing has many advantages over traditional marketing, like reduced costs, targeted advertising, opportunity to capitalize on feedback marketers get via online social media marketing campaigns and many more. With all these virtues of social media marketing, future of social media as a marketing platform appears bright.
Different social media marketing platforms and how they will impact businesses
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube are among various social media marketing platforms that have been doing wonders for businesses by increasing profitability. Big data is set to become even bigger to provide marketers a deep insight into customers behavior through purchase history, comments on various products, content sharing, etc. Implications of big data are simple - target customers with products they are interested in and likely to buy. And what could be better than a social media platform to encourage people to make a purchase, since more than 3 billion people use the internet now and over two-third of them use social media.
The US spent over $7.5 billion in 2014 on social media marketing, and the figure is only expected to take a giant leap of 10 billion to account for $17.34 billion by 2019. Spending on social media marketing will see a significant rise world over in the future, say marketing experts. Paid marketing on social media will be used more to convert prospects into sales.
Content will dominate as a marketing strategy on social media to give rise to efficient communication, interaction with both existing and prospective customers. Content marketing on social media through sharing of blogs, videos, daily status updates, etc. will play a big role in future to attract customers to a companys web page, thereby increasing numbers of visitors and sales of products. SEO and content marketing will go hand in hand to produce positive search engine results for businesses. Keyword-rich content on social media platforms will without a doubt boost SEO efforts.
How social media marketing could help small and medium enterprises grow
Social media marketing will not help only big businesses to increase their sales and improve brand value, but small and medium enterprises (SMEs) too to advertise and promote their business. Eight out of 10 SMEs now use social media marketing strategy to take their business to new heights by creating a buzz about their brand, generating new leads, providing information on latest products, responding to customer feedback etc. With these benefits, more SMEs are expected to join the bandwagon of social media marketing in future. Internet experts estimate web-based information to increase 600 times by 2020, a figure that explains treasure trove of opportunities social media marketing offers to businesses of all sizes.
Twitter is a brilliant example to explain how businesses can improve customer service through social media platforms. Companies can easily manage comments and complaints for their products and services through Twitter and provide solutions to their problems. As a result, businesses can earn trust of customers and increase their brand value.
Social media platforms open new avenues for e-commerce
Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube are confident that adopting a buy button will make it easier for many users to make a purchase without leaving the platforms. Using social media for e-commerce approach makes a lot of sense for many businesses to give it a try to increase their sales. Facebook has also figured out ways to allow stores to communicate with people and increase engagement. Small business will particularly find it lucrative as it saves them the cost of developing a mobile app to sell their products using a digital medium. More than 60 million shoppable posts are available on Pinterest with Buy buttons.
Using social media, businesses will be able to seek profits from both business-to-business and business-to-customer marketing. However, running a campaign only on Facebook is set to become a thing of past, since prospective customers are everywhere, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc, meaning businesses would be required to adapt to multi-channel marketing. Businesses will also feel the need of offering discounts and freebees to fans and followers on social media to woo them in becoming loyal customers in future.