Companies know they cannot survive without social media.
Social media, as we think about it, is about online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Whether it is B2B marketing or B2C, or a company just wanting to establish its brand, social media is vital. We know it influences consumers.
Although social media is not the be-all and end-all of marketing, we cannot escape the fact that it drives so much of consumer behavior. Companies, non-profit organizations, schools, government agencies, politicians, Hollywood, etc. depend heavily upon social media to influence their target audience. It’s important because:
1. Word of Mouth Marketing. Yes, word of mouth marketing is the oldest form of social media. Reputation has always been an important factor in whether or not a consumer decides to patronize a company, vote for a political candidate or attend a specific school. Other people’s opinions influence, especially those whom we respect. That’s why brands aim to reach Innovators, those who are respected in a specific community, because those people’s opinions will then influence then next group, Early Adopters, who then influence the Early Majority.
2. Participation/engagement marketing. Social media allows brands to speak with their target audience, not to. It’s a two-way relationship. Consumers are more likely to respond to a brand that is listening to them, taking their considerations an responding appropriately. Having a conversation with your target audience is like having a conversation with your friend, spouse, or employee, in which listening is vital and the appropriate words are said.
3. Brief and to the point marketing. What’s great about social media is that it encourages brands to get to the point. In today’s impatient world, consumers want the information they are seeking right away. Brief descriptions of products and/or services challenge copywriters to be concise. Think of Hemingway’s style. Social media allows for only so much space to tell your story, whether it be in words, images or videos.