The Power of Social Media

Social Media Marketing: The New Marketing Strategy

By Adrian Chong Kai Yen

Introduction

Marketing represents the essence of a business at its core. Without proper marketing strategies and planning, a company will never be able to succeed nor stand out from its competitors within the same industry.

Think about it, marketing is essentially the act of promoting and selling your products in a sustainable way that drives sales and profits while potentially aiding the company through the expansion of its market share and community reach. Many may think that marketing is for no-brainers, but it’s the total opposite!

Marketing requires tons of back-end operations including market research and data analysis of sales purchases to craft out perfect marketing strategies across different customer segments, seasons, and more. The field of marketing has drastically changed following consumer trends, needs, and demands, shifting the play field from conventional marketing approaches to an entire new world of digital marketing (Alexander, 2022).

With that being said, digital marketing has been the craze with increasing demand for people who are not only creative but also tech-savvy in managing all digital platforms for marketing purposes.

Knowing that digital marketing is already in demand, what are the different forms of digital marketing? Well, there are a plethora of techniques that suggest different outcomes depending on what the goal of the company is. These may include (Gustavsen, 2021):

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Pay-per-click (PPC)
  3. Social Media Marketing
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Email Marketing
  6. Mobile Marketing
  7. Marketing Analytics
  8. Affiliate Marketing (Similar to referral programs)

There are many techniques for us to cover but we will be focusing on social media marketing for now as this has become a favourable technique by many merchants following the observed exponential growth on social media platforms in terms of followers, views, and reactions. The cost of social media marketing can essentially vary depending on the demand of the company, its content, and engagement with its viewers.

Though social media marketing can be considered as “free” marketing as companies can easily create social media accounts without any payments, the cost of maintaining the platform alongside generation of content can be both cost and time consuming. Furthermore, some companies may even partner with influencers and celebrities to bring about brand awareness for their new line of products. For example, Neelofa (a famous local actress with 8.6 million followers on Instagram) is constantly engaged in Muslimah wear and fashion accessories. Overall, a simple post with a tag of the brand’s name on the influencer’s page can reel in massive sales for the host company, though it may come at a hefty price of commission payments for the influencer.

With that being said, it is also important for companies to determine which social media platforms are their best chances in reaching out to their desired target audience. According to Barnhart (2022):

  1. The average adult uses different social media platforms up to an average of 95 minutes per day!
  2. Tiktok was the fastest-growing social network with a staggering 105% user growth rate across the US in the past two years of the pandemic.
  3. Facebook remains the most-used platform by marketers (93%) followed by Instagram (78%).
  4. Instagram dominates social streaming services in terms of engagement (81% engagement rate).

But how does social media help grow your business?

Nonetheless, there are many different benefits for businesses that utilize social media as their main marketing tool. From humanizing marketing strategies to building relationships with customers, here are the top 3 benefits of social media marketing for companies (Blue Foundation Media, n.d.):

1. Humanizing businesses

Social media marketing has become a prominent marketing tool throughout the past 2 years under the influence of the global pandemic. In that sense, many businesses closed their physical doors, limiting their interactions with their physical offices and customers. At that moment, businesses start to ponder, how can they continue to build relationships with customers without physical presence? Here is where social media marketing becomes the total game changer. With the help of social media, businesses become an active participant in whichever market they’re in. Their profile on Instagram and postings on Tiktok and more become the face of their business, indirectly influencing and interacting with customers online. Through social media, businesses become an approachable persona that the audiences can familiarize themselves with, thus allowing easy connection with the brands for a personalized form of communication to build trust.

2. Increasing brand awareness

The conventional method of marketing completely relies on physical brochures, billboards, bulletin boards, and more to improve brand visibility amongst consumers. Although brand awareness is the ultimate outcome and goal of any marketing strategy, social media marketing actually takes it up a notch. With social media, the online presence of a particular brand is bound to no physical boundaries. Rather, the visual nature of social media platforms allows companies to build their visual identity across vast audiences, ultimately improving brand awareness. With enhanced brand awareness, this means that a company can achieve greater results through peak seasons and other campaign periods.

3. Generating leads and customers

Given that several companies may not necessarily own an online store or have an online store on third party platforms, leading online sales without proper online assets and infrastructure can be devastating in missing out on potential customers. However, with the help of social media platforms, these platforms open up to a line of direct and indirect communication with followers through network building, feedback sessions, and more. Using readily available features such as Instagram Store or Facebook Shop, companies can easily generate leads and conversions directly on these platforms. This can easily be done through direct messaging, appointment booking capabilities, and other features that allow brands to set up a basic yet impactful online presence.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that social media marketing has truly become one of the new yet essential digital marketing tools in this day and age. As mentioned above, although social media platforms have the capability to bring in tons of online traffic and sales, it is still important for companies to research and conduct a cost-benefit analysis to ensure that the highest impact can be achieved for the company (Digital Marketing Institute, 2021). Not all social media platforms can generate the same impact for a company, rather leveraging on the expertise of a particular social media platform may bring in more good than having to employ many digital marketers to manage many different social media platforms all at once.

Share this content: