Social Marketing – A vital part of your business
Not many businesses use social technologies strategically. It has to be used in conjunction with other marketing tools to help meet goals across the customer cycle. Social marketing is not a standalone process, but it requires a combination of technical, content, and community management skills.
Social marketing spends are outpacing its measurable value. Forrester predicts that organisations will spend $62 billion globally on social media advertising this year. Even though there are so much enthusiasm and high spending, the organisations are not using the right tools or measuring the output responsibly thereby still struggling to get the return on investment.
A question arises why there is such a low return on investments when it comes to social marketing. The reasons could be many but perhaps the following point sums it all –
a) Many businesses caved to competitive pressure and launched their social media plan just because the competition was there. Their strategy was just a hygiene factor and to avoid the #FearOfMissingOut. It is happening even today, and many of the businesses are there on every social media platform only because their competition has a presence.
b) The vanity metrics keeps giving the businesses a feeling that they are accomplishing something. But while these metrics like the number of followers, or likes and comments, are necessary, it doesn’t mean anything if they are not turning into customers or helping in maintaining loyalty.
c) As a centralised activity, social marketing also faces greater scrutiny and constant argument on less or more investment in terms of staffs and the budget. Worse, the isolation of the social team from the products or services and customers further limits the impact that it could have on the business.
What is the way forward?
Make social a core feature of the marketing strategy and use the insights to improve all marketing programs. Say, for example, the organisation launched two products, and the social insight shows that while one of them is getting a lot of buzz among the young, city dwellers, the other is getting thumbs up from middle-aged, rural population. This insight has to be implemented in all the marketing communications, online or offline.
Transcend the departmental boundary and involve employees in the social strategy. Say, for example, the business launched a new service, and while it is promoted actively on all social platforms, the result will be far better if the employees are advocating it in the social domain. It develops a human connection with the customers and strengthens trust with the customers.
The world is changing, and changing fast. Digital is now in every aspect of our lives, be it inside office and home or outside. The way social platforms has been taken until now needs to change, and it has to be at the forefront of the business priorities.