As we all know, social marketing is growing by the day. Anyone who is a business owner or does business in any way, especially online, is aware of the importance of good marketing. Marketing, in general terms, represents all the activities, sets of institutions, and processes aimed at creating, communicating, and delivering products or services to customers. These are of great value to them and all the other business partners, clients, and society as a whole.
Marketing finds its value in allowing businesses to create and maintain long-lasting relationships with their customers in the long run. This means it should be used as a continuous business strategy if one wants their business to be successful.
What Is Social Media and How Can It Help a Business Grow?
Another point that is very important to cover that is closely related to the main idea and goals is definitely social media. It is crucial for every business, especially in the modern times we live in today, is what we will discuss in the following lines.
However, social media takes the whole story a lot deeper. It is, without a doubt, an inevitable and crucial part of any company’s marketing strategy. Social platforms have various purposes, and they are also there to:
- Increase awareness of a company’s brand
- Connect with customers
- Boost a business’s leads and sales
In a nutshell, social media refers to websites and applications that can help a business reach its target audience in a much faster and easier way. This also leads to increasing the effectiveness of a business, especially due to the ability to share photos, opinions, or real-time events with the public.
In other words, social media stands for all kinds of tools that enable a company to create its digital image and share its content online. This way, the target audience or any other potential customers can get to know the company closer through their website or other applications. It is estimated that over 3.8 billion people worldwide use social media regularly, so it is no surprise how effective these tools can be.
Needless to point out that there are several social media and social channels present today, all with different goals and benefits they can have on customers using them.
Social Marketing – The Big Bang
Now, this is the big revelation that can answer many people’s doubts about how a business can improve its presence and increase its effectiveness in the market. A useful approach that companies can make to develop activities to change or maintain people’s opinions that can benefit both their business and society lie in the term “social marketing.”
Social marketing focuses on social responsibilities that can lead to creating and maintaining long-term relationships with customers. Also, it is there to lead a company into making good business decisions and considering the wants and needs of their clients, the company’s requirements, and society’s long-term interests.
Considerations of Social Marketing Concept
When creating a good marketing strategy, every business should balance three main considerations, and they are:
- Society (Human Welfare): A company’s products and services should serve society first.
- Consumers (Satisfaction): Every company needs to take care to fulfill the needs of their customers with their products or services.
- Company (Profits): To increase its profit and maximize its wealth, every company should build long-term customer relationships and sustain socially responsible by providing satisfactory products.
Objectives of Social Marketing
Just like any other strategy that needs to be implemented has its main goals and objectives, social marketing does. Some of them are:
- Maintaining a long-term relationship with customers
- Creating a better company image than its competitors
- Carrying out social responsibilities
- Increasing brand awareness toward community
- Improving the consumer base and market share
Social Marketing Advantages and Benefits
Similar to what was stated above, social marketing has its advantages and benefits that can affect a company and its customers equally. Social marketing is crucial for many parties – the society, the environment, and business. Therefore, it is no wonder that its main goal is to satisfy consumers and to encourage developing products or services that benefit society in the long run.
Some examples of how social marketing can benefit the clients, the society, and the business, of course, may be:
- Helping to create a better image for a business
- Creating a competitive advantage on the market over the competitors
- Increasing sales and market share
- Prioritizing social welfare and society with a company’s products, services, and overall business policies
- Raising the living standard of people in society
Ten Principles of Social Marketing
Social marketing has a similar base when it comes to its principles compared to the principles of marketing. However, there is a huge difference between these two categories – social marketing finds its main purpose in establishing and strengthening social connections and relationships rather than making a profit.
Therefore, the following lines will discuss ten major principles of social marketing as a tool to improve the well-being and the value of their customers.
Listen before you speak
Every consumer likes to feel special and listened to, making sure you hear their needs and requests closely. Therefore, carefully brief and use an approved tracking service during all stages of your engagement tactics with your customers: before, during, and after.
Help customers tell their stories
The main goal of every social network lies in the ability for everyone to self-express themselves. This refers to customers, too. If you want to raise your company’s brand and show your customers how much you care about them, do help them express their needs and wants in a free, fun, and creative way.
Always provide feedback
The chance to provide your customers to express themselves without giving them any feedback is just a waste of time – both yours and theirs. But, on the other hand, giving feedback to your customers will greatly impact your relationship with them. Like a “like” reaction to a Facebook page or post, even the smallest one can make your customers feel heard and appreciated. What’s more, it can have multiple benefits to your future cooperation or a mouth-to-mouth commercial.
Recognize your audience
Every company’s social consumers like to be taken personally. This means that you might need to handle them to their profile. Even though it is usually costly, keep in mind that this can only bring you closer to them, and it will be worth every penny for future reference.
Another useful technique there is in establishing a good relationship with your social consumers is definitely rewarding them. You can do it with a simple system of goal planning, tracking, and medals, printable certificates, or any other kind of personalized sign of acknowledgment of their existence on social media.
Add value by enabling
Here is the right time to leave the old pre-branding tactic “We (the brand) think… you (consumers) should….” Instead, behind and get more personalized with your customers. This means finding values and behaviors your customers are willing to pass and align them to your general business objectives.
This principle is about creating and building “subversive performance” opportunities. And hopefully, making the world a better place to live in!
Creating a strong, consumer-relevant, and brand-credible utility is crucial for every business’s future. Additionally, it can also establish real and sustainable permissions to get and connected. Therefore, it is good to seek and deliver useful, shareable gifts from the brand with this aim.
Use events intelligently
The purpose of this ninth principle of social marketing is to focus on the customers’ behavior your company is willing to encourage. So, the advice is to experimental work to incentivize, recognize, and reward it.
The bottom line, the conversation is all there is to engagement. Brands that ignite, support, and add value to the kind of conversation that matters, are more likely to succeed in their future business doing and gaining more recognition from their existing and potential customers to come.
The 4 Ps of Social Marketing
As a business tool and strategy, marketing is known to consist of four main principles, or, in other words, the 4 Ps of marketing. Similarly, social marketing has its own 4 Ps structure, which contains the following:
- Product: In social marketing, a product is a behavior change or a shift in attitude.
- Price: A price usually refers to a cost, but it represents the cost of changing behaviors in social marketing.
- Place: In social marketing, place suggests all efforts to make the behavior change as easy as possible for a customer.
- Promotion: This is the way to notify the public about the change messages. Advertising and promotion campaigns are good methods how to reach this goal.
Even though social marketing is one of the most versatile and cost-effective strategies, small companies can use it to boost their success over time. However, just like any other business strategy, social marketing does not provide a one-hundred-percent sure outcome, but it is definitely worth trying.
The reason for this lies in the extended use of social media and social networking we are surrounded by every day, and most of the world’s population is using it regularly. However, to prove how effective social marketing can be, some great examples work in practice. This makes promoting your business or brand a lot easier and bringing awareness to your company’s brand to a wider scope of customers.
Again, there are some great examples of how social marketing works in practice. But, let’s not forget the main purpose of social marketing – taking care of the needs and wants of your customers and strengthening personal relations with them.
Or, like David Alston, an author, once wrote:
“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”
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