Digital marketing is marketing that relies on any electronic device or channel. It can be internet-based or non-internet based. Non-internet based marketing uses radio, television or mobiles to promote a brand or product, while internet-based marketing uses content marketing, SEO, email marketing and social media marketing.
It is no secret that the role of social media in has, arguably, become the most influential virtual strategies for brands to promote their products. Having a cohesive social media strategy is vital for brands to target new audiences, increase brand awareness and create a loyal community. In turn, this will help your brand generate new customers and grow sales. Brands that do not have an active social media presence are at risk of missing out on numerous marketing opportunities.
What is the main role of social media in digital marketing?
The role of social media in digital marketing varies for each brand and platform. Every brand has a different target audience they need to communicate with, and this is done in different ways on different platforms. The type of marketing that works on Instagram won’t work as well on LinkedIn, in the same way marketing aimed for Gen Z won’t work as well for Millennials.
Generally speaking, the main goals of social media marketing are to improve community engagement, increase brand awareness, and community and reputation management. These goals act as steps that will help you achieve your overall marketing objectives (increase sales, generating leads etc). If you are able to do these successfully, you will see that the benefits of social media marketing can be exponential.
Improving Community Engagement
There are numerous ways your brand can increase community engagement with social media. One of the best things about social media is that your customers can provide you with feedback instantly through DMs or comments. Listening and acting on this feedback is the quickest way to see an increase in engagement.
Other ways include making full use of all features available on platforms, such as Reels, IGTVs, stories and highlights on Instagram. By presenting customers with different entertainment types, you will be catering to more social media users, in turn increasing your community and engagement.
Reposting user generated content not only increases the sense of community for a brand, but also encourages other users to create their own content in hopes it will also be re-shared. This also helps brands spread awareness to other customers who might not have yet heard of the brand.
Increase Brand Awareness
Depending on the size of your budget, there are various ways to increase brand awareness. The most effective way to do this is through influencer marketing. This involves using individuals who have an engaged or large following to promote your brand or product. Using influencers means your brand is extending your reach to their audience—some of whom may not have heard of your brand, or be on the fence about it.
Influencers already have an existing and trusting relationship with their followers, and by collaborating with them your brand is able to tap into this. Social media users trust influencers and they are seen as an “expert” within their niches, and this portrayal is extended to your brand by association.
It is important to increase your brand awareness simply because it means you are in the position to gain more leads and customers.
Community and Reputation Management
In using social media, you are actively creating a voice for your brand. You can completely change a customer’s opinion or view of your brand through the right posts and phrasing. This can create a strong and loyal customer base. However, it is important to keep this community within your control with community management.
Community and reputation management involves actively conversing and engaging with your customers. This can be replying to nice comments on your posts, general customer service, or taking accountability for a mistake your brand made. It is an opportunity for your brand to be open, honest and authentic with your followers—something that has grown to be a popular consumer demand.
The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media in marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to grow your brand. With good planning and research into what your audience wants, you can increase your following and brand awareness even with a small budget. Consumers have begun using social media to find out more about brands, so having a good social media presence could be the deciding factor for a lead to become a customer.
Customers researching your brand on social media will, in turn, lead them to your website, generating more traffic. In addition, with social media commerce capabilities improving constantly, it is becoming easier and easier for customers to purchase directly from a social media platform, leading to higher conversion rates. The customer journey has the ability to be seamless and smooth, something that will keep customers coming back.
Owning your social media channels gives you more brand authority. You are in full control of your voice and messaging, so if you get this right, you will be able to align with the values and ethos of your customers. This will make your brand significantly more appealing to consumers, giving you a competitive advantage. In addition, being open with your customers will make them feel important and appreciated. By responding and listening to their feedback, you will be able to grow a strong and loyal consumer base across your social media platforms.
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