June 2, 2017
Debatably one of the most controversial and especially consuming aspects of the digital age is the addictive phenomenon is social media. With countless social media savvy and the rest of us social media shy, there are endless pros and cons. An excellent entity for young business minds, low-cost mass marketing and endless inspirations – what was once speculated as a passing fad, is now looking like an entity certain to stay.
Social media allows its users to create, post and share content to its followers on a daily basis. Along with the initial communication that these websites were designed for, social media is now widely used in marketing by small, medium and large businesses and is known to be a vital tool in your digital marketing strategy. Social media platforms can initially create a brand identity and raise brand awareness, to reach a relevant target audience with no initial charge. It can be the important first step between research and business planning to entering the marketplace. Continuous management of your social media platforms should progressively increase brand awareness online, and can showcase your brand, values and product or service. With almost 90% of businesses using social media, the success of these platforms speaks for itself.
As you delve further into the initially free-to-use social media marketing, costs are often added and to advertise effectively and relevantly it can become an investment. With development of algorithms on platforms such as Facebook, posts may not be reaching as many potential consumers as initially planned for and to solve this, business tools are often available to utilise at a cost.
Social media can be an exciting and inspiring way to promote a new business idea on a manageable and affordable scale. With most social networking platforms free of charge, more entrepreneurs and innovators are taking business ideas to the marketplace. From personal trainers to hairstylists, we now have the freedom and access to millions of people around the globe and we are certainly taking advantage of it. From my early teenage years, one of my business role models was clothing retailer ‘Nastygal’ and ‘GIRLBOSS’ founder Sophia Amoruso. She inspired my business goals, motivation and drive for success. It’s really interesting to see how social media can inspire and I find it fascinating to observe how platforms such as Instagram pool that inspiration and shares it through the masses, influencing an audience to dream big and be productive with their ambitions.
As a young adult with a keen interest in social media and the marketing prospects of it, I have conducted social media experiments, had experience with blogging and researched social media and social media succession in SME businesses. In terms of a business desiring a start-up in social media marketing, read my advice below!
Planning – As with anything, planning and preparation are essential. With social media, if your purpose is to expand, build a client base and raise awareness of your brand, planning is mandatory. Complete extensive and relevant research on your customers and potential ideas for engaging with them, look into what has previously worked and what hasn’t.
Blogging – Blogging can be carried out through a selection of institutions dependant on the purpose or the type of business, and can either be free or require a charge to do. Blogging is great for adding a more personal touch and reaching out to more members of your potential target audience. It should feature relevant conversation, updates, contests, and events – features appealing to your target customer.
Consistency – As a student with a degree built around visual communication I know the importance of unique and creative branding, but also know the significance of maintaining a strong and consistent brand image. Your brand should be reflective on each of your social media platforms. While each platform should have the relevant tone and voice, brand identity should remain consistent.
Engagement – As a consumer, this point really is vital for me. Consistent and genuine engagement across social media platforms by small and sometimes larger businesses is an excellent way to replenish customer interest, sustain engagement and really add a personal and genuine feel to the company. I know myself, I am likely to feel more directly involved with a brand who interacts back with me in a pleasant and sincere way and this is a great chance of encouraging brand loyalty.
As an individual with a rocky relationship with social media, I recognise both the advantages and disadvantages this phenomenon has in society. We can only hazard a guess as to what the future of social media marketing may be – but it seems we should take advantage of it!