By Joe Gagliese
Social media has the ability to reach audiences on platforms that are otherwise disengaged from traditional media. As millennials emerge as consumer-focused audiences, it is crucial for brands to shift gears and redirect their focus into more effective means of communication. No longer can traditional advertising through paid commercials and printed ads engage audiences in the same capacity as 140 characters or a 30-second video. Increasingly, businesses can reap the benefits of social media to these advantages:
Developing a Personality
Consumers around the world would not hesitate to identify the brand behind the simple swoosh decorating some of the world’s most recognizable athletes. Nike’s branding, however, goes far beyond the logo everyone knows so well. As one of the most followed brands on Instagram with 72 million fans, Nike uses social media to communicate its story to audiences. With the accessibility of social media today, showcasing values and messaging helps to position your brand amongst online consumers.
Understanding your brand identity on paper is often more difficult to translate online. For this reason, many companies turn to social media experts to assist with storytelling in an effective manner. Creative teams can transform a mission statement into a strategy equipped with artistic visuals and meaningful content to elevate your brand into a personality. This leap from self-serving information to engaging material will encourage followers to interact and engage with your brand and other consumers online.
Understanding Your Audience
Social media marketing provides companies with the opportunity to engage in mutually beneficial, two-way conversations with its users. Rather than forcing branded content, social media creates open communication that fosters better relationships with followers, and furthermore, better insights into audience needs and wants. In an instant, your company can relay information to your audience and gauge their interest level, in real time. Through forms of engagement including likes, comments, views, shares and clicks, determining what content performs best can direct your brand to deliver information that is relevant to your audience.
Analytics sites even go as far as to provide demographics beyond age, gender and location by disclosing educational and incomes insights. For example, Sprout Social highlights that while Instagram creates opportunities to showcase the best of your products, it is important to note that 38 percent of adults earning less than $30,000 are active on Instagram. Theses insights assist brands with understanding which products and services to market on which platforms.
Conversion to Sales
With the data listed above, targeting the appropriate demographic assists you in reaching your objectives, including increasing sales. Accessing the appropriate analytics and understanding industry trends can effectively align the marketing strategy to best suit your company’s needs. According to Facebook Insights, millennials are “1.6 [times] more likely to use digital channels to learn about new products.” With statistics to support the millennial audience making decisions based upon what they see on social, marketing strategies should align as well. Increasingly, companies turn to digital marketing to help promote their products and services.
In addition, advancements in the social sphere including on-screen prompts on YouTube and “swipe up” links on Instagram Stories allow for an easier shopping experience. Many companies even dedicate Twitter accounts to their customer service centers to provide instant communication and solutions to their followers. Customers are three times more likely to recommend a brand after a positive social media interaction, while 88 percent say they are less likely to buy from companies that neglect to respond to social media complaints. User-friendly features on social lend themselves to an improved customer experience and repeat buyers. While this impact may not be instantaneous, the long term benefits prove to be valuable.
Whether the objective is growing your social following, an increase in website visits and click-throughs or even a rise in sales, social media can help your company develop a brand image and personality that effectively translates to the appropriate audiences.
Joe Gagliese is the co-founder of Viral Nation Inc. and an industry thought leader on all things social and influencer marketing.