Advantages of social media marketing

Advantages of Instagram

Advantages of FaceBook

Low-cost marketing strategy

Marketing activities that would cost thousands of dollars through other channels can be used on Facebook for a fraction of the cost. This makes it ideal for small to medium businesses with a limited marketing budget. Larger businesses can also trial marketing concepts and themes through Facebook before committing to bigger campaigns.

Visual marketing

Your Facebook page is a place where you can publicise your business name, address and contact details, and briefly describe your products and services. You can also talk about your staff, history, or any other aspect of your business that is likely to attract other Facebook users and create interest in what you do.

Provide customer support

Customers can post after-sales questions on your Facebook wall, and your staff can answer them there. This is often more efficient than staff answering phone calls, and allows other customers to read common questions and answers without having to approach you individually.

Raise brand awareness and promote positive word-of-mouth

You can increase your business’s profile on Facebook by encouraging existing and potential customers to click the ‘Like’ button on your Facebook page. Once they like your page, your customers will receive your updates on their wall, where their friends will also see them. This helps to build awareness of your business, and to associate your friends with your brand.

Facebook can steer traffic to your website

You can include a link to your website on your Facebook page. Indeed, many businesses report that the greatest benefit of Facebook is the extra traffic that it steers to their site. Visitors who come to the website can be exposed to stronger marketing messages and, often, the option of buying goods and services. Customers who come to your website from Facebook are likely to be more receptive than the average visitor, because they already know something about your business and were motivated to click the website link.

Business-to-customer Relationship

Facebook is one way to create and foster a community around a brand. It encourages a two-way discussion between the brand owners and its customers, while providing room for additional marketing campaigns. With its many marketing platforms and features, Facebook has proven itself to be powerful and flexible for any type of businesses. If it’s still not part of your online marketing campaign, it’s best that you start now and experiment on how the social networking giant can help you reach your business goals.

Targeted advertising

Facebook can analyse all the information that millions of users enter into their profiles. As the owner of a business page, you can pay to use this information to deliver targeted advertising to a specific group. For example, an outdoor store could use Facebook to calculate how many men over a certain age in a certain city have listed ‘fishing’ as an interest. Then they could develop an ad for new fishing lures, and pay for it to appear only on the pages of those people. (Ads appear on the right-hand side pages in Facebook.)

Offer deals through Facebook Places

Facebook Places allows users to ‘check in’ on mobile devices at a particular place, so that their friends can see their location on Facebook. Facebook Places also identifies popular places close to where a user checks in. Businesses can use Facebook Places so that when a user checks in to a neighbourhood, street or business, they receive a list of nearby businesses offering deals (e.g. discounts, freebies, loyalty rewards). Businesses that have a Facebook page are automatically included in the Facebook Places directory.

Talk to existing and potential customers

You can use Facebook to ‘talk’ to existing and potential customers by posting and receiving messages. But don’t use Facebook to aggressively promote your products or services. You’ll have much greater success if you share information related to your business that is actually useful or interesting to other users. This increases your credibility and promotes your business by building long-term relationships with other users. For example, a veterinarian could post tips for looking after pets, timing them according to when particular health issues arise (e.g. ticks in summer). You should also listen as much as you talk. Paying attention to what the market thinks about your business, your industry, a product or a marketing campaign can provide valuable insights.

Share pictures and videos from your business

As well as allowing you to post text, Facebook lets you upload pictures and videos from your business. This can be a powerful way to communicate with customers and potential customers, allowing them to see your product or service without having to visit your premises. Facebook also allows users to ‘tag’ photos to indicate if a Facebook friend appears in them. This function can be used to promote your business. For example, a tour operator could post a photo on their page of a group going whitewater rafting, then invite each participant to tag their image in the photo. Each tagged image will show up as an update on the participant’s Facebook account, where their friends will see it too. This increases the level of interest in the picture, and your business

Advantages of Twitter

Generating leads

Tweeting about special offers or new products can encourage your followers to find out more, potentially leading to sales. For example, tourism operators offer special promotions like ‘buy one get one free’ via Twitter

Seeking feedback

Many Australian businesses use social media, including Twitter, to invite online feedback, reviews or comments. This information is useful for businesses that want to improve, and also for potential customers doing research for their own purchases.

Researching trends

You don’t have to tweet to use Twitter. Searching or following tweets can give you an idea of trends and topics that Twitter users are interested in. Twitter operates in real time, so you can search for conversations that are happening right now.

Providing customer service

For Twitter-savvy customers, asking questions and getting services via Twitter is very convenient. A large telecommunications company has capitalised on this, providing a 24-hour response service for all sorts of customer queries, with staff using their names and answering in a chatty, personal tone.

Positive Branding

Assuming you run your Twitter account correctly, with someone in charge of your campaign that is skilled at making jokes or presenting a positive and friendly attitude, Twitter also does a good job of creating a positive association with your brand. The effects of this association may not be apparent right away, but with time, people begin to associate your brand and what it has to offer with the same lighthearted tone of your account.

Customer Satisfaction

Twitter is also an excellent customer satisfaction tool. Not only can you respond to customer questions and engage with customers that contact you – you can also find customers through the search feature that have mentioned your business and try to make things better/right. Companies that are active on Twitter are able to save customer relationships and look better to the public with a few 140 character responses.

Showing your brand's personality

Twitter is a chance to liven up your image. Tweeting about your people and your brand’s personality gives followers a sense of your business as more than just a supplier of goods or services. For example, bookshops can use quirky language and humour to share links to interesting articles, promote events, comment on literary awards and announce new products via Twitter.

Communicating

Twitter is a way to keep your followers up to date with current information about your business. Importantly, it lets followers communicate with you too. For example, cinemas use Twitter to converse with patrons, recommend new release movies and retweet interesting tweets from movie buffs and experts.

Advantages of YouTube

Creating community

Businesses that have a following or are part of a community can use YouTube as a tool to share and engage with customers. Examples include specialty bicycle retailers and running shops that share produce launches, event footage, video blogs and customer footage via video..

Demonstrating expertise

Some business people use YouTube to build their reputation as an expert in a field. This might include uploading video tutorials or short video tips, as well as linking to other experts’ videos that relate to their area of interest.

Saving bandwidth

YouTube lets you embed video content in your website without increasing your site’s bandwidth. This means you can include video in your website without slowing down your customers’ download speeds.

Your Content Never Dies

Using YouTube for business can help you to re-purpose content you’ve already created without the need to spend a lot of time or to invest in expensive equipment. Re-purposing content you have already created is an effective form of content marketing, as you can reach an audience that will love that particular type of content.