Table of contents
- Identifying Relevant Communities of Interest
- Identifying the Personality of the Brand
- Learning from Each Engagement
- Creating Ongoing Programs
- Proper Communication
- Assess Pain Points
- Observing Behavioral Cultures
Social media is redefining and reinventing marketing. It is also altering the definition and the foundations of communication as well as the dissemination of information. Businesses currently have access to rich channels through which they can get a hold of their customers, interact with them and push their products and services. However, the true promise that comes with social media is grounded on the direct connection that a company can have with its customers, as well as individuals who define markets of interest. As is the case with every other tool there is, there are rules that come with social media and companies’ usage of it as a marketing tool and platform. It is firstly important to understand what these rules are since it would determine the success of social media marketing or its ultimate failure. This paper will look at these rules of engagement, and explore how businesses, both big and small, can capitalize on it to achieve the intended marketing goals and objectives.
Identifying Relevant Communities of Interest
For starters, social media marketing demands that an enterprise identifies all the relevant communities of interest. It also demands that they observe the communities' choices, their interests, impressions and the challenges that they go through (Matejic, 2015). It is by doing so that the business would understand what to offer them, and how to approach marketing in the first place. It would know how to package the advertisement, and will also identify ways through which it can, and will not only capture the community's attention but also allow for customer retention later down the line (Ashley & Tuten, 2015). This rule is an important one, particularly since it sets the pace for the rest of the social media marketing initiatives undertaken. This also happens to be the most demanding and most difficult stage of them all, and once everything is detailed out, the rest of the steps are guaranteed to sail smoothly.
Identifying the Personality of the Brand
Many businesses focus more on identifying the characteristics of their intended customers and forget to look at the personality of their brand. This, consequently, leads to misaligned objectives, and a social media marketing campaign that does not speak well of the brand that is being promoted and does not resonate well with the intended audience (Bivens, 2019). It results in an ineffective campaign that not only becomes a waste of time, but also money. A business needs to evaluate its brand. By doing so, it can match this brand, and its marketing campaign to the facade of the persons who represent it online, and those who identify with it (Ma et al., 2019). This allows for a more engaging and more effective social media campaign that has a return on investment and is guaranteed to work for a long time to come.
Learning from Each Engagement
Companies that have succeeded from social media marketing are those that have learned from each engagement from the very beginning. Every client has something to offer. Every individual who interacts with the brand or its advertisement online has something to offer. This is why big data is a big thing today because it is a way through which enterprises can understand customer behavior and tailor their marketing approaches based on what they find out from the data. As such, for a social media marketing campaign to be effective, then the company needs to implement the lessons learned from previous campaigns, and tailor it precisely to what works, ignoring what does not (Gretzel, 2017). Each social media campaign should be an improvement from the previous one. It should be better than all the previous ones, addressing all the issues that the initial ones had, and improving on the strengths that they had as well.
Creating Ongoing Programs
There is a move by businesses nowadays to simply come up with social media marketing campaigns, one after another in a bid to reach to as many people as possible, and to, hopefully, convert as many prospective customers into paying customers as possible. This, while it works to a certain extent, is not a sustainable approach to social media marketing. What would work, instead, is the creation of ongoing programs. These help in keeping the business connected to day-to-day engagement with their audience, and it is not only more effective than normal campaigns, but is also very useful in creating brand loyalty, and creating a strong community that is bound to take the brand to a whole other level (Lasuin, Omar & Ramayah, 2015). Campaigns are finite, but creating a community is infinite. It is bound to last longer, and save the brand more money in the long run, all while still achieving way better results than the former.
Effective social media marketing is dependent on proper and clear communication. Firstly, this starts with speaking at the audience by providing value, insight, and direction with every engagement. This is also followed by making clear what the intent is, the objectives and the goals for the campaigns. Being vague would not make any conversions and would only result in an inefficient and ineffective campaign (Bivens,, 2019). A business should detail what needs to be done, specify everything that needs to be said and carried out and stick to a well-thought-out communication strategy that does not tolerate vagueness and offers as much information to the potential consumers as possible.
Assess Pain Points
As mentioned earlier, feedback from social media advertising engagement is vital. However, it is also important to look at how the campaign itself performs. This involves identifying the pain points, the frustrations, along with the contentment in the campaign itself, and reviewing them to create a better system and a better campaign that works (Matejic, 2015). Every campaign should be better than the previous one, and this is one way of ensuring that this is the case.
Getting a hold of a committed audience requires consistency, and this also applies to a social media audience. Being consistent with uploads, engagement and interaction with the online community allows for the customers to understand the brand a lot more, and get to appreciate it even more. This further creates brand loyalty, coupled with a growth in the number of paying customers, which is always the goal for enterprises. It is also noted that with the engagement brought about by consistency, the business is able to understand what the consumers need, and is able to make the necessary changes and improvements, all while still keeping the customers in the loop. The longevity of the brand is, therefore, guaranteed, and customers end up feeling like part of the community (Bivens, 2019).
Observing Behavioral Cultures
While learning from customer interaction is important, it is also vital for a business to observe the culture and behaviors in the market, and adjust accordingly. Not everything can be learned through customer interaction. Sometimes it takes having an ear on the ground to understand the trends that customers in the market prefer, the features that they go for, and their overall preferences when it comes to specific products and services. Failure to observe would lead to tunnel vision, and the failure to see things from a different perspective. It would compromise the effectiveness of social media campaigns since they would be completely detached from what customers want, and will end up costing the business a lot of time and money (Gretzel, 2017).
An operative social media advertising campaign does not simply stem from understanding the market, customer needs and customer preferences. It is also strongly dependent on the workforce at the company who are tasked with conducting the campaigns in the first place. These ought to be individuals who understand social media dynamics. They need to understand what social media marketing entails, what things to look out for, what decisions to make, and how to handle different issues and situations that arise (Ma et al., 2019). There is way more than meets the eye with regards to social media marketing. Where one may only think of Google Ads and Facebook promotions, there is way more to it than that, and this is where training comes in handy. The workforce tasked with this ought to undergo proper training. They ought to have what it takes to face the challenge that come with social media marketing, and this would make the difference between an effective campaign and an ineffective one.
Social media marketing is effective in the 21st century. However, it is strongly dependent on how well a business observes its rules of engagement, how quick it is to learn what the consumers need, and how effective it is to tailor its products and services to ensure that they meet customer demands. The relevance of social media will continue to soar as time progresses, and only the businesses that have understood the social media marketing rules of engagement will be able to draw the benefits that come with it what the platform has to offer. It is noted that the rules will continue to change, as will technology, but the underlying principles will remain the same.