Technology has totally transformed the way we influence others and the way we are influenced. Marketing has also been revolutionized with technology that introduced new tools for performing the same old things. Social Media Marketing is very much different from what most of the marketing is done under traditional Paper Marketing.
Nowadays everyone has an account on face book or twitter or both. Social Media has incorporated in to practically every part of our lives, making it fairly easier to communicate with others.
To broaden the reach and increase the potential clientele one has to use the mediums the clients are using frequently when they look up for the products and services that your company also caters. This will allow to gain great return on investment and also the right audience to communicate.
People these days demand up-to-date information and want to connect with others in more frequent and efficient manner. Social Media Marketing Platforms provides the platform to stay connected with others that were not available in the past.
The conversion rates are also increasing with the Social Media marketing tools and hence it is taking over other forms of advertising. Although you can reach a huge number of people through a news paper advertisement, the investment is very minimal in the case of Social Media Advertising compared to the former.
Sweepstakes and content submission contests are easy to conduct and fairly inexpensive to execute via Social Media.
But preparation is very important for Social Media. Before you launch a Social Media promotion it is critical to know what you are trying to accomplish or else the result are random and efforts may go in vain.
LET US FIND DISTINGUISHING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PAPER MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Traditional Paper marketing
Let us use the funnel principle to describe the way marketers attract new prospects and convert them into customers
Traditionally the limited resources and time have been prioritized to find the audience and convert new prospects. The customers were hard earned and keeping them keeping them in the converted list is an afterthought. That is because the tactics used to keep the customers were drastically different from that of attracting the customers.
Historically what companies used to do is to provide a great customer experience and just hope them to come back to buy more and bring their friends along with them. But technology along with the Social Media eventually changed the game.
Social Media Marketing – the flip side of the funnel
One should recognise that the existing customers are your assets and Social Media Marketing is all about recognising your existing customers are your best assets.
With low investment and cost requirements along with easy to use tools like Social Media and e-mails, you do not need to hope for your customers to come back and bring their friends.
The one to one updates about the new products and services through e-mails remind them to come back and make word of mouth as easy as clicking the share, like or tweet buttons.
Hence through Social Media Marketing businesses not only end with the sale but rather it begins after the first sale. But Social Media marketing is an important part in the marketing mix, but it is not the only one.
Social Media Marketing is not a replacement for other marketing techniques. It is better to continue to do what has worked for the business before. Complete transformation may put the business in to a maze. Traditional marketing tactics that still gets good results for you, like advertising in a newspaper, sending postal mails and attending people networking events are still needed.
However Social Media strategy is a critical component in the marketing strategy. In fact Social Media works best when used along with the traditional marketing. Traditional marketing depends on the advertising itself to get the summary of its message to the concerned consumer. Social Media Marketing engages the existing current consumers with businesses on a personal level. This eventually turns into an increase of customer service and word of mouth.
Many internet users use online ratings and reviews to purchase new items before they go for shopping. An ad on Facebook and other Social Media help the customers to look at the new offers and updates on the most e-commerce websites and also the major discounts offerings in the brick and motor purchases as well.
- Social Media marketing gives results instantaneously, whereas with the traditional marketing campaigns, companies need to wait for the clients to come back for them to be analysed and to track down the results.
- Purchasing ad space in print publications can be costly. The same is true for billboard rentals and direct mailing. When Paper-marketing and Social Media Marketing are compared, there very less competition in this regard.
- Social Media is a two-way marketing platform. In Paper media, it’s impossible for customers to voice back their opinion and connect with a company spontaneously, whereby with Social Media, businesses can have a dialogue with potential customers.
- Most traditional marketing campaigns like Paper Media are restricted to a certain timeframe and can have limited response. But with Social Media the response of your message is unlimited due to your customers’ capability to share your message with their friends and family at any point in time.
- 82% of small businesses say word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way to market their business and find new customers.
The major differences between the paper media and Social Media are the scope of advertisements. A website ad can potentially reach the customers in any part of the world. The circulation of the print media like news papers is limited to specific regions or countries. The logistics of sending direct posts or mails to customers limit the number of consumers that print advertisements can reach. Online marketing can potentially reach more customers by reaching though more places and allow small businesses far outside their local business area.
REACHING SPECIFIC CUSTOMERS:
Small businesses operating in niche market segments generally appeal to specific segment of customers or localized areas. Paper media promotions are useful for targeting these local areas. For a company operating in a small town could advertise in a local newspaper or other publication to reach customers that are actually in the close vicinity. Social Media networks track the user locations and other personal information, which can allow the company to make targeted online advertisements.
CONNECTING WITH CUSTOMERS
Advertisements must connect with customers and should convince them to do business with us. Internet users mostly spend some time and this time can be very less before bouncing to another page to catch the attention for an advertisement. In addition, Web page owners can install ad-blocking software to prevent advertisements from displaying on websites. Readers can potentially spend enough time reading each page of a newspaper or magazine, which lets them view advertisements and the time to connect with them and influence decisions.
Online advertisers allow companies to set spending limits on advertisements which lets small businesses spend according to their budget. Print advertisements can be very expensive — a single print advertisement in a local newspaper can cost more than $100.
ONLINE RECOMMENDATIONS CAN POTENTIALLY TRANSFORM INTO PURCHASES
People are easily influenced by their friends. Recommendations given by friends have a very significant impact on purchasing decisions.
The impact can be big! According to a Marketing Profs survey, 73% of the U.S. participants had learned about a product online and 51% had purchased a product based on an online recommendation.
GREAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Social Media platforms provides each user with an option to share their thoughts and opinions with their friends and other consumers.
- If a great customer experience is provided, Social Media will reward you back with positive reviews and endorsements that attract new business.
- If a customer has a normal or very miserable experience, Social Media will let you know. Given that you utilize it as an opportunity to respond to them and use feedback constructively and continuously try o improve the way you serve your
Bottom line: There’s no marketing mantra as a cure for providing a poor/bad customer experience.
PERMISSION IS KEY
Today’s world is full of interruptive marketing noise hence permission-based marketing is a powerful tool for fighting through the clutter. By obtaining consent from the customers and prospects to contact them with marketing messages they are likely to respond to your promotional offers, share with their friends, and less likely to ignore the ads or consider your messages spam.
Permission comes in many forms:
- Opt-in with an email address
- Facebook “Like”
- Twitter Follow
- LinkedIn Connection
- Attendance at an Event
That permission part is of what makes both email and Social Media marketing so powerful.
There are advantages in both paper promotions and Social Media promotions but an effective promotion ends in reaching the potential customers. Hence given that even uneducated people are also using Social Media networks and the minute investment in Social Media advertising makes it advantageous to bring in more converts per investment through Social Media.Statistics Source: American Express Open and SEMPO, “Small Business Search Marketing Survey” March 23, 2011 Source: Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey 2012
The article is authored by Avinash Ambatifrom IIM Indore.
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