Social media is not a new phenomenon. It has been in the business world for some time now and businesses have been integrating social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn into their marketing strategies explains Paul Haarman.
The theory that ‘social media drives sales’ has become obsolete and many marketers are opting to take a backseat while customers do their own thing on social media and then initiate a dialogue with them later if required. Businesses that once relied heavily on email campaigns to reach out to customers today rely more on social media due to its viral nature whereby people share content they feel is interesting or engage with their connections leading to increased growth of the company’s customer base. The key here is engagement; companies can remain relevant by constantly sharing fresh, new, and engaging content with their followers.
In the next five years, social media platforms will become even more popular with businesses due to the following reasons:
1) Social media platforms are becoming more sophisticated. They are not just for people to share photos or post updates about their day-to-day lives. Businesses can now create professional pages on these platforms and use them as marketing tools to reach out to a wider audience.
2) The number of users on social media platforms continues to grow at a rapid pace. This provides businesses with a larger potential customer base to target.
3) Social media platforms are increasingly being used as search engines. This means that when customers are looking for information about a product or service, they are using social media platforms to search for it. This has led to an increase in customer engagement, which is one of the most important aspects of marketing these days.
4) Businesses can now use influencer marketing on social media platforms to reach out to their target audience. Influencer marketing involves getting popular individuals with large fan followings (popular bloggers, celebrities, etc.) to promote a business’s products or services in exchange for some form of compensation like free products or special discounts/offers that are only given to them. The popularity quotient of influencers is much higher than that of traditional advertising channels and businesses have realized this over time leading to more businesses investing heavily in influencers who have large numbers of followers across social media channels.
5) Social media platforms are being used for e-commerce. You can buy products on Instagram or pay someone via Facebook Messenger without leaving the app itself. This has led to a paradigm shift in the way businesses engage with customers and new possibilities have opened up for companies of all sizes explains Paul Haarman.
The future of social media is very promising as it continues to transform the way people interact with each other. Do business, get information about new products or services, etc. Businesses will continue focusing heavily on these channels to promote their brand and connect better with customers due to their convenience and ease of use.
Social Media Platforms:
It’s difficult not to talk about Facebook in this context. Since it remains one of the most popular social media platforms with over 2 billion active users. It’s a great platform for businesses to create professional pages and reach out to a large number of people.
Instagram: Instagram is another very popular social media platform that is mainly used for sharing photos and videos. However, it also offers businesses the ability to create professional profiles. And reach out to a large number of potential customers.
Twitter is a microblogging platform that is mostly used for communication purposes. However, businesses can use it to share updates about their company, products, or services with followers says Paul Haarman.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media platform that allows businesses to with potential customers. As well as other businesses with similar interests.
YouTube: It is one of the most popular video streaming platforms in the world with billions of videos being view every day across the globe. It is an extremely effective marketing platform for reaching out to a wide audience. Without having to spend too much time or money on it since it’s free.
It’s probably the youngest social media platform on this list, but businesses are catching up fast. It allows users to send images/videos that immediately disappear after viewing them once by their contacts. However, there are many tools available today. That helps you save these images or videos before they disappear from your phone. Therefore companies are using Snap chat as another means of marketing their products and services amongst tech-savvy millennials.
Paul Haarman says the bottom line is that social media platforms are extremely effective marketing channels for businesses of all sizes. And should be in use to reach out to as many people as possible. The future of these platforms looks very promising. And businesses would do well to heavily invest in them for better returns in the long run.