It’s the year 1998. You come home from work, open the front door and flick through the host of newspapers, postcards, and leaflets posted through your letterbox, keeping some that catch your eye.
Fast forward to 2021, and when most people walk through the front door they instantly throw away all that junk mail.
For the businesses that are spending hard earned money on those advertisements, that’s a nightmare. It’s money down the drain.
But for businesses who know the value of social media, it’s no bother. You see, those businesses have already engaged with their target audience multiple times in the morning, on their lunch break, and on their way home before they get in the front door. They may have even done so without their target audience realising.
In this blog, we’re going to go over whether social media marketing is right for your business, and how you can maintain social media accounts for your business or brand and use them to reach your potential customers.
What is traditional marketing?
We use the phrase ‘traditional marketing’ to refer to the more old-school marketing methods like TV/radio ads, billboards, and newspaper ads.
A traditional marketing definition that’s easy to remember is to think of it as offline marketing. If it’s not connected to the internet, it’s probably a traditional marketing method.
With traditional and social media marketing, the aim is the same. That is to build a solid awareness of your business, your products, or any services that you offer, among your target audience. This is achieved by either creating new relationships with potential customers or maintaining relationships that you have with existing customers.
Perhaps you’re thinking that your brick-and-mortar business doesn’t suit what social media marketing has to offer. Hopefully after finishing this blog, you will see that social media is for everyone and you too can see the benefits of marketing your business digitally!
Is social media marketing the same as digital marketing?
You might hear people refer to social media marketing as digital marketing, or they might use these phrases interchangeably.
We don’t want to sound like a pedantic Percy, but this isn’t technically true…
Social media marketing is an example of digital marketing. That’s because it is just one of the many tools that your digital marketing toolbox is comprised of.
So, if you’re being told that you need to embrace digital marketing, don’t just assume this is limited to social media! You still have a whole host of other tools to make use of before your business is well and truly plugged into The Matrix.
Benefits of traditional marketing
Before we go too far into the benefits of using social media to market your business, let’s talk about some of the benefits that traditional marketing has over online methods. Namely, how people find it to be more reliable.
With the increase in ‘fake news’ (thanks, Donald!) in the past decade, people are becoming more sceptical about what they read. You might think this is a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing (thanks, Donald!).
More people apparently found news in offline publications more reliable than online publications, namely social media.
Of course, this is an intrinsic problem with platforms where every body can contribute regardless of their qualifications. To combat this, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have ramped up their fact-checking tools, and some posts are now even marked with icons when they concern potentially misleading information.
Benefits of social media marketing
If you aren’t already, using social media as a marketing tool is an amazing step to futureproofing your business and ensuring you have the best chance at success in the future.
Our Social Media Executive, Jordan, explains why:
“We, as consumers, are slowly moving away from traditional marketing and becoming more digital. With the rise of online newspapers and streaming services, fewer people are taking in traditional media and businesses/marketers are taking notice.
Creating social media content can be a faster process than creating traditional marketing content as you create an image, think of a caption, then hit post. With traditional, you may have to wait for weeks for something to be green lit or to hear back from the places where you want to advertise. This is because traditional (offline) marketing is a lot more permanent. It’s quite easy to make changes on the fly to social media marketing materials.
In my opinion, the most important advantage to using social media marketing is that you see results pretty much instantly concerning engagement rates. With traditional marketing, it can take weeks to see any type of results. And even then, you are purely relying on an increase in sales without any way to actually track if people have engaged with your newspaper or television advert.”
There’s a lot of really great points to touch on here.
First of all, there’s the fact that media consumers spend an average of 6 hours and 45 minutes a day online, equating to more than three times their TV media consumption. This number is only increasing, whereas with traditional media the number is gradually decreasing. If you focus your marketing on shrinking markets and neglect growing ones then there’ll come a time where you’re left too far behind and will be playing catch up to try and stay afloat.
Second, social media marketing is much less costly when compared to traditional marketing. This is both in the monetary sense and the time sense. You can use content recycling to quickly upload multiple posts optimised for several platforms to advertise your business and potentially have access to a huge audience reach. Whereas a single TV or radio ad can prove to be costly if it isn’t fit for purpose anywhere else.
Finally, the ability to track the success of your social media marketing campaigns is a godsend. You can definitively see what works and what doesn’t. Not only does this let you know what you need to keep doing in the future, it shows you what you need to change. You can keep experimenting until you manage to find a content type that resonates well with your specific audience.
Social media marketing services
There are a number of different services you can use to help manage your social media marketing campaigns.
First of all, we advise that you seek the help of a dedicated social media marketing manager to do the work for you. Leaving it to a proven professional can make the most sense if you want quick and tangible results.
What your social media marketing manager will do, or what you can do yourself if you decide to go DIY, is manage all of your accounts and perform all of the tasks that come with this.
One task is to come up with an audience profile. It feels like we talk about audience profiles most weeks on these blogs, that’s how important they are! You need to know who you’re targeting. With social media, you really can pinpoint exactly who you want to, so it would be a waste to just throw your content at a wall and see what sticks.
Another task is the actual creation of your social posts and the management of audience engagement. The post creation also involves coming up with a content schedule. Knowing what to post is only half the battle, knowing when to post will really optimise your posts and make them pop!
Dealing with audience engagement, by the way, is a massively important task. There are two elements to this. One, you can positively engage with your audience and build a rapport with them using your social voice. And two, you can manage your customer service during complaints or negative interactions.
By having an amazing social media customer service, you can get in front of problems before they spiral out of control and become a negative review of your business.
Social media marketing agency
Like we said earlier, we thoroughly recommend seeking the professional help of a social media marketing company if you want the best chance of success in the most efficient timeframe.
At Blaze Media, we have a team of proven social media experts from all aspects of social media marketing, including paid and organic. Get in touch with us for a chat and we can start our journey together and make you the talking point in your industry.
Would You Like To Talk?
Find out how our range of digital marketing services can help you grow your business online.