We don’t have a choice whether should we do Social Media Marketing, the question is “How well do we do it?”. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that we make, but about the stories that we tell. Social Media Marketing is about identifying the essence of listening, engaging and building relationships. A brand is no longer what we tell the customer it is, it is what customers tell each other it is. Social Media creates communities, not markets and we should aim at building eco-systems.
The Social Media platform has given several ways for people to connect, interact and personalize than ever before in multiple forms like social networks, blogs and social bookmarking services etc. Irrespective of one being a marketer, these channels are active by default, however, not forgetting the fact that employees and customers use social media tools too. It’s clear that social media marketing plays an important role in the overall digital marketing and social business reality when taking the ‘user’ and specifics into account, the ways people use them and the evolutions they brought.
Rapid digital innovation and new consumer behaviors are reinforcing changes across the value chain and they are also driving the emergence of alternative banking approaches and supporting technologies, such as peer-to-peer lending, big data analytics, mobile wallets and block-chain etc. The revolution has not only experienced by the finance industry, however, all the industries across the globe.
Whilst selecting from a variety of digital platforms, one needs to define the achievable goals, the target audience, analyze risks and its back-up solutions and parameters to gauge its success. It’s important to set targets, put in the input required and then measure outcomes and success rate. A streamlined social media strategy can help the organization successfully connect with the customers and enhance its growth prospects. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all best social media marketing mix.
Modern marketers have now started understanding the true sense of customer engagement where customers should be actively involved in the production and co-creation of marketing programs. It’s all about providing the right touch-points, content and social interactions, while being responsive and pro-active. Social media marketing is simply about relationships in various connected degrees. It can be used in a stand-alone way to initiate marketing initiatives but thrives best when used in an integrated way to strengthen other initiatives.
Over a period of time, the buying journey and online behavior have changed which has brought a major impact on marketing trends. Today a brand needs to be where people and its customers are: across multiple channels, including social marketing and business for information, sharing, buying and seeking support. There has been a shift from selling to buying and from passive receiving to active seeking.
People use many channels but also employ many devices to interact with business on their behalf as omnipresence and availability of a business 24/7 has become a mandate. The customer experience has become the priority of all the businesses because people have become more demanding in their expectations. The explosion of information and communication channels, combined with the desire for control and actual empowerment of people across their journey, has resulted in more educated buyer and customer. To sustain the credibility, trust and customer loyalty, active participation and response is essential.
The value of a brand is in the eye of the beholder and revolves around credibility, personality, trust, openness, transparency, relevance and the level of participation that is necessary in social media. Along with content marketing, social media marketing is all about experiences and the customer experience is the holy grail in all forms of connected and digital marketing as it happens today and will continue to happen tomorrow.