I never understood how much social media had taken over a great part of life until my birthday last year. The number of birthday wishes I got on Facebook was much more than those I got offline through SMS, calls and even face to face. Imagine if for every birthday wish I got, there was a commission of N100 to the medium of transmission? Imagine how much Facebook would make compared to other media. What’s even interesting is the fact that many people probably did not know it was my birthday until they saw a post from a mutual friend which spurred them into action. This can be very intriguing, especially the way it works with the human psyche. Social networks may appear to be a trend, but anyone who has seen the effect will agree that it has become mainstream, even in areas of life where we expect it be far from. What’s more? Social media is even popular in developing countries as much as developed countries even where internet access is not easy to come by. There must be something that makes it this popular.
Marketing and advertising appear to be very dynamic professions with high innovative methods and creative applications. However, not many organizations are willing to put their budgets at a risk by trying out new ways. Social media has proven to be a good marketing tool by a number of experts but there is still a great level of doubt among marketers in the involvement of many new media strategies. But among the many reasons for the fear and doubt, there are also many reasons to involve new media into your marketing strategies and campaigns. This is not to say all marketing or communication must make use of the new media. This also does not suggest that the marketing budget should all go to new media. But for the following reasons, you cannot ignore them:
• At least 28.7 5 of the world’s population is online and at least 66.8% of these people use social networks.
• Social media has become the number one activity on the internet: This may seem a fad to some people but it is very clear that even if the level of social networking activities reduce, many more new activities on the new media will be based on social media platforms. Interactivity (which is what social media is all about) will only increase.
• The economy calls for cost effective marketing techniques that will deliver the message. New media campaigns can be very cost effective and yet effective
• People discuss your brands on social media and get answers as well as opinions there. You better be proactive and be around to answer the questions yourself or at least influence whoever is giving opinions.
• Your rival might be using social media or considering it.
Many people are not sure how they can use social media to improve their brand and so I have a few tips for you:
• Conduct market research: find out who is on which site and what they are doing. Find out who is talking about what and look for ways to get them to talk about your brand.
• Build brand awareness and credibility by making use of online space through social media relations (to be discussed later), creating your own brand blog and website, where you are always available to respond to enquiries about your brand.
• Create contests and competition to keep people involved with your brand and talking about it constantly.
• Monitor your competition; find out what people are saying about your competition and how you can improve your own.
• Generate leads and referrals
• Allow sales with ease .Make your clients feel closer to you
From time to time, we will be looking at how we can use these strategies with case studies and possible mistakes. In the meantime, good luck while you try out new ways. If you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.