Marketing has come a long way over the past decade since recently adding a multitude of social media platforms to promote through. Our society used to see advertisements on television or in the paper, but now all you need to have is a phone with Internet access to capture the advertising that millions of businesses are utilizing. Social media has become a powerful marketing tool for entrepreneurs of small businesses all the way to CEOs of large enterprises alike.
Social media platforms started as a way for people to communicate with friends, stay in touch with relatives, or post updates on your social lives. As business began to enter the space, social media marketing was born. As platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and LinkedIn have looked for innovative ways to monetize their models. All have allowed businesses to create presence and pages to cultivate relationships with their customers. Many businesses use the platforms to engage with end users, provide quality control for their products or services, and conduct research and potential product development for new ideas. Most also utilize their marketing and advertising departments, in hopes of creating digital content that ultimately leads to generating a profit.
Facebook, who has recently purchased Instagram, is well known for their Facebook ads. 1 in 3 people on Facebook use the platform to look for recommendations and reviews. Being able to promote your business through this platform allows you to gain access to reaching a larger audience. You can extend your reach to more than just the people who like your page through advanced algorithms and lookalike audiences. This allows the platform, in this case, Facebook, to share your content with people with similar demographics, who the model believes may also find your content interesting. This works to provide a larger return on your investment.
Instagram, now owned by Facebook, helps your users to “window shop” your products or services. It allows people to get a quick glance at what your business is putting out there and also helps take your followers and consumers behind the scenes. Using photos tosell a story, or show how things are made/done allows your audience to feel like they are part of something interesting, important and trendy. It gives your business its own online personality to form a more personable relationship with your users.
Snapchat brings a whole new level of engagement to your consumers. This photo-centric platform allows you to post quick photos to friends or fans. It allows you to post a temporary story that is removed from viewers 24 hours after posting. Snapchat is the social platform that created and popularized geofilters and geotags which track the area you are in and allows for different interactive filters and lens for you to enjoy and share with your compatriots.
Geotags allow you to swipe right to find a location or business to let people know you are at that establishment or event. Filters are also a great marketing tool. As the entrepreneur or business owner you can make one relative to your business. It gives you the opportunity to engage with your audience without even having to communicate with them. With over 100 million daily active users, and Snapchatters watching over 10 billion videos a day, Snapchat shows a lot of potential for small businesses to consider. While Snapchat is more playful and not as serious for marketing, you also have a professional route such as LinkedIn.
LinkedIn provides a professional audience to your brand. Consider this in a variety of facets or applications. As a professional on LinkedIn you can build your personal brand to compliment your business brand and demonstrate and explain how one integrates with the other. As you become recognized as an authority your professional credibility rises. Likely this raises your business’ authority at least proportionately, if not exponentially. If constructed properly your reach on LinkedIn, via both a personal profile and a business page will allow you to single handedly market your products and services to both business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) customers.
As people often surf LinkedIn as professionals (as the site was designed), hence B2B, we all know humans are opportunistic by nature and won’t hesitate to be overcome with joy and excitement if they stumble upon a person, product, or service that resonates with them personally.
Ultimately, LinkedIn is primarily focused on staying in touch with other businesses or individual’s career updates to help form connections with likeminded people and brands. Marketing through this platform finds highly targeted customers and connections where businesses can zero in on the exact industry, company size and job role that they believe would buy their product or service. The more active you are on LinkedIn the more it allows you to give a face to you, your employees, and your brand. Encouraging people to feel more welcomed to engage with your company.
Overall, social media platforms have provided a perfect digital space for small businesses to share content and promote to their consumers through digital marketing. People still use other forms of marketing but the variety, scope, and reach of social media cannot be outdone. Billions and billions of users have incorporated the various platforms into their daily lives and grown accustomed to shopping for services, reviews, recommendations and insights via digital marketing.