It’s hard to believe that social media as we know it didn’t really exist 15 years ago. It’s become such a part of our daily lives, it feels like it’s almost been around forever. And for some consumers, like Gen Z, it pretty much has.
But, there was a time before social media, and some might say that was an easier time for businesses and brands to market themselves. Fewer channels for advertising, more focused consumers, and people actually watching commercials? Sounds nice!
However, now social media is part of the mix, and it’s something businesses and brands have to take into consideration. So, how exactly has it changed marketing? Let’s explore social media and marketing.
1. Social media gives consumers a direct line to the business.
Before social media, businesses and brands didn’t have to think much about the reaction to their marketing. If consumers liked it and thought it was effective, they’d probably become customers. If they didn’t like it or think it was effective, that would rarely make it back to the business unless the consumer sent a complaint letter or possibly an email.
Bryan Kramer talked about this as a guest on The Growth Lab Show. He says that now, because of social media, brands and businesses have to think about the consumer reaction to their marketing because they will hear about it in some way or another. Consumers have a direct line to businesses and brands through social media, and they can (and will!) let businesses and their social networks know when they don’t like something.
Think, for example, of the recent Gillette commercial: If you didn’t see it, you probably heard about it on the news or saw people talking about it on social media. There were polls about whether or not people liked it and debates from both sides. If that commercial had been released before social media, you might have heard about it from a friend or coworker, but the conversation probably would have died down after a day or two. However, with social media, marketing messages, advertisements, and even business snafus can have a lasting impact.
So, the way you market your business changes from simply “how will this help me reach my marketing goals?” to “could this have a negative impact on consumer perception of my business?” It adds another layer and another thing to consider when building marketing messages and strategies.
2. Social media gives businesses a direct line to the consumer.
While consumers can reach businesses directly on social media, businesses can reach and engage with consumers in the same way. This allows you to create a community around your business, tap into the mind of the consumer, and build customer loyalty with your social media fans and followers.
This direct engagement also shifts the way consumers think about many businesses and brands, which can be a positive thing for your business. You can connect with consumers on a more personal level by directly engaging with them, sharing glimpses into your business, and providing them with the information that they care about or need.
3. Social media gives businesses more channels for marketing.
Social media has added a lot more places for businesses to market themselves. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more – there are plenty of places to get your business seen. And, you have options for how you can market your business on social media. You can stick with organic social media only, or you can take a paid + organic approach to place ads on your favorite social media sites.
By getting your business on these various channels, you’re able to increase your brand awareness, build an audience, and reach more customers or potential customers, which can help contribute to your bottom line.
Social media has made a huge impact on our daily lives, and in the lives of our businesses, so it’s only natural that it would create a shift in marketing as well. If you’re looking for a way to navigate the changing digital landscape, LOCALiQ is here to help. We simplify all your marketing to help you grow your business. Get in touch with us today to learn more about social media, social media marketing, and social media and marketing. While you're at it, continue to listen to the Growth Lab Podcast to get the inside scoop on the trends that affect your business.