Strategy is the foundation of effective marketing campaigns. Barry University's online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in marketing program reflects this, and it has several courses devoted to marketing strategy in today's dynamic environment. Social media is undoubtedly an essential part of this dynamic environment.
Social media dominates how people communicate in the digital era, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, consumers discover and engage with brands via social media platforms. Increasingly, the entire customer buying journey happens within the social media environment. Given all of this, marketing departments devote substantial efforts and resources to creating successful social media marketing strategies.
How Does Social Media Marketing Connect Brands With Consumers?
Marketing is essentially understanding and developing the communication between a brand and consumers. Social media allows marketers to communicate with consumers directly and vastly expand the reach of marketing efforts. In an article for Forbes, author, entrepreneur and LSEO founder / CEO Kristopher Jones explains:
"Communicating directly with people on social media helps you find and grow your audience. Through that process, you will learn what people want and how you can give it to them."
This connection highlights the potential of social media marketing. It is an extremely useful marketing tool for driving sales. But equally important, social media marketing can also help businesses foster brand awareness, loyalty, and long-lasting relationships with their customers.
What Are the Key Components of Social Media Campaigns?
As with any kind of marketing, social media marketing requires strategic planning. This preparation involves identifying a campaign's desired goals like driving leads and website traffic, or developing brand awareness and positive customer relationships. These goals inform strategy and execution.
Marketers also need to identify specific audiences considering the campaign goals and the products or services offered to consumers. Once identified, marketing professionals can gather focused information about their audience's online behavior, buyer motivations, and content preferences.
Social media is a great environment for conducting this targeted research. Powerful analytics programs offer a great deal of insight, as can direct communication with consumers. Effective marketers engage consumers and listen to them actively, incorporating feedback into strategy.
Professionals design budgets according to goals, analysis of ROI, research, and consumer input. As individuals implement the campaign, they must monitor its effectiveness through both analytics and ongoing customer feedback.
Social media marketing can also be like lean startup business models because it is inherently agile. Strategy can be constantly revised and iterated to be more impactful. As opposed to many traditional marketing methods, social media marketing costs are typically incremental and ongoing. This versatility allows for continuous refinement, adaptation, and pivoting when needed.
What Kinds of Innovations Are Driving Modern Social Media Marketing?
Many current innovations and trends focus on developing the customer experience and relationship. These customer-centric efforts emphasize personalizing the buying journey and enriching the customer experience rather than solely pushing sales.
For instance, Hootsuite's 2021 Social Trends report noted that "a dramatic uptick in social media use presented a huge number of new opportunities for brands this year." However, many brands "missed the mark by jumping in too soon." People flocked to social media as an outlet for communicating with one another during lockdowns. Still, social media channels became flooded with marketing content, over-saturated feeds and turned off consumers.
Marketers with forethought, paused, listened to consumers' needs, and pivoted efforts towards providing useful information and content. This response can show consumers that a brand cares, fostering invaluable brand loyalty and relationships.
Marketers are also personalizing the consumer experience through differentiating cross-channel content. Offering prospective customers engaging content in their preferred medium can expand reach across different social media platforms (such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and others.).
Engaging brand ambassadors and sponsoring content can also help drive engagement, leads, and awareness, exposing people to a brand through a source they trust.
AI-driven chatbots and direct-selling within social media platforms are further changing e-commerce. They allow for a highly personalized and efficient buying journey. Consumers can move through engagement to information sharing to sale without ever leaving the social media environment.
Marketers must evaluate and implement these and other innovative practices according to clear, strategic goals. The modern marketing professional shapes these efforts through expertise, research, analysis, and a consumer-centric focus.
A specialized business degree can give professionals more than just the foundation to enter a financially lucrative and fulfilling career path. Social media marketing knowledge can help professionals drive sales and foster the customer relationships and brand loyalty that make modern businesses thrive.
Learn more about Barry University's online MBA in Marketing program.
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