Social media is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to reaching a large audience, building a relationship with them and extending your reach. This has become a fantastic weapon in the arsenal of internet marketers and small businesses but actually it goes beyond that. Social media has actually had such an impact on marketing as to have essentially transformed it entirely.
Here we will look at how social media has changed marketing, how it continues to and how you can make sure that you’re keeping up with the changing tides.
A Level Playing Field
Social media is not just changing marketing, it’s changing business. There was a time when large companies would have a big advantage over smaller ones due to having a large advertising and marketing budget. In this regard, social media has acted as a great “equalizer” by essentially leveling the playing field. You need a much smaller budget in order to be successful at marketing on social media and this has one of the best return of investments (ROIs) of any type of marketing.
Some companies have taken a unique “de-centralized” approach to marketing by using social media. By giving staff members the ability to create and manage their own social media accounts, these companies can generate a lot more content while simultaneously making their businesses more personal and more approachable for users.
The other way that social media marketing is changing marketing is by creating a much more direct line of communication between marketer and audience. In the past, marketing and advertising have largely been a “one way” affair. In other words, marketers would create adverts and campaigns and then launch these to an audience that may or may not have been receptive.
Now, it is possible to actually communicate with that audience, to gain feedback, to ask for advice and generally to build engagement and interaction. This makes a huge difference and creates many more opportunities – such as the ability to crowdsource ideas for instance or to run interactive competitions.
Due to these changes, audiences have come to expect more from the companies that market to them. They now expect their marketing messages to be more personalized and more engaging. Marketers are now expected to listen. This has ushered in what is being referred to as a “people strategy” for marketing.
Things Continue to Change
Clearly, social media has impacted on marketing and advertising in big ways. What’s more though is that it continues to change in even more profound manners.
By its very nature social media is inherently changeable and ever growing and evolving. Instagram has grown in a big way recently for instance, while Facebook has seen all kinds of changes. More and more social media is taking place on mobile and location is playing an increasingly big role.
As a marketer this is not a time to rest on your laurels. Make sure you keep up with the changes and have an adaptable social media marketing policy.