What the heck is social media and what role does it play in my marketing? It is probably a question I wouldn’t have received three/four years ago, but yet today it’s the most common question that comes in from my clients.
First off, let’s talk about what social media is. Social media represents low-cost tools that are used to combine technology and social interaction with the use of words. These tools are typically internet or mobile based.
A few that you have probably heard of include Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Social media gives marketers a voice and a way to communicate with peers, customers, and potential consumers. It personalizes the “brand” and helps you to spread your message in a relaxed and conversational way.
The downfall to social media, if you could call it, that is that it must be a part of your everyday life to keep the momentum and attention you need for it to be successful.
If you think that social media is only for the small business owners that are trying out an experiment, I have to correct you. There are many and popular companies that have become involved in social media to mention a few like Tigo Tanzania; Vodacom Tanzania; Midcom EA;
Leave alone companies, there also individual leaders who have been using social media like Barack Obama and other popular figures in our country. As you can see based on this fact it’s not too hard to figure out that there is something to it.
What role should it play in your marketing? In fact I could say Social Media plays great role in marketing. It is a tool used to inform consumers about our products, who we are and what we offer.
Social media can be used to provide an identity to who we are and the products or services that we offer.
Through social media, we can create relationships with people who might not otherwise know about our products or service or what our companies represent.
Social media makes us “real” to consumers. If you want people to follow you, don’t just talk about the latest product news, but share your personality with them.
We also can use social media to associate ourselves with our peers that may be serving the same target market.
We can use social media to communicate and provide the interaction that consumers look for.
As you can see social media carries with it a lot of value, but how do you do it right? You cannot just depend on social media; you must integrate it with other vehicles of marketing. While social media will create awareness, I’m not convinced that in the beginning, it will sell a billion shillings worth of product. That’s not to say that one day once you’ve built up your social media “stardom” that it won’t, but it probably won’t happen tomorrow.
Be yourself, reflect personality. There are no written “right” or “wrong” rules when it comes to social media; only you can determine what will work for you.
Be consistent, if you do not plan on being consistent don’t do it at all - it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
The role of social media in your marketing is to use it as a communication tool that makes you accessible to those interested in your product and makes you visible to those that don’t know your product. Use it as a tool that creates a personality behind your brand and creates relationships that you otherwise may never have gained.
It creates not only repeat-buyers but customer loyalty. The fact is social media is so diversified that it can be used in whatever way best suits the interest and the needs of your business.
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