This is a guest opinion article by Aaron Bassi, Sales & Marketing Manager for Chocolate Clothing.
We live in a more digitally-connected world than ever before, and therefore consumers’ lifestyles have changed. Social media is now so embedded in the modern culture that it’s almost second nature to us. This shift in media consumption is something that is vital for e-commerce businesses to recognise and engage with.
The potential of social media
Social media is now the number one form of interaction between a company and its customers. The convenient nature of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram means that businesses and their clients can keep up to date in a way that fits their busy schedules. This, in turn, can help companies provide quick and efficient customer service in a way that is convenient for their clients.
Social media allows brands and businesses to stay present in their customers’ minds. Being active on social media through regular and quality content can help create a relationship between a business and their target demographic, while subconsciously implanting a brand’s visuals into the customer’s mind. The ability to interact with customers on social media, through likes and comments, increases brand engagement.
One of the most appealing aspects of social media for e-commerce businesses is the potential to expand their audience. The power of word of mouth should never be underestimated when building a business. In the digital world, word of mouth is now done through social media, everything from recommendations from friends online to promotions from our favourite social media moguls can sway customers to try a business for the first time.
Social media is an excellent tool for collecting data on your clients. In fact, nearly 90% of the world’s online data created last year was from social media. This abundance of information can be priceless for retailers, as it allows an in-depth look at your customer’s lifestyle and taste. This information can help brands to build their marketing materials around their target audience.
Identifying patterns in your customers’ tastes and interests can also help businesses locate the perfect social media influencer for their brand. A 2015 study found that marketers get $9.60 in earned media for every $1 they spend in the influencer market – making it a pretty lucrative social media technique. “Borrowing” the audience of a social media personality can dramatically broaden your company’s audience.
A big part of creating an effective social media marketing campaign is understanding the audiences of each social media platform. Establishing which platform works best for your audience and the product you’re offering is essential to growing any following. Although you should never neglect any of your social media platforms, paying close attention to the most popular one for your demographic is important. For example, businesses within the beauty and cosmetic industry may find Instagram their most efficient platform, while a brand specialising in office technology may find LinkedIn a much more suitable media source. Recognising these differences and adapting your social media presence to it can help companies create much more cost-effective and focused marketing campaigns.
Why should companies adopt social media as part of their marketing activity?
There are many reasons why companies should adopt social media as part of their marketing activities. For example, one of the most appealing aspects of social media for many businesses is that it allows you to target your exact audience in a very precise and efficient way. Paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook allows companies to set the demographics of the target audience within a geographic area that suits your service. This can often result in much more cost-effective marketing campaigns than traditional marketing methods (e.g. billboards) as it allows brands to target an audience that is most likely to purchase from them, resulting in a larger return on their investment.
It’s no secret that good customer service is fundamental to any e-commerce business, and social media can provide the perfect platform to create an effective customer service plan. The great thing about dealing with customer issues/complaints through social media is that it allows a much quicker response and resolution than some traditional forms of customer service, while other potential clients see your brand as providing efficient customer service.
They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder – but this certainly isn’t the case when it comes to the modern business world. Making sure that your brand is constantly visible in your customer’s lives is vital to maintaining a company. With so much choice available, customers do not need to stay brand loyal to attain their most-wanted products. Staying present across several social media platforms is now more important than ever to stay fresh in your clients’ minds.
No business can survive without returning custom, so it’s essential that you build rapport with customers. Social media is a great tool to achieve this. Creating engaging content that is relevant to your target audience is vital to connecting with the modern consumer. Whether it be through informative blog posts, encouraging discussion or running competitions – social media is a great tool in any brand’s armoury to build relationships with your customers.
Social media should also be implemented into any e-commerce marketing campaign for monitoring reasons. The great thing about social media is that it provides data and analytics that gives a brand tangible facts and can highlight the effectivity of a social media campaign. This information is critical for businesses as it allows them to evaluate what aspects of their marketing is working for their customers, resulting in more cost-effective campaigns.
Social media platforms have made it easier than ever to reach your target audience. With the growth of popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, consumers are presented with more choice than ever before. Staying relevant and present within your audience’s consciousness is now more important than ever in order to grow and prosper as a modern business. Creating quality and compelling content is key to holding the attention of modern media consumers, and has been shown to improve the conversation between interaction and sales dramatically.
By Aaron Bassi
Aaron Bassi is a Sales & Marketing Manager for Chocolate Clothing. During his time at Chocolate Clothing, the company has won a number of awards including Draper’s award for Multi-Channel Retailer of the Year and Pure London fashion award Best Independent Retailer. Aaron’s expertise has also seen the store land print coverage in renowned print publications including Vogue, Smallish Magazine and Live 24/7 Magazine to name a few.