The world may not have ended in 2012, but it is constantly changing. Social media and social networking sites are as much a household name and carry as much weight in marketing as television channels, billboards, and newspaper pieces. Social media is an ever-changing landscape, and there’s active competition in social media networks. As a marketer, you’ll have to stay on your toes to keep at the front of the game. Using the power of social marketing is as much about using them as a tool as it is about precipitating trends.
There are examples of social marketing success all around us these days. An insurance comparison website became the third-largest price comparison website in the UK following an advertising campaign featuring a small animal character that became popular. People were invested in the lives of the characters from the advert. Using Twitter and Facebook, people could interact with the characters in a way not seen before; they were able to ‘talk’ to the characters, read about their lives, and create a platform of interest. The daily interaction between character (and therefore brand) and customer created an openness between company and customer; this created a relationship and a “perceived friendliness” which made it more likely for the customer to think of the services they would provide when they were needed; the interest generated in the customer created an opportunity to expand into books, toys and sponsorship deals.
Social media has the ability for the customer to directly interact with a company. Twitter accounts, Facebook, YouTube – they can create the impression that a company is fun and affable and that they take a genuine interest in the needs of the customer to be informed and entertained.
New technology, such as smartphones and tablets, means that a majority of us are not far from the internet. Marketing with technology has become a very lucrative area; banks are now offering their services on phones and tablets, for ease of purchase and checking accounts, newspapers are becoming increasingly digitised, and books and television shows find the instant access that a combination of technology and new media brings can create a buzz that makes a hit.
Customer behaviour is turning away from the old media, and looking to the advantages that new technology brings – an easier way to access information and communicate. This accessibility is more likely to have customers use a service again. Indeed, consumers will assume that a business understands how they use technology, and as such may not understand if you haven’t integrated technology in your marketing.
The point where the worlds of social media and technology in marketing meet is both dynamic and exciting, requiring a need to stay current and continually adjust your strategies and tactics. It’s a powerful tool to be used – there’s a real requirement, now more than ever, for smarter marketing. So, it’s now more important than ever to take the initiative and reach out to a potential customer base that will last.