Social Media - is social marketing the future?

Service Business

Dynamic development of social media

The statistics don't lie. The ZenithOptimedia agency forecasted that in 2016 the internet advertising market will increase by 15.7%, and the share of social media (31.9%), online video (22.4%) and paid advertising models in search engines (15, 7%). The online video content market is also partly the social media market, e.g. YouTube. According to the SocialPress report on the social media market in Poland in 2016, it appears that already 85% of Polish internet users have at least one social profile on social media. Social marketing is certainly the path of internet marketing development.

Who is the leader of the Polish social media market?

As in the search engine market in Poland, Google is the leader, social media has a clear market winner: Facebook. We look at it most often from all social media. The idea of ​​the owner, Mark Zuckerberg, is simple: Facebook is a website where Internet users create their profiles and groups of friends, mix posts with texts, photos or links to films, comment and like. Other social networks operate on a similar principle.

Like - this is nothing more than the ability to comment on a post through a badge that shows whether you like it, whether it is funny or annoying, etc. Recently, Facebook has increased the number of such buttons for expressing various emotional states towards a post to 6: I like it, great, ha ha wow i'm sorry i'll be back

Such forms of interactivity as liking, comments, sharing, sending to friends etc. are also available on other social media portals, e.g. YouTube.

YouTube is a website where Internet users can post various videos and animations, create their channels, favorites lists and comment. He is the leader of the social media video market in Poland, the second most popular social medium, next to Facebook. This is in line with the trend of social media marketing to move towards video content. Most often, Polish internet users actively use only 2-3 websites. This trend is visible and research on the Polish social media market by the IRCenter Agency shows that 94% of Internet users choose Facebook and YouTube.

More picture. The share of other websites in the Polish social media market is decreasing: blogs, forums and Twitter. It turns out that Twitter, which offers the possibility of publishing the so-called tweets, i.e. short comments (up to 140 characters, although the company has a plan to increase this limit) are used willingly by older Internet users, but not by young people. She definitely prefers picture communication, i.e. websites that allow you to brag about photos and short videos. It is perfectly combined with the selfie fashion - photos taken by oneself in various places and circumstances, also thanks to the extension of the arm with an extendable tripod, the so-called selfie stick - a kind of monopod.

New leaders. Among young people, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular websites of this type in Polish social media. While Instagram is mainly used to publish photos and videos, Snapchat, which is a mobile application - a kind of messenger, specializes mainly in the instant transfer of stories - short stories-movies. The increase in the popularity of mobile internet and smartphones coincided in this case with the creation of a new market leader in this type of social media in Poland. Social marketing has to be interested in using Snapchat, which, according to the IRCenter report, was ahead of Instagram in 2015 in the monthly number of launches and the average amount of time used by Internet users.

Specialization. Some of the social media have focused on specialization, these are websites:

  • for bloggers - the biggest one in Poland: Blogger;

  • for professionals - helpful in building a professional and business career, such as LinkedIn, GoldenLine;

  • for collectors - they promote ideas, projects, interesting products (e.g. modern design) like Pinterest and others.

Pinterest. This website has great potential to support internet marketing for e-commerce, as it offers linking to websites, e-commerce stores, e.g. by pinning a product photo on a usage board. The user can publish visual fragments of websites, like them, create their own collections (e.g. mods), etc. did not break, e.g. Google+. However, it is worth getting to know the marketing opportunities offered by market leaders.

Why is social media an opportunity?

Just as the internet is developing dynamically, so is internet marketing. Marketers use the popularity of various types of social media as a new strategic communication channel. There are three main benefits of social marketing:

  • active ways of communicating with the client,

  • new forms of marketing creation and personalization of the message,

  • cheaper costs of reaching the marketing message.

  1. Building a positive relationship with your client is very important. Viral marketing has a lot to do in social media. These can be interesting, funny or intriguing content. You can use games, contests, popularize promotions, discount coupons, attractive events. Social marketing also gives a lot of opportunities for emotional customer involvement, which is what everyone who wants to sell a product or service cares about. An interesting activity is the use of creativity and activity of social media users. For example, announcing contests for an advertising slogan, product name - engages and builds a strong customer interest in the company. There are many such opportunities in social marketing to build interactive, good relations between the company and the Internet users.

  1. Social media websites offer completely new forms of advertising, such as GIFs (animations), memes (a funny combination of content and graphics), short videos, pinned photos, etc. Each service has a different character and method of service, and often also a specialization. Thanks to this, you can use various forms of social marketing for different websites. Such individual adaptation to the target group is only possible on social media.

  1. Still many forms of activity in social marketing are completely free, e.g. setting up and running a company account. If there are costs of operating such an account - they are also not large compared to display advertising or Adwords campaigns. Well-kept social media accounts also increase traffic to the company's website or e-commerce store, which translates into increased sales. Of course, there are also paid advertising opportunities on social media, which is a very good way to reach potential customers. If ads can attract the interest of Internet users, their click-through rates increase, which often lowers costs (depending on the billing model).

Skillful communication in social media

Social marketing is a different communication than in traditional marketing. Most of all, it is interactive and engaging. It is also carried out differently on user accounts than in paid advertising. Even if we use a company account - the so-called fan page, the method of communication with Internet users who are our target group must be adapted to the nature of the website. It is important that the graphics and content do not appear too often, so as not to tire Internet users, and at the same time to gain thousands of likes and gain a large range of reaching customers. However, it is not enough just to post content on social media, it also needs to be additionally promoted in other channels. It's a kind of marketing mix where different marketing media support each other. Social marketing should be closely related to other activities in the company's marketing strategy.

All social media have their own specificity. We communicate differently on Twitter than on Snapchat. The first one requires a short verbal message with graphics or a photo, while the second one - an interesting short movie. Twitter won't increase traffic to your company's website, but it's great for quick, brilliant responses and news, making it a good medium for real-time marketing (real-time). Snapchat offers a committed young target (target group) and great opportunities for trendsetters, i.e. people promoting the brand, currently fashionable things, etc. On Instagram it is worth posting visually interesting content (photos, videos) with popular hashtags (i.e. keywords preceded by a #) .

Facebook is promoting video content more and more. The online video market in Poland is constantly growing, so it is worth investing in Internet marketing in the production of video ads. YouTube is still the most important, but more and more video content is also appearing on Facebook. We will be cheaper to get a higher ROI, i.e. the return on investment (profitability) on Facebook. Obtaining a large coverage on YouTube is relatively expensive, because the production and promotion of the film costs a lot. Viral marketing is less successful on YouTube. Facebook not only gives a huge range for internet marketing in Poland, but also constantly expands its possibilities. Creates new community formats, e.g. sales groups, or adjusts displayed advertisements to information about the user collected, among others, by cookie files tracking the internet user's activity.

What to Avoid in Social Marketing?

Communication in social media - interactive marketing. This advantage can also be a disadvantage. You have to remember that social marketing is a constant online response. Each internet user action should be noticed. If our potential client has already engaged with the game, they cannot wait for a response. Therefore, you must not leave company accounts unattended, start marketing activities and not finish them or announce their results. This interactivity can also be a problem if social media users start to criticize us themselves or because of the competition's actions, i.e. black PR.

Responses to the crisis. Any company can experience an unfavorable crisis situation, and social media is the perfect place to express customer dissatisfaction. What to do then? It is a mistake to close company profiles on social media. This is a missed opportunity for social marketing and driving away from your customers. The worst solution is to disregard or delete negative entries on the company's fan page. You can block the possibility of commenting on your timeline and invite customers to express their opinion elsewhere, e.g. in a special forum. At the same time, the company should show that it cares about this criticism, wants to analyze it and therefore collect these comments in one place. This way, we will relieve the fanpage of negative opinions. You can also keep the comment option, but at the same time try to redirect the problem solution to another channel, e.g. e-mail or telephone. The client will feel our serious approach to his opinion and interest in the problem. You must not cheat, lie or disregard in response to criticism. This will lead to a loss of customer confidence and a deterioration of the reputation of the company, which will spread like wildfire.In response to criticism in social media, you need to show a professional approach to the conversation with the Internet user and the willingness to find a solution.

Remember, social media marketing is an opportunity to develop the company's marketing strategies, but also a challenge that must be met. What other promotional opportunities does the Internet give us? Blogs are still a very good place for active marketing, which you will read about in the next article.