In recent years, social media has emerged as one of the most powerful digital marketing channels for brands. During this period, social media marketing has evolved from being just a branding consideration. In 2019, more brands are turning to social media marketing services for making direct sales conversions and increasing revenues.
Social Media Marketing: Meaning and Definition
Social Media Marketing is a digital marketing strategy that operates on different social media platforms. It is the process where brands create a social media identity by being active on their social media profiles.
By narrating the story of your brand on social media, brands have been able to tap into new customer bases. In addition, they have also been able to engage their customers and strike meaningful relationships. With more than 4 billion users on social media, no brand can stay away from social media marketing.
From an agency standpoint, social media marketing services are the number one digital marketing service that they are offering. By helping brands maintain an active social media presence, agencies, which offer SMM services are benefitting. These benefits can be in the form of Monthly Retainers, Commissions on Ad Spend and Extra Asset Creation.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Brands:
As I have already mentioned, with more than 4 billion users, it is not wise for brands to stay away. However, maintaining an active presence on social media helps brands in numerous ways.
Let us look at some of the top benefits of social media marketing for brands.
1. SMM Services helps in building Credibility:
According to Hubspot, 60% of consumers in the digital age are going to research the brand on social media before purchasing. By maintaining an active presence on social media, brands can help build their credibility in front of audiences.
Any brand, which wants to build trust, credibility, and following, should be on social media, period. Social media presence inspires trust and confidence in a brand. It also tells consumers that the brand is not hesitant to engage with its fans and followers on a dynamic platform.
2. Social Media Marketing is necessary for Branding and Promotions:
If you are looking to engage in a branding exercise and do not have the budget to go for Hoardings, physical Banners, or TV ads, social media is the channel for you. Think of all the brands who do product launches, store openings and announcements on social media.
We are not talking about standalone stores. Even billion-dollar MNCs undertake social media marketing for branding and promotions.
3. SMM helps improve accessibility and reach:
For consumers, your social media profiles, along with the website, will be the only face of your brand. Thousands of brands do not have any physical presence at all. However, this does not mean that they do not earn revenues or have their target audiences.
With traditional mediums of marketing being expensive, brands need an avenue to reach potential customers. Social media gives brands that avenue. It helps in reaching out to audiences are increasing awareness.
4. Build an Online Community:
Do you remember those forum sites, which were dedicated to brands? Customers would appreciate or rant depending on their experiences. Social media gives audiences the chance to grow communities directly on the brand’s pages.
Social listening has helped numerous brands correct their strategies, follow up on complaints, and offer better services. Relationship management and community building are two critical pillars of social media marketing.
5. Cost Efficient and Affordable:
Some brands believe that the above points are fictional. They relegate the above to just being technical jargons. However, when they hear about the affordability of social media as a platform, they get interested.
Social media is highly affordable, cost-efficient and productive. The ROIs from social media will always outweigh the investments. Every brand can rest assured of that. This is best when it comes to small brands who cannot afford huge traditional marketing costs.
Can Social Media Marketing help drive Revenues?
If any brand would have raised this question to an agency offering SMM services five years back, no one would have said ‘yes’. However, in the last couple of years, a lot has changed. With access to data and consumer behavior, more agencies are willing to commit to sales from social media.
This is a welcome development; one that most social media companies are aiming to make happen. With better data, higher quality creatives, convincing communications, and meticulous targeting, sales are a reality.
This has forced millions of brands to keep a separate social media marketing service strategy, aimed only at sales. The marketing aspect of the platform remains, however, closing the final sale is happening.
Top 10 Ways to Increase Revenues from Social Media: The List
We have already mentioned that social media marketing services have evolved to deliver sales. In the following section, we look at 10 ways in which SMM services can help brands increase their revenues.
1. Social Media to Website Traffic Transfer:
The first stage where people are going to face your brand will be on social media. The next would be your brand website. Your constant attempt should be to send people from your social media to your brand page.
Assuming your brand page has an ecommerce section where people can directly buy, you should plan the user journey accordingly. By displaying a visually rich product on social media, you can have a link of your website in the post.
This will help people who are interested in the product, click on the link and go directly to the product page. They can check out, buy the product, and leave. Congratulations, your sales cycle is complete!
2. Run Contests on Discounts and Deals:
Social media as a platform is highly engaging and has a viral quotient. If you are running any contest and offering discounts, you can rest assured that people are going to engage. You can simply use the hashtag #contestalert or #contest and see people participating.
In order to boost sales, you can have content once a week. You can also give voucher codes to winners to redeem from your website or any other e-commerce site. This will help you increase engagements, revenues and website traffic for your brand.
3. Run Shops directly on your Social Pages:
Both Facebook and Instagram give brands the option to set up their own shops on the platform. It is a really simple and free process. By placing your products and services directly on the platform, you can ensure that anyone on Facebook or Instagram can shop from your page.
Yes, you will have to push the shop with great creatives, and ad spends. However, you will be amazed to see the kind of response and sales you can make from social media shops. This is best for brands, who do not have the budget to maintain e-commerce websites.
4. Discipline and Creativity in Postings:
If you are serious about generating revenues from social media, you need to be serious about postings. This means that you need to maintain a very active presence on social media. By posting regularly (daily) and creatively (images, albums, GIFS, and Videos), you will ensure more engagement.
More engagement directly leads to more revenues. The more people see and engage with your brand, the more likely will they end up buying your product. Brands, which generate the highest revenues from social media, are also the most active ones.
5. Respond to customers and pay attention to Reviews:
These are two assets of social media marketing from a Client Relationship Management perspective. A dedicated CRM team that responds to every engagement- like, share or comment is key to increasing your sales and credibility.
I have seen many brands hide negative reviews as a form of face-saving action. This is wrong. If you are able to win over a consumer in full public glare, you will build astounding levels of credibility. You should always request your active fans and followers for reviews.
6. Influencer Marketing on Social Media:
Most brands complain about the fact that Influencer Marketing on social media is expensive. Yes, they are true. However, with the recent controversies regarding paid followers and engagements of macro and mega influencers, a new trend is emerging.
Brands should turn to micro (>10,000) and nano (>1000) influencers for engagement and promotions. These influencers are not expensive to work with. In addition, they enjoy real engagements and followers. If you are looking to increase revenues or make sales, social media influencers are the real deal.
7. Social Media Ad Spends:
In the past couple of years, data and insights from social media have become optimum for targeting. If you are willing to spend even a small amount of money, you can rest assured of reaching the right audiences.
All social media platforms encourage brands to spend on ads. That is how they earn, given the fact that the platform is free. By running ads (at least once a month), you will experience a healthy sales conversion process. This is also key to bumping up exposure and engagement occasionally.
8. Create amazing Social Media Content:
Even though this point is eighth on the list, it might as well been on the number one position. Creating great content is the number one way in which you can boost your online sales. This will also help you increase your engagement figures and get access to newer audiences.
The responsibility of creating great content starts and ends with your social media marketing services agency. If they are pro-active in creating diverse and attractive content, you will have no problem in convincing your audiences to purchase a product.
More than any other strategy, great content is the key to opening doors for increasing revenues.
9. Offline-Online Integration:
Social media can get unreal sometimes. The alienation factor is somehow inbuilt into the platform. As a brand, if you want to increase revenues from social media, you need to organize some offline events.
This may be done once a quarter, and then be amplified on your social media. It can be topical, or a product launch, or even a basic lunch with your most active followers. By keeping audiences aware of the physical realities, brands can transfer the same energy to their social media pages.
It is critical that brands do some offline activations from time to time. This will also be very beneficial for creating assets for the brand.
10. Be Patient and give it some time:
I have seen numerous brands complain that nothing is happening to their social media. It has fallen stagnant. Yes, this is a reality, and it happens to even the best of brands. Social media platforms are evolving continuously, and strategies need to evolve too.
You can never go with just one strategy on social media. It always has to be a multipronged approach. The investments are for real and have to be done. However, once you are able to get a start, you will flourish. The key is to be patient and try out different strategies from the list that I have stated.
With changing algorithms of social media platforms, what works today, might become redundant tomorrow. However, something else then comes up and takes the mantle of being a best practice. All through this, you need to be patient enough to give it a proper chance.
If you are able to follow the ten strategies mentioned above, you will definitely see a surge in your revenues from social media. There are some dependent strategies, like optimizing your website or maintaining an efficient CRM team. However, in 2019, no brand is shying away from making investments.
This is because everyone has come to accept social media marketing as the best digital marketing initiative. In the coming years, I feel more and more brands will abandon Google and survive only on social media. This is a brave statement to make. If Facebook and others continue innovating, who knows where we land up in the next couple of years.
If you want help regarding any social media marketing service, please feel free to reach out to us.