Social Marketing: A Great Way to Cut Your Marketing Budget

Small companies can save money; large companies can save money too

In recent years, few promotional methods have proven to be as effective as social marketing. It is easily embraced because the companies or organizations are working from what they know and what they have, and all they have to do is create a message that will come across as a social marketing message. It can cut a marketing budget by a great chunk, and the effects are long lasting.

Both small large companies can make great savings:

Small companies, especially those that are starting out, do not usually have a huge chunk of money to spend on marketing. There will be many other start-up operations that will require funds, and cutting marketing costs will positively impact the bottom line. Consider getting a social marketing program in place. It’s also a great way to spread your name virally.

For large companies, there is always a section of the budget that needs trimming and you could make that your budgeting market. You can go out to the market with a social marketing message that builds more than just your brands – it builds your company name too.

Social marketing will mostly utilize the internet as we know it today, and that’s partly why it’s so effective. It allows you to achieve things that you otherwise wouldn’t, like reaching potential clients with both your product and a social message. In a way, you can say that it’s your way of corporate social responsibility, but you’re selling your product too.

Build Your Brand Using Social Marketing

Increase brand awareness, help people live better lives

Social marketing is defined as a way of applying commercial concepts and techniques to non-commercial ends, or the marketing of goods and services to promote the consumer’s or society’s well being. Both ways, it can be a powerful tool, and we’ll see how with these examples below.

Imagine you are a company that makes cereal, and you want to increase awareness around you on the benefits of drinking milk but sell your milk at the same time. You also want to improve your brand name. You know that milk and cereal go together for most people, so you could start a campaign telling people the benefits of taking milk in their diet for a healthy body.

At the same time, you could run a parallel campaign that promotes your cereal, and at the end mentions that milk is a most important part of the diet.

Both of these are social marketing messages. In the first, it there was no self-interest, apart from your company’s logo. In the second, you have explicitly sold a product, but at the same time, you have told people something about their diet that will promote their health in the long run.

There are many campaigns structured like this that have been highly successful. You must always consider your message to the public though, so that you can achieve a social marketing perspective.

Getting to Know Your Customers Through Social Marketing

Feedback for product improvement, feedback to gain customer trust

All kinds of business can use social marketing in various ways and benefit greatly and mostly because it’s a perfect way to use the internet to spread your message. The internet allows direst interaction with clients, and any successful business will tell you that this is an element that boosts any business a great deal. There are 2 major advantages to using social marketing to interact with clients:

You get to refine your products. Because your customers are constantly telling you what they think of your product, you get to know what it is that they need exactly. You will end up with a product that people want, not what you think people want. A social marketing context may also give you more candid views, because in forums such as blogs, people are very open with their views. It’s up to you as a business to use the feedback to improve your product or service.

You are buying trust by directly communicating with your customers. Today, a lot of business is done on the internet and people never get to meet. The least you can do is stay in constant communication with customers so that they feel that they are talking to a living business on the other end. The more you talk to them, the better chance you have of them buying again and again and spreading the word about your products as well.

Social marketing is a great way to get heard by your prospective customers without spending too much money, but more than that, you will be getting to hear them directly and know what they want.

Using Social Marketing to Enhance Communication

Varied communication, more interesting messages

Because social marketing uses the internet to get through to the market a lot of the time, a business can use it to make their message much more interesting than if they were just using regular advertising. Regular advertising is limited because of its expense, and because it limits the means that you can use to pass a message. With social advertising however, you can:

Use links so that you can lead clients to even more information about your product. A link can lead to even more information about a product, video instructions and any other information that can boost sales. Be careful when using links though; you may end up putting up too much information and lose a prospects attention. This variation in information means that you can hold the markets attention for a little longer than before.

The internet has also made marketing messages much more interesting than they were before, because they can be structured in any number of ways. A video is definitely better than a whole page of text describing a certain products benefits. Clever companies use catchy, funny videos that will stick in the memory of clients for a long time. Before when TV was the main mode of this kind of marketing, it worked although it was limited by the huge costs that came with putting up adverts.

Social marketing will allow you to penetrate deeper into a prospects mind and stay there for longer. You have a higher chance to appeal to them and therefore a higher chance that they recognize you and choose your brand or product.

Social Marketing as a Corporate Social Responsibility Boost

Get Respect, Get Loyalty

When the concept of social marketing first came around in the late 1970’s, it was a way for companies to sell their products but pass on a social message as well. It allowed visibility of brands, but this visibility would not necessarily be tied to a product but a certain social message that helped people live better lives. Although most social marketing has moved to the internet today, it is still used by businesses to pass on social messages. Fuel companies have strong social messages against drunk driving, for example. Health organizations send out messages about safe sex and better health. This does two things at once for the business:

It buys them respect. The community sees that you’re not all about just profits, but that you’re interested in seeing a healthy thriving community. Many of the companies that use social advertising will be named as the most respected or the most admired companies in their communities. Respect buys you loyalty. A competitor trying to take your place will have a hard time. The people you serve, your customers, have come to know you as one of their own and one who they can trust. They know that you’re good for them, and it will take a lot of persuasion to get these people to transfer their business elsewhere.

It’s a healthy practice for a business internally as well to concern itself with the community’s well being. It shows responsibility, and it will help employees to feel that they are part of a larger community that appreciates what they do.

Using Social Marketing for Direct Feedback

Direct Feedback, Better Reach

If you are in a business that is constantly looking for feedback, and most businesses should be if they want to stay alive, there is no better way to get it than using social marketing. Social marketing does not speak to a crowd; it speaks to a person. And depending on how you structure your marketing message, you will be able to get your customers to back to you. This is important because of 2 things:

You know immediately things go wrong. Look, for example at the sham that Toyota has been through in the last 2 years. Because they were not getting immediate feedback, they were releasing cars into the market that were potential killer machines. The brakes would either fail, or the accelerator would jam. If they had designed a way to get feedback on the first few pieces of each model they sold, they would have arrested the problem much sooner, saved lives and saved money.

When talking about feedback, reach is important. You want to be able to get feedback from all people who you reach. Social marketing allows you to reach people indiscriminately so long as you place yourself strategically in your niche. This means that you will get feedback from all types of persons and be able to cater for all customer groups.

Direct feedback depends largely on who you are able to reach and how you reach them. Ensure that you design a message that will get you the feedback that you need, reach widely in your selected niche and always ask them to talk back to you.

Social Networking – A Great Way to Build Networks

Build networks; know others who can help your business grow

The business arena today is so competitive that without networks, you have very slim chances of ever making it. People want to get to know each other because they know that knowing people is the only way to create a business. This has been forced largely by the internet – it allows all sorts of people to interact and these interactions will result in different resources and talents being found.

Networks will usually be formed from the small initial group almost virally. If a company with a great product and a catchy marketing messages reaches out to a small group, this group will reach out to others by sharing a link. The link keeps moving on and on, and as it moves on, you find more and more people visiting your website, joining your blog, joining your online club and just keeping it going. These networks are where you will get ideas, where you will source for talent and even new markets.

As all this is happening, your product is selling too. You are getting to know people who either need your product or who know people who do. There is almost no better way for a business to grow, because its low cost and one some level, you can call it low maintenance. All you have to do is stay engaged with your networks for an hour or 2 every day and the results start to trickle in.

If you are going to use social marketing, make sure that you don’t come across as a viral message. Some viral messages get away with it, but not all. It could kill your business if each time someone receives an email about your company, they treat it as spam.

Using Search Engines to Get Seen Faster

Search Engine Preference for Social Marketing, Cheaper and More Reliable Internet Exposure

The best approach to your social marketing campaign should be one the focuses on getting seen on the best social marketing websites on the internet. There are many arguments for and against being on these websites, but many businesses confess that the exposure that they have gained has helped them boost sales much faster and in markets they would never have reached before. This is because of 2 things:

Search engines have a preference for these sites meaning that they are always getting visited more and more because they are always visible. These sites, because of their nature, get together all kinds of people. The variation is immense. You will be reaching out to a great number of potential customers, and you will be doing this through a page that’s already ranked.

It costs very little to get a social marketing message going on a social website. In fact, sometimes it’s free, and it has the potential to give great returns. There is no time in the history of trade and commerce when a marketing message could reach so many people but cost so little.

Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the reasons that some people think that social marketing may not be such a good idea, because depending on the business you’re in, they might affect you.

Get to Know Your Customers Again with Social Marketing

Re-familiarize, Spend little money doing it

If you work for a huge company that has been there for so long that you don’t feel like you know your market any more, social marketing is a great way to reach out to the public and get people talking about you again. There are companies that for decades enjoyed business domination because there was really nothing that upset the status quo; they were market leaders and they remained there. But the radical shift in the way of doing business today has made some of them to get pushed to the side. They can regain their position using social marketing.

The other advantage to this is that it will cost very little. A big conglomerate that wants to get to know its customers all over again only needs to go out there with a cleverly crafted social marketing message. Since they already had their initial appeal and the market knows them, it will be easy for them to get attention again. And they will not have lost the trust that the market had in them from days back; that’s a great leveraging point.

Both these advantages can mean a big boost to the bottom line. Products that were previously slow moving will start to move again, and the advertising market for them will be very little. If you want to get a good glimpse of how effective this is, read up on the resurgence of Hush Puppies – they barely spent any money, but Hush Puppies, which were a dead brand, started to sell again in huge numbers.

Using Social Marketing to Give Information and Free Products

Pass information, Pass out freebies

One of the great things about social marketing is that you can do more than just market. You can pass on information. Good companies know that the quality of information that they pass out and how they pass it out matters. Customers and prospects want quality information related to your brand. They want to be able to learn something and at the same time they don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for this information. Free reports are one of the most popular things that you will find on any good website. This method of using social marketing creates 2 advantages:

You pass on useful information. Despite the evolution of social marketing into more of internet marketing than what it was before, you will have stuck with its original intention which was to pass on information that helped people lead better lives and societies become better. This is a great way to buy goodwill and respect for any business.

You will be gaining trust. People look up to you for great, on time and up to date information. They know they can rely on you, and not just because you sell the great products but because you educate them too. They know that they don’t have to sift through the net looking for information relation to your product – you have already given it to them. Many will stick with you for just this.

People love free things and one of the ways to pass on free information is to use your social marketing campaign as the media.


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