What is the first thing that you check every morning? If the answer is your smart phone, then there is every possibility that the first thing you check is either your Facebook feed or your Instagram profile, or just a short video on YouTube to kick start your day. Today, an average user spends a humungous amount of time online, and almost all users engage in social media 25% of the times while more than 33% of internet use is happening via mobile.
With such high amount of social media usage around the world; it would be technically correct to declare this phenomenon a ‘digital traffic’. And that is what most businesses are searching for today. To roll out their products and services on platforms which draw millions of eye balls within a short span of time. Gone are the days when businesses hired staff for distributing pamphlets and newsletters at every door-step. Social media is the new door-step (or perhaps even more). It has successfully infiltrated every house and office, and the ease with which it can be accessed needs no explanation.
According to one report; during the summer period in Australia, we see a significant increase in social media activities as people take time off from schools and work. For the year 2017, the same report reveals that:
- 60% Australians use Facebook.
- 50% Australians use YouTube.
- 20% Australians use Instagram, and
- 67% Australians use Snapchat.
From the above numbers, it is worth noting that almost 65.8% of the Australian population is an active monthly user on Facebook. A whopping 6% rise from its last update in 2016. Other social media websites have also witnessed similar trends and the forecast shows further increase.
Here is how social media can benefit your business:
- Becoming visible
Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of social media business today is that it makes you visible. Truly, if you know how to use that internet connection of yours, you can gain valuable competitive advantage as you can market freely virtually. It gives you the visibility that even the biggest ad campaign cannot provide and what’s more, the more you are searched for, the more you will appear on new searches.
- Convenient promotions
There is no better way of sharing anything today. If you need to talk about that amazing cheesecake that you bake or the designer dress that you are looking to promote, all you need to do is click a picture and share it. Social media does the rest. The most effective tool for sharing content is letting your content talk. And that is exactly what social media provides us with. A provides you with a platform where you can show off your skills and that too for free. Well, most of the times.
- Ease of payment
Social media has led to an exponential increase in online purchasing. If you’re staring at a huge credit card bill at the end of every month, chances are that you’ve spent your money on online purchases which are ultimately governed by social media advertisement.
- Keep yourselves updates
If not anything else, than one major benefit is that you can keep an eye on what your competitor is doing. You can follow his strategy or even outsmart him. And what’s the up? All this information is for free. There was a time when people would burn huge amounts of cash trying to understand their competitors’ strategy. But today, it is out there for anyone who cares to check. Of course, all the information is not free. Big data has become the talk of the day. But if you are just a small business looking for simpler strategies, you don’t have to worry about big data just now.
- Invaluable relationships
This is the most understated benefit of social media marketing. The kind of access that social media gives us, we cannot even fathom what that implies.
In the vertical value chain, 2 types of relationships can be forged:
- Relationships with other businesses
You can also partner with various digital marketing sites to generate valuable traffic for your business. You can also partner with them to tap into their customer base. A recent example of this can be seen in India, wherein the Chinese Alibaba Group bought shares of the Indian Paytm to tap into its market place. This also gives us an insight into how today social media has made business possible across the globe with proper logistical services.
- Relationships with customers
Customers can order, ask queries and just surf through the offering from the comfort of their house. There is always an option of communication if they have any doubts, and any good business will want to make the most of this opportunity. Social media provides just the right set of conditions needed to create a loyal consumer base. But it needs to be on both the ends.
Social media businesses also work on the concept of ‘online word of mouth’ as it does not take much time for a good (and affordable) product and service to reach new ears among groups of people who use instant messaging apps for regular communication. According to a discussion on Quora, the most popular IMs (Instant Messaging) apps in Australia are WhatsApp, Facebook, Line and Wechat. Nowadays, the term ‘viral’ is very commonly used to describe the exponential growth in fame of any social media entity, and businesses are not far away from utilising this flow.
There was a time when social media was considered by some as a passing mania. Something for ‘the kids’ to play with and not to be used professionally. That is not the case anymore. Thanks to their developers, social media is now listed among the essentials for human survival. It is a philia for many and addiction to others. It is through social media that talents have sprouted and small businesses have become marketing giants. The cynics have twisted their case against social media from ‘optional’ to ‘essential’ in front of a jury which involves the common people.
Working as a marketing analyst for OZCodes, Shweta P, a valuable social media influencer, has also set her foot in technology and career related fields. She pursues a hobby of blogging and has acted as prime contributor for many resourceful pieces of research.