Social media once seemed to be a rather superfluous thing, a way to whittle away some time, see what friends were up to, and maybe occasionally re-connect with someone from your past. However, as the evolution of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest have shown, social media has morphed from side time waster to a full blown research and marketing tool. People follow their favourite companies, brands, and even take a look at what celebrities and friends are recommending. In other words, the evolution of these sites has come a long way.
You could make the argument that nothing has ever changed the retail landscape like online shopping. From the rise of Amazon delivering pretty much anything you want a day or two later, to being able to click a screen and buy anything from the security of your own home, online retail has changed the game.
Social media has come along and changed that even further. In fact, social platforms with smart online marketing and targeting technology has helped to really change the game. Maybe even revolutionised the way companies and brands can reach out. Friends talk about a product which builds trust, and that targeting technology now puts the brand or item in front of a new potential buyer. For Millenniels and Gen Z, that trust is important and advanced targeting ad technology makes all the difference.
There’s no question that one of the major disappointing experiences many people have shared is ordering something online and then not receiving what you expected. Online reviews are a great addition that can make a difference, but with so many fake reviews (both positive and negative) out there, it can be frustrating to separate the wheat from the chaff and get what you want.
However with social media companies who rip off customers will be lambasted and those stories can spread like wildfire. Many customers have unparalleled abilities to contact the company. Whether leaving positive thoughts, negative criticisms, or seeing what real people are actually saying about the company has made social media not only a powerful place for marketing but also a strong potential source of information and community building or interaction.
Social media’s ability to create trust, paint a brand’s message, and more has led to the rise of social media influencers across platforms. These can be celebrities who endorse products or brands, niche celebrities who can pitch brands to a trusted following, and more. These individuals have plenty of attention, have built trust with their audience, and when they talk about favourite products, places, or brands, people listen.
All the major social media platforms have individuals who can do amazing things for a brand – and often create massive sales even when they’re not being paid. This can be from a celebrity or music star wearing an outfit to mentioning some item that has impressed them. In some cases an influencer even has to be careful of what they recommend. One example of this is Tim Ferriss who has commented that when he has named specific brands that were really small businesses, the “Tim Ferriss Effect” unintentionally caused so many sales and backlogs that the brands collapsed when not being able to scale up.
This just shows the power social influencers can have.
Using social media for your business means you have to look beyond shopping. While social media can drive serious traffic and therefore serious business, it’s important to recognize that creating an online community, a brand message, is a crucial part of any online effort and that includes social media. And if you want to know more about the services for social media marketing in Hampshire, there are people who can help. Your social media should be a place where customers, fans, and reviewers all meet and you want to make sure you’re not blindly just pitching. Build that trust, build that community, and it will pay off in big ways.