I love Marketing. To me, it is one of the most dynamic aspects of being in business. Just look at the rapid changes we have made globally in the past 40 years since the delivery of the first email in 1971. 20 years later the world went ‘Social’ with MySpace and Facebook born in 2003 and 2004, and YouTube and Twitter not far behind in 2005 and 2006. Since then social media has grown at an exponential rate with new platforms constantly being created and with it new methods and means of marketing.
Life has become a constant stream of status updates, photos and tweets. 24 percent of time spent on the internet in Australia is now dedicated to social media networks. Additionally, with half of all Australians now owning a smartphone, many spend up to 12 hours per week accessing the internet using mobile devices. Social media has become a form of constant communication, a way we talk to each other and touch base with each other’s lives.
This phenomenon of online communication is undeniable, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t understand the basis of most social network sites. How often, this week alone have you caught yourself with the phrase “Yes I saw you mentioned that on… (insert your preferred Social Media site here)?”.
In the same short few years, businesses have shied away from traditional forms of marketing – such as flyers and newspaper ads, to more interactive and virtual forms online. Even in online marketing, selling and promoting products, services and brands can take on many shapes and forms, all of which is determined by your target media and social platform of choice.
It is due to this constant ongoing communication that businesses need to be aware that social media marketing isn’t a box merely to be ticked or a campaign to be launched and forgotten. It’s about thinking differently about your marketing, customer service and your entire business. That is the exciting aspect of marketing, it is constantly happening whether you and your brand are involved or not. Wouldn’t you rather be involved, steering the conversation and honing your target market?
Social media makes it possible for you to have more meaningful interactions with your target market without appearing intrusive. Once you have developed the art of attracting your target market (marketing) through targeted, relevant, shareable and valuable content, then converting them into customers, you have a customer base that will come back again and again. “People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.” Malorie Lucich, Facebook Spokesperson
Marketing is now moving towards more meaningful interactions between customers and brands where they can voice their opinions in a communal “Social” setting. People love being involved in discussion and conversations; it is an effective way of gaining their trust. You become believable, trustworthy and a business they can go to when they need the ‘right’ answers. The future of marketing is no longer about making the sale, it is about bridging the gap between your brand and your customers and creating relationships that will last beyond the next “new” social platform.