Nowadays, when people hear about a new business, they’d immediately check social media to see if the new business has a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page. It seems to be the present way of verifying a business’s legitimacy. If you don’t have an online presence, you’d fall behind your competitors, because the market now practically lives in social media.
Because of social media’s growing importance in people’s lives, it has become a specific digital marketing strategy. And one that all businesses must adopt. Even old brands that didn’t need social media to thrive back in the day are active on it now, too. Think of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Stella Artois, and more. They made it big without a huge online presence, but now, they also consider social media essential in their marketing plans, like any other younger brand.
A brand’s social media presence does more than boost its credibility and increase brand awareness. More importantly, it helps them get to know their market better. Indeed, all it takes today to read an individual’s personality is to look at their social media profile. The things they post and share tell a lot about their hobbies, interests, and even deep, personal thoughts.
Hence, if you want to attract a specific niche in the market, social media’s your tool. But how does it really help when you won’t be looking at the profiles of each of your target customers?
Social Media Helps You Create a Market Segment
A market segment makes up your target market. The two terms aren’t the same, because a target is highly specific, whereas a segment is still pretty broad. To define the latter term, it’s a group of people who share one or more common characteristics, clustered together for marketing purposes.
Social media helps you create an effective market segmentation strategy because social networking sites allow you to view their users’ demographics. Demographics are a person’s age, gender, income, profession, location, education, marital or family status, and ethnic background. They are basic information that allows you to ultimately define your target market.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you’d check out random social media users’ profiles. Instead, you’d simply research where the market is most active; is it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Perhaps even LinkedIn. Once you’ve found out what site they use the most, you can create a specific segment for their group.
Each market segment is unique. And unlike a target market, which is a very specific niche, your business can sell products to more than one market segment. Banks are the perfect example of a business that does this. Their loan programs are designed for people of various income levels. If they want to sell a low-interest loan, they’d advertise to the market segment with the lower income. The bank’s advertisers would place their ads on that group’s feeds so that when they browse social media, they’d come across the ad and become aware that such a type of loan exists.
Social Media Allows You to Beta-test Your Ads
If you want to test your market’s reactions to your new ad, what better place to do it than Youtube? Many brands actually upload their new ads on Youtube before launching them on TV. And it’s an ingenious move because Youtube is free and gives results almost instantly. If your market happens to be unsatisfied with the ad, they can state their feedback in the comments, giving you time to re-assess your ad and make necessary changes.
As a result, even if your ad turns out to be a flop, you won’t lose much, because it’s not yet released on TV, where the masses can see it. You can perform damage control before your reputation gets hurt. And that’s all because of Youtube or Twitter users who expressed their dissatisfaction with your ads.
Once you’ve made the changes and reuploaded your ad, your second round of beta-tests may result in better feedback. Your market may even increase their respect for you because you listened to their comments and suggestions. You also can earn their higher trust and loyalty in turn.
Social Media Allows You to Engage With Your Customers
Nothing can make you understand a person better than talking to them. You may not be able to speak with each of your customers, but the simple acts of replying to their comments, reposting their content about your brand, and posting polls show that you’re making an effort to understand their behaviors and needs. Without social media, engaging with your customers on a deeper level wouldn’t have been possible.
Overall, social media’s role in helping you understand your market is serving as a communication tool. Just by looking at your market’s comments, posts, likes, and shares, you’d already get a grasp on what they expect from brands, allowing you to tailor your marketing strategy according to those expectations.