5 Points to ponder upon when using Social Media for Marketing

Social media has rapidly emerged as the most powerful form of marketing and market research the world has ever seen.

With internet dramatically changing the pace, scale, and cost of communication, social media (i.e. talking to people) gives you an awesomely Inexpensive and effective way to build trust to help increase your sales conversions.

Yet there are some lesser known, yet interesting facts for aspiring Entrepreneurs.

1. Use Social Media to Listen

Social media is a tool for listening, not just talking.  “Grow bigger ears” (in Chris Brogan’s phrase) and listen on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs if you:

  • Want ideas for products that are an instant hit
  • Want to know the common customer pain points or usage complains, so that you can design your own innovative solutions
  • Want to design better service offerings, listen to common doubts or misgivings people have while buying or using existing services

2. Use Social Media to develop your Marketing Strategy

Contrary to popular belief, social media is not "just for teenagers." Take a look at 10 Social Media statistics that will make you rethink your social strategy

  • The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket
  • Twitter’s monthly mobile users total 211 million
  • Facebook has 1.35 billion monthly active users and 864 million daily active users
  • Average time spent per Facebook user per day is 21 minutes
  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.
  • Social media has overtaken porn as the no.1 activity on the web
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business

You should have a sound social media strategy if these user statistics or age bracket fit into your target demographics

3. Bust the common myths - Social Media is not a magic wand

You company maybe on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media yet your campaigns may not be performing as well as they could be. There are still some misconceptions about how to use social media to drive sales. Jay Baer in this article and Forbes investigates some common myths about social networking for business.

If your campaign doesn't go viral, it was probably still worth the effort.  You do not need to spend hours a day on Twitter. Social media can never replace your website. Facebook advertising drives "likes" and also customers.  When done correctly, advertising on Facebook can help your company increase its online footprint, fans, and customer engagement--for the express purpose of attracting new customers and bringing back current customers more often. It's also an incredibly powerful tool for encouraging existing customers to refer new ones and to build loyalty to your brand.

Blogging is never a waste of time. You do not have to be on every social network. Last but not the least, Social media cannot replace real-life networking.

4. Social Media Marketing Costs

Though major social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube are all free to use, hidden costs always exist when implementing a social media marketing campaign. These costs might include spending hours developing a social strategy, creating content assets, posting updates, and responding to customers.

To create an active and engaging social media promotion, you need someone who prioritizes and implements the plan, manages the messaging, and monitors the mediums for customer feedback. 

5. Leverage other people’s followings

By inviting people to share your content on social media, you’ll be able to reach many, many more people than you could with much less time and effort than building your own following. By inviting people, it allows them to be involved with what you’re doing and help spread the word in the only way they can.

Ellen DeGeneres's 2014 Oscar selfie made a huge social media splash. Taken with a Samsung Galaxy during the broadcast, it broke the record for the most retweeted photo on Twitter. 

Last but not the least Social media is for everyone. It is rapidly changing how small businesses connect with customers—from Taxi Driver Devesh Mishra in Banaras who does amazing business by leveraging his video on YouTube to nonprofit organizations sharing visual stories on Facebook that touch the hearts of thousands. TED India leveraged Social Media (especially Twitter) to fill 800 seats.

Get inspired: See 14 Must-See Social Media Marketing Success Stories

Must Watch:  20 Indian social media success stories of 2014 that will leave you speechless.