Social Media’s Role in Strengthening Online presence for Business Growth
Authored by Ankoor Dasguupta, Vice President - Content, Social and Creative, ARM Worldwide
The way I look at social media – people and more people are scrolling through their feeds every day, looking to discover fresh content and engage with their favourite brands.
Talking about some numbers, so that we see the potential depth of the social ocean, with 1.42 billion population, 0.627 billion number of mobile internet users in India and 0.467 active social media users, the opportunity of reaching out to target cohorts is only getting better via digital, where social being a key area of focus for brands, products and businesses. Also, a recent report says India has world’s largest youth cohort with 25.4 crore in 15 to 24 age bracket.
The freedom to express, with power in the hands of the users to create content has become a pivotal part of our daily lives. Social is an integral part of digital communication. Social platforms are undeniably become a key touch point in the non-linear consumer journey today and with evolving technology and algorithms, from a marketing standpoint, it is imperative for business to have Social Media plan of action to thrive.
When platforms such as Orkut. Facebook started, the core objective was to connect friends, family, business contacts and having a network of people to communicate on similar interests. At the core was community building in the hands of people. However, social media has evolved to social commerce as well with the variety of content growing leaps and bounds.
With a population of 1.42 billion people and counting, India is now the second most populous country in the world and one of the fastest growing economies, making it a fertile ground for social media marketers, who are always on the lookout for new ways to reach out to consumers of all stripes and sizes.
Today, we will highlight top 5 points that are helping social in strengthening online presence for growth of business -
Building loyalty and awareness via consistency
A consumer’s impression of a brand is like a mosaic, being made up of many individual touch points. Hence when driving a narrative for a brand on social media, it needs to have consistency with a base tonality (brand voice) and of course the campaign narrative that must compliment the brand voice. Also, the innate potential of social platforms to bring in or connect new audiences leads to immense possibilities to fuel up conversations ties back to your product or brand. In addition, social media promotion can augment inbound traffic, by sharing content at strategic times of the day, we could also get a lot more shares on links to reach a much wider audience that can then boost the website traffic.
Building Return on Relationships
The opportunity in abundance, driven by social media is making people and businesses think on the lines of not only building but maintaining value-added relationships, leading to one level deeper than say ROI, which is ROR. Influencer Marketing could be the catalyst where Social media influencers are used to advertise the brand’s products or services. A way of promoting their products on the social media channels helped by a marketing strategist.
RoR (Return on Relationship) is the value accrued by a person or a brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI (Return on Investment) is simple dollars and cents. RoR is the value (perceived and real) that will accrue over time through loyalty, recommendations, and sharing (ref. RoR (Return on Relationship) - The Brand SERP Specialists (kalicube.com)
For measuring, it is imperative to examine the correspondence between relationship intensity (triggered by interactions) and accumulated time period to see how these two dimensions contribute towards RoR and what other things emerge from this correspondence. Hence, RoR mapped from social could be potential growth driver for businesses See Figure below.
Catalyst in Customer Service
Efficient and quick customer service is not optional but mandatory and social media has enabled the technology to make it easier for customers to reach you directly without having to go through multiple/ long waiting phone calls. This helps giving each user individual attention and provide them with personalised solutions. With technologies such as social listening and sentiment analysis, managing reputation of a brand today has become more defined, deeper and data driven, that boils down to the overarching umbrella of customer service.
Fuelling Social Commerce
Digitally connected Indians spend an average of three hours per day online, of which more than two hours are consumed by messaging, social media networking and watching videos. Does this say something? Well, yes.
In addition to building trust, social commerce meets growing consumer demand for:
greater product variety and customization
a feeling of community connection
a bargaining experience similar to offline purchases; and
a fun and engaging shopping experience.
Lower Ad costs
The thing is, social media platforms allow us to create highly targeted ads, which can be customized according to our audience’s needs. Facebook Ads, for instance, allows to target your customers by age, gender, education level, location and even user behaviour. And today, the planning of media boils down to Reach and Frequency which can be optimized well via social.
Concluding Note: To conclude, having a social media presence for any business is quintessential today and considering new developments in content creation, algorithms and monetization, it extends the much-needed exposure and helps boost your brand awareness efficiently.