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How has social media affected marketing?

Author: Julia Beutel

Publication date: 01.02.2024

Whether it's Twitter hashtag campaigns or TikTok dances, you can’t deny that social media has changed the entire digital marketing world. Internet users waste more than 1/3 of their time on social media. Find out what impact social media can have on your business.

Social media isn’t a new concept, but it’s creating new opportunities for businesses to reach a broader community every day. Furthermore, social media is used to share content a lot quicker and further than using traditional marketing channels. This allows companies to reach their potential customers more efficiently. 

digital marketing world

Positive impact of social media marketing

1. Increased brand loyalty

Social media is an effective tool for connecting with customers, whether that’s through responding to comments or sharing customer feedback. For this reason, working with influencers and sharing user-generated content are other positive effects which social media has on brand loyalty.

2. Increased brand awareness

Consumers become more familiar with a brand when they see its content frequently on their social media feed. They might even develop a positive perception and recognize the brand easily. When users are aware of a business, they are more likely to consider it when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, establishing brand awareness on social media is essential for building credibility and driving sales.

3. Improved customer engagement

Interacting with customers through posts and comments helps build a strong emotional connection between the brand and the target audience. What’s more, responding to customers’ inquiries shows respect and interest in their opinions. As a result, this makes the customers feel heard and valued which further strengthens the bond. 

4. Affordable marketing 

Social media marketing is typically more affordable compared to other traditional marketing channels, such as billboards or TV ads. Even small companies can reach a wide audience on social media for a relatively small budget. This gives social media marketing a big advantage and helps businesses to grow faster. 

5. Targeted advertising

Social media allows businesses to create advertisements that are relevant to specific demographics, interests, and preferences of the consumers. Hence, your marketing efforts will reach the right target audience because of the precise targeting.

Negative impact of social media marketing

1. Increased customer power

Social media gives customers a powerful voice to share their feelings and opinions about a brand, whether it’s positive or negative. While receiving positive feedback might be helpful, negative comments can harm your brand reputation immediately. As a result, the growing influence of customers has compelled businesses to become more attentive and responsive to their customers’ needs and concerns.

2. Data privacy concerns

Many consumers have justified concerns regarding data privacy. Actually, users share a considerable amount of personal information on social media. Consequently, this forms a digital footprint that can be vulnerable to potential misuse

3. Negative effects of an offensive post

Social media is a powerful tool to reach and engage with customers, but it comes with a downside. Once something is shared which might be considered as controversial, it can spread like a wildfire and damage a company’s image. So, deleting the post might not be sufficient, as people can take screenshots and share it on other platforms. 

Example: Apple’s Shot on iPhone campaign

Apple’s Shot on iPhone campaign

Apple has effectively used user-generated content to produce their social media campaign for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max cameras. Instead of creating their own campaign, Apple let its users showcase the new cameras. In particular, they encouraged people to submit photos with the hashtags #ShotoniPhone and #iPhonemacrochallenge. Apple even turned this into a contest where they selected 10 winning photos to feature on its marketing channels.

The impact of social media marketing

Social media has significantly changed the marketing landscape by introducing new communication channels, targeted advertising and altering consumer behaviors. Companies now have direct engagement with customers, user-generated content, and interactive campaigns for a lower budget

However, always remember that social media has challenges. Rapidly spreading controversial posts and data privacy concerns should always be considered. If used effectively, social media offers significant benefits for businesses in terms of customer engagement and loyalty, brand awareness and increased sales.

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