Social media marketing is often believed by organizational heads to be free of cost. However, this is a false notion. Advertisers who choose social media giants such as Facebook, Yelp, YouTube or MySpace soon discover advertising is not free. Organizations can promote their brands through viral channels after assessing the advertising cost. Social media networks offer self-serve advertising and high-end customized sponsored programs for a premium price. An advertising campaign can cost as little as $25 for a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign or as much as several hundred thousand dollars. The amount of exposure a brand receives is equivalent to their willingness to pay. Organizations with shallow pockets can utilize live support for website and other alternatives to engage their customers.
Small businesses can compete with organizations that have more brand awareness and deep pockets by improving the quality of their product offerings and customer service. A memorable shopping experience for customers has the power to convert them into brand evangelists. Satisfied customers can promote the business through word-of-mouth advertising. They can recommend their favorite brand on social media, in person or over the phone and on third party review sites. According to Crowdtap, a social marketing platform, 92% of consumers rely upon peer recommendations to purchase a product. Friends and family on Facebook influence 70% while 61% of consumers are influenced when spoken to over the phone or in person.
Online businesses can engage customers by making their website more interactive. In fact, 58% of all consumers are influenced by a branded website. Organizations can enhance the look-and-feel of their website by integrating polls, customer testimonials, picture galleries, and informational videos. E-commerce websites can also add website live support. It is another customer-oriented feature that gives organization the leverage over customers. Live support for website hires a global operation team situated in South Asian and South Asian countries. Website live support operators give visitors their undivided attention. They resolve queries, take orders, receive feedback and push links to influential webpages on their site.
Even though these feasible options can engage customers in a better way, businesses should consider experimenting with other social media channels. Blogging platforms can increase customer traffic to the official business website. Blog are updated frequently and give a thorough description of the products and services. Browsers can “re-tweet” or “repost” comments to social networks such as Twitter or Facebook, and other blogs in order to share the information with their peers. LinkedIn is another social media channel which organizations can use to promote themselves. It is a professional business-related networking site. This promotional website allows companies to interact with their customers, generate sale leads and acquire business partners. Members can also promote their social networking activities such blog entries and Twitter streams.
Joe Tripodi, chief marketing officer of The Coca-Cola Company expresses, “Awareness is fine, but advocacy will take your business to the next level.” An organization can implement these and other engagement strategies to convert their customers into brand advocates. This is not to say advertising on Facebook shouldn’t happen. After all, Facebook is the king of all social media networks with 1 billion users. It is more important to meticulously research which option(s) will help your company expand operations without breaking the budget.