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Social Media Marketing

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Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst 

Social media has changed the way we live our lives. Today everything from news to the way we interact with our friends and family is via the different platforms of social media, from Facebook to Instagram, to Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media is the new superpower and it’s here to stay. 

Social media presence nowadays is like having a unique identity. If you do not have a social media presence today as an individual or a company, you are equal to being invisible. Using the power of social media to boost your business for sales is the fastest and the most successful marketing strategy currently available. This platform is perfect to market your products and services because social media never sleeps. The average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide is close to 145 minutes per day, approximately 3 hours per day. 4.2 billion people worldwide that consume social media for almost three or more hours gives companies a huge advantage to market their products and services to 4.2 billion people on different platforms altogether.

The duration between 1995 – 2002 saw the emergence of social media as a platform for marketing. Companies began marketing through blogs and started to get noticed, thanks to Google’s search engines and the Search Engine Optimization that followed soon after. 

How effective has social media marketing become since its start?

Over 90% of marketing executives use social media as part of their marketing strategies and businesses have started utilizing social media marketing for branding, lead generation, customer retention, research, and e-commerce. 

There are two ways to gauge how to measure a company’s business growth using social media, via an analytics tool called Social Media Analytics. A business that would want to target a large group of people at once would use social media ads, also called social media advertising. 

The Five steps involved in creating a successful social media marketing campaign is:

1. Strategy Planning and Publishing

2. Listening and Engagement

3. Analytics and Reporting

4. Advertising

1. Strategy – for any social media marketing campaign to succeed you need a strategy. First, it depends on your goals, then your target audience, and then the type of content you want to share. For example, Fortune Magazine uses social media to create brand awareness – Heather Muse the social media editor for Fortune Magazine says that “The main objective we have is to grow our brand. Social is a place where we can own our brand and promote it. We pay a lot of attention to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ to promote our content and breaking news, to get our stuff out there.” Read more at https://buffer.com/resources/buffer-case-study-fortune/

2. Planning and Publishing – A social media marketing campaign is more effective when you have a well-established online presence on social media. Publishing on social media is as simple as posting a blog, video, or image on any social media platform. The difference between posting on your profiles and a business profile is that you have to cater to your targeted audience depending on your goals before posting on your business profiles which requires prior planning. Now some tools can help you post online at the right time and frequency. Some of those tools are Hootsuite, Zoho Social, Sendible, Keyhole, and many more.

3. Listening and Engagement – Social media is all about listening, observation, and engagement. The more you engage with your audience via the comments on your social media posts, the more customers you attract to your brand. Not all comments will be positive, there will be a mix of positive and negative comments. With the positive comments, you can attract more new customers and with the negative comments, you can provide support if required and keep the not-so-happy customers. Social media monitoring tools are an efficient way to track your social media mentions, messages, posts, and people who have tagged your business’s social media profile, so that you can work on creating similar posts that your customers look forward to seeing from your brand, in a way creating your unique brand identity.

4. Advertising – listening, and engagement is the most organic way of promoting your brand. A more effective way that provides the most results is social media advertising if you have the necessary funds to opt for it. Social media advertising also helps in creating ads for your target audience, so that your ads reach the people that you want and that want you. For example, Buffer a social media toolkit for businesses used Facebook ads to promote their blog posts. Social media ads are a sure-shot way to drive leads and sales and in turn, grow your company.

Social Media Advertising done right!

The second most popular strategy in social media marketing is Social Media Advertising. 83% of marketers used social media advertising in the last two years and ranked the second most used technique to drive sales after Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Amul is the perfect example of brand visibility, their social media marketing strategy of creating ads on topical subjects has made their brand a household name. The star of their social media marketing strategy is their brand mascot Amul Butter Girl, who is a hit among all age groups from kids to old people. Let’s look at a few social media posts created by the brand that went viral:

1. The Introduction of the Amul Butter Girl:
Amul girl’s first ever public appearance on billboards back in 1966 was the start of the most successful advertising campaign that has run it’s course for 50 years now. Started by Dacunha and Fernandes, this mascot has taken over social media with a storm thanks to their topical ads that feature the Amul Butter Girl. The introduction of this advertisement was direct and garnered immediate and positive response from the audience. The campaign also witnessed a marked increase in butter sales the following week.

The amul ads since their inception have never been the one to shy away from making a strong statement and have always created ads that cater to social awareness and one such ad that gathered enough attention was the ad that was created back in 1978 about the first test-tube baby.

A few more favorable mentions include:

Source: https://www.amul.com/m/amul-hits?s=2021&l=1
On completing vaccination for 100 crore Indians in the month of October 2021.
Source: https://www.amul.com/m/amul-hits?s=2021&l=5
First Indian woman to win two Olympic medals in the month of August 2021.

2. Nykaa:

Nykaa is yet another popular ecommerce platform with more than 400 brands and 35,000 products of beauty and wellness, thanks to their social media presence. With the help of influencers they have created a unique brand for themselves in the beauty and wellness category. They maintain an active blog by providing makeup tips and other content related to the fashion and beauty world.

3. Zomato India:

A company that understands their audience really well has already learnt the secret to a successful social media marketing strategy and Zomato is one such company. They know that the way to peoples heart is through their stomach and these days it’s through their social media profiles. They come up with the most entertaining and engaging content that hooks their target audience to their brand and urges them to come back for more. Let’s look at one of the many social media posts by Zomato that made quite a buzz:

4. Netflix India:

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

The culture of binge-watching movies or tv shows all through the night or day is not something new to the younger generation. Nowadays it has become quite popular among the older generations as well. Watching TV has become almost obsolete, thanks to the biggest names in OTT like Netflix India, Amazon Prime, Disney Hotstar. Many other smaller streaming platforms have also started making a name for themselves, creating a host of options for people to choose and consume.

A report titled ‘India CTV Report 2021’ says that 78 percent of people surveyed owned a Smart TV and 93 percent of these users are interested in internet-based content. The majority of the people are young urban adults who are already mobile-friendly.

Let’s look at Netflix India as an example. Streaming movies and TV shows on OTT platforms like Netflix India have made video consumption a multi-screen experience for consumers to watch anything they want at any time and anywhere. It’s been six years since Netflix India launched, and it has taken over the OTT viewing experience in India by storm. Now how did they do that, let’s find out.

Engagement through Similarities:
One of the main reasons for their surge in popularity is their social media strategy. Social media marketing is all about creating engagement and Netflix India has hit the jackpot with this strategy. Almost half a decade of offering services in the country has given Netflix India plenty of time to feel the pulse of the viewers here.

After Facebook the other stalwart in social media is Instagram. Netflix India has used Instagram to leverage their popularity. Showcasing two images with some connection between the different characters. This method is a unique way of informing the consumers of the different kinds of content they offer, from local to Global content. Finding similar scenes, especially when it comes to those depicting a blooming romance in different shows and movies seems to be a popular post type. In a few instances, they have also linked to stories that have no connection to create a third story, almost in a way a fan would create fanfiction.

Memes and Topicals:
Displaying two unrelated shows/movies brings fictional characters into the realms of reality, via social media. Netflix India has quite often used this strategy through memes to increase engagement and attract consumers to watch or rewatch their favorite movies/ TV shows. This strategy also acts as a promotional strategy to introduce their new movies or TV shows.

Using the Power of Subtitle:
Have you ever watched a movie or TV show that reminded you of a similar movie or TV show? Maybe a song or dialogue or the whole story? This feeling is what Netflix India has used to their advantage on Instagram. The comparisons or connections are not necessarily from the same language, it is a combination of different languages.

Connecting the Indian and the Global Audience:
The language of love is similar across the globe. You will find similar stories across different languages. Emotions you go through during misunderstandings and heartbreaks. To promote their new movie called Mismatched, Netflix India used the same storyline as Sex Education in their Instagram posts, so that the consumers got an idea of what is in store for them when they watch the movie Mismatched. Clubbing a new series and popular hit show is a sure-shot way of bringing Indian and global viewers together.

Conclusion

So you must be wondering what the future of social media marketing looks like? Let me tell it looks very promising for sure.

1. 64% of marketers plan to invest more in short-form video in 2022.
2. 58% of marketers plan to leverage Instagram Reels in 2022.
3. The number of Youtube users is projected to reach 2.8 million by 2025. (Statista)
4. 44% of marketers plan to leverage Youtube for the first time in 2022.

Trends such as social media lives, AR and AI-powered chatbots are here to change the future of social media marketing. Influencer marketing is slowly gaining popularity among businesses. 49% of consumers depend on Influencer recommendations and 40% had purchased something after seeing it on Youtube and Instagram.

Sources:
https://buffer.com/social-media-marketing#
https://online.maryville.edu/blog/evolution-social-media/
https://digitalready.co/blog/indian-brands-creating-a-buzz-on-social-media
https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-statistics/
https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-statistics/
https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/over-70-users-in-india-spend-up-to-four-hours-watching-ott-content-on-smart-tv-7496674/#:~:text=Over%2070%25%20users%20in%20India,Technology%20News%2CThe%20Indian%20Express
www.socialsamosa.com/2021/01/netflix-indian-global-content-parallels-instagram-strategy/
https://shanebarker.com/blog/future-of-social-media-marketing/
https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23865/13-mind-bending-social-media-marketing-statistics.aspx
https://sproutsocial.com/insights/influencer-marketing/
https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/20-influencer-marketing-statistics-that-will-surprise-you

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