Social marketing is both an art and a science. In the online world, nothing happens merely by chance. Everything is a concept, an idea, an output of someone else’s social media strategy skills.
But social marketing, unknown to many, is an accidental result of the global phenomenon that is social media. Facebook was merely intended to connect people. YouTube was a means to share videos among friends. Google was, first and foremost, a search engine.
In the early 2000s, social marketing began its dominance over businesses looking to expand its audience reach on the Internet. Today, 75 percent of Americans’ shopping behavior are highly influenced by product information found on social media.
A study by Social Media Marketer found glaring clues as to why social marketing is almost taking over traditional marketing methods (although, traditionalists would argue otherwise): 33 percent of consumers discover new brands on social media, 72 percent of marketers use social media to develop fan bases, and 92 percent of all marketers believe that investing in social media yield better results for their businesses.
If you don’t trust the numbers, simply look at your social media behavior and even that of your friends. How many social media accounts do you keep active? How many are your friends or followers? What accounts do you usually follow?
Here in Lakeland, social marketing is kind of a big deal, too. Local shops and even home-based businesses have taken over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest to market their products and services. It’s kind of a good way to teach the younger generation how to redirect the energy they put into stalking someone else’s profiles into honing their business acumen instead.
If you’ll notice, there are surely a handful of online shops that you follow. You may even be subscribing to posts about your favorite NBA team. Ever notice how they so discreetly sell you t-shirts, snapbacks, sneakers, baller IDs, etc.? That is how social marketing works in a nutshell.
For example, a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Lakeland would like to attract more customers. How would they go about this without necessarily spending money on posters, promos, etc.? They can create a Facebook or Instagram page, look for a page dedicated to Lakeland residents, and post information about their business there.
They can even begin following the profiles of local celebrities–athletes, cheerleaders and community leaders–so they can become more visible to Lakeland residents. Such is the power of Lakeland Social Marketing–they can easily make one shop or restaurant an instant hit.