What is Social Media?
Social media has become a well established presence within our day to day lives, whether it be scrolling through Facebook, liking a friend’s post on Instagram or simply watching your favourite YouTube videos, social media is here and it is here to stay.
According to Investopedia “the term social media refers to a computer based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts and information through virtual networks and communities. Social media is internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content, such as personal information, documents, videos and photos. Users engage with social media via a computer, tablet or smartphone via web-based software or applications,” (www.investopedia.com, 2021).
Social Media as a tool for Marketing
Considering that social media is merely a few button prompts away for a large portion of the global population, it is no wonder that social media has become a favourite medium for marketers. Some of the more notable benefits of this form of marketing are:
- An increase in brand awareness, this is a marketing term which describes the degree of recognition consumers have for a specific brand and therefore potentially winning over new customers from competing brands.
- More inbound traffic is a direct result of an increase in brand awareness. The more aware the general public is of your brand and the brand has garnered a positive perception with the public, then there will be an influx of traffic going to the brand’s websites which results in potentially more purchases.
- Higher conversion rates, this is the percentage of visitors to the brand’s website that complete a desired goal (making a purchase), again this ties in with an increase in brand awareness and an increase in traffic to the brand’s website.
- Cost effectiveness. Social media marketing is, above all else, a very cheap and versatile marketing strategy for businesses to reach a target audience. Advertisements on Social Media use very little resources to be produced and are not time-consuming endeavours, which is why a staggering 97% of marketers are now using social media as one of their methods to reach their target audiences, (www.thedigitalschoolofmarketing.co.za, 2021).
The Covid-19 Effect:
The pandemic has caused disruptions in many aspects of our lives. Unsurprisingly how brand’s are being marketed has also seen change. Nations worldwide have implemented lockdown protocols in order to combat the spread of the virus. Considering that at the beginning of the global pandemic, the vast majority of populations were restricted to their homes, social media has become a favourite for marketers to use in order to still engage with target audiences. Social media marketing became more than an option for marketers in the midsts of the pandemic, it became a lifeline. With the majority of customers having to resort to online shopping for their essentials, the engagement rate on social media increased at an astounding rate, moreover, many companies used social media marketing to ensure a good brand image is being maintained while the companies are in hibernation due to extreme lockdown restrictions.
Given that this pandemic has changed the way we shop and live our day to day lives, it is no wonder that the scope of marketing has seen a large shift in focus to a more digital medium with social media being one of the frontrunners. In short, social media marketing is hare, and it is not going anywhere.
Nicholas Botes is a Digital Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing (IIDM). having studied a Bcom degree in Marketing Management, Botes, 26 decided to focus specifically on Digital Marketing, by doing a postgraduate diploma in Digital Marketing before joining IIDM in order to gain experience and an entry into the vastly competitive industry.