Companies are continuously launching marketing campaigns in an effort to promote their brand and boost their sales. Some of these are highly successful - Carlsberg's slogan and advertising of 'probably the best lager in the world' generates excellent brand awareness and reputation. This then contributes to increased sales and ultimately increased profits. However, many of these companies have large marketing and advertising budgets. What if your company can not afford these marketing initiatives? This is where Social media marketing comes in. Most social media marketing 'tools' are free to use and can provide the same amount of marketing exposure whether you are just starting out or are a giant conglomerate. This article explains how you can use social media marketing to increase sales at a relatively low cost.
Firstly, let's just dispel the myth that social media marketing does not lead to a direct increase in sales. Here are some examples to prove this: Sony announced in February that through Twitter they had earned an extra £1million in sales, Dell announced in June last year that their presence on Twitter accounted for $3 million dollars increase in sales. You might argue that these are two big companies and they already have a brand reputation. However, other smaller companies have also experienced increased sales through this form of marketing. John Fluevog Boots & Shoes Ltd, a small shoe making company in Canada, reported a 40% increase in sales in 2009, the same year it started social media marketing, this was not by chance.
So how can social media marketing contribute to increased sales for your company? Social media tools allow you access to millions of people. A television advert will reach the people watching at that time and allows for no interaction with the consumer. One tweet can reach millions of people. Sainsbury's for example regularly tweet their latest offers. Anyone wanting to keep up with these can simply follow Sainsbury's on Twitter. This gives a much bigger potential customer base and allows for sales to increase, whilst also creating brand awareness. Furthermore, people can respond to these tweets, which provides a forum for customer interaction and thus customer insight. Your business can emulate this, tweeting your promotions provides free advertising. If this is done creatively, it really can boost sales and get your company noticed.
Social media marketing works in a similar way to other forms of marketing; it is viral. A small company initially works on a word of mouth basis, people tell their friends. This type of marketing, especially Twitter and Facebook, work with the 'friend' concept. People can give you positive reviews, recommend your product and tweet about your company. This whole social community allows your company's name and brand to be viewed by a significant amount of people. Continuous use of social media over time creates brand awareness and thus helps to increase sales. One of our clients, PeachorLemon, a car review website, gained over one hundred followers on Twitter within a week. This is a hundred more people who know about promotions and offers, may tell their friends, visit the website or use other social media outlets to mention PeachorLemon. All this creates brand awareness and over time increased use of the website, thus increasing its value.
The effect social media can have on brand awareness is critical in the future of small businesses marketing strategy. Brand awareness is only one way in which sales are increased, there are many other important contributing factors. However, as this article has demonstrated, creating brand awareness through this new exiting variation of marketing can have a huge impact on your business and revenues.