As a business owner, especially if you are in the digital marketing field, you are probably aware of the fact that marketing and reaching out to customers have changed significantly over the last decade. Social media is now a vital cog in the marketing network.
Gone are the days when just a phone number and an email address were all the vital information that you required from your target audience. Many businesses counted on that little bit of information and would work up from there to get a lead and gradually convert that to a sale.
However, that is not the case anymore. Previously, the simple information about a prospective lead or even a client used to be stored in the database, from where the data was fetched as and when required. Now, today’s databases are much different. They are much more expensive with detailed information, and therefore, much more powerful than their ancestors.
Today’s database contains a vast amount of information on a prospect’s web activities, social media interactions and a lot more that are connected to their email addresses. Even if there is no physical address attached to the information, these available tidbits are vital.
Why is the information on a prospect’s web activity vital?
You might think that all you need for getting in touch with a potential client is his email address and phone number. That might be true. However, what about knowing what that prospect wants or needs? Do you start talking about your products or services right away after contacting him, without trying to understand his requirements? How can you bridge the gap between his needs and your solutions?
It is because of this very reason that you need more information about your client. An actionable element, whether that is clicked on a related email, a search engine referral, or even something as simple as a Like or a Follow on a social media platform can help you understand the prospect’s behaviour, and probably get an idea about his requirements too.
The interactions that a person has on social media can be analyzed in two ways. One is when they engage with your brand’s content directly. That may be just liking a post, commenting on it or even sharing the post. Another is when a person interacts with those who are engaging with your content directly.
In the first case, the actions can help you get an idea of which products are getting the most attention and more. It can also help you to make critical business decisions like whether you need to run an offer or set up a brick and mortar store, or at least restock on specific items.
The second is invaluable for indirect social media marketing. It can help you build personas of the target audience and help you understand which set of people are most likely to buy your products or even become brand evangelists inside their own social circles. The sheer power of the data fetched from social media platforms is fascinating, isn’t it?
The data can help you with the development of point-of-sale or email marketing. You would have a clear understanding of the target market. With your emails, you can encourage consumers to check your Tweets, Facebook posts or blogs.
This information can also help you to leverage online database to create brand awareness among your prospective consumers and also build brand loyalty among the existing ones. You can efficiently segment your target audience as per relevance. All these will lead to higher return on investment (ROI) when these users visit your store.
It is necessary to note the unique impact that social media extends to database marketing. It would be wrong to assume that social media marketing is only about placing products in front of prospective buyers. It is primarily about strengthening the relationship between a brand and its customers, both existing and potential. It helps to build relationships and communities, enabling you to engage people on a platform where they are most comfortable. This is aided further if your website and social media accounts are linked.
Now, some business leaders, mainly traditionalists are of the opinion that investing in social media marketing means deviating from the conventional approaches to connecting with the audience. However, it is true that the benefits of this form of marketing far outweigh the risks of the deviation that these business leaders are wary of.
However, if you are not using the data collected from social media marketing to the best of their capacity, your efforts are being wasted. Many may think integrating social media behaviour with existing data is challenging. However, it is undeniable that social media is instrumental in putting key performance indicators in place. Database experts at reputed firms like remoteDBA.com suggest having a robust database management strategy in place to make all the information gathered from social media easily manageable and accessible.
That said, it is recommended that brand marketers go forward with robust database management plans to seamlessly integrate data from various social media platforms with their marketing efforts. Although still in its nascent stage, social media, backed by excellent database management, has managed to transform the ways brands connect with their audience.
Mass data collection has rendered untargeted marketing obsolete, making each marketing effort a targeted engagement vehicle. In this age when the patience of every customer is diminishing, this approach enables brands to hold meaningful conversations with their audience.
Organizations that have already adopted this change already have a competitive edge. It is quite definite that businesses that are still unsure whether to invest in social media marketing and database management are compromising the connection with their audience, which will inevitably start affecting their sales before long.
Lucy Jones is a developer with more than ten years of experience. She has previously
worked for Flosum.com as a consultant.