Social media, which enables users to communicate and share information independently of time and place, through computers or mobile devices, are interactive communication channels that require the contribution of users.
With the development of the Internet and its becoming an integral part of life, consumers began to prefer to receive information about products and services from the Internet or social media rather than relying on traditional media such as television and radio.
Social Media Marketing and Its Effects on Commerce
According to the “Digital 2021” report published by We are Social (2021), there are 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide as of January 2021, and the average daily time these users spend on social media is 2 hours and 25 minutes.
When the “Digital 2021: Turkey” report is analyzed, it is seen that the number of active social media users in Turkey is 60 million and the average daily time spent on social media is 2 hours 57 minutes.
Considering the active social media users, who constitute 53.6% of the population worldwide and 70.8% of the population in Turkey, it is understood that social media is a market area that cannot be underestimated.
The differences of social media from traditional media and the advantages it provides to businesses can be listed as follows:
· Social media can be measured more easily than traditional media. Distant results obtained from sources such as rating reports in traditional media are insufficient in determining strategy, but this problem disappears in social media.
· Unlike traditional media, high investments are not required to reach the target audience in social media, and it is possible for individuals or institutions to produce content even at very low costs in the profile they will create on social media platforms. While product and service information are easily shared on social media, thanks to word-of-mouth marketing called "viral marketing", large masses are reached at much lower costs.
· The most important part of promotion, which is one of the elements of the 4P (Product, Price, Place, Promotion), known as the marketing mix, is to communicate and interact with current and potential customers without time and place restrictions, and to increase brand awareness. Contrary to the static and unchangeable structure of traditional media, the up-to-date structure of social media that facilitates user interaction and eliminates time and place restrictions greatly contributes to promotional activities. In addition, businesses can direct their promotional activities in the right direction thanks to the special campaigns and content they prepare by identifying the target audience in social media more easily and with clear lines.
· In social media marketing, it is important for the target audience to be exposed to the brand name and content at the right time determined by the businesses in terms of being memorable and brand awareness.
· Social media followers of businesses that produce content in line with the interest of the target audience provide an advantage to the business in reaching wider audiences by sharing these content on their own profiles.
· Thanks to social media, which enables direct interaction and communication, businesses can make their voices heard more sincerely, while at the same time they have the opportunity to directly see the wishes, complaints, and satisfaction of the consumers. This mutually established communication environment is important in terms of establishing and strengthening the trust in the brand. However, at this point, businesses need to be very careful. While the trust of the target audience can increase in line with factors such as what businesses share or not, communication language and timing, it can also lead to results that can break trust and create a reaction. Although we say that word of mouth marketing will provide an advantage to the business, when a negative situation occurs, it is also possible to cause a very fast and harsh reaction, unlike traditional media.
Successful Social Media Marketing
Things to do to get high efficiency from social media marketing can be listed as follows:
· Setting targets suitable for the purpose, achievable, clear, timely and measurable,
· Determining the target audience and analyze it well,
· Conducting market research for competitors and the sector,
· Selecting the most appropriate social media platform in line with the determined purpose, target audience and market research,
· Analyzing the interests of the target audience and producing content suitable for these interests and company purposes,
· Determining the frequency of sharing, and to create a social media content calendar,
· Producing effective, remarkable, and original content,
· Following the current news,
· Determining the timing of the shares correctly in line with the target audience,
· Determining strategies or making changes in content by analyzing content shared in the past and their interactions/returns.
With the digital world taking place in every aspect of our lives, social media has become inevitable for individuals or institutions. The number of active users on social media platforms and the increasing time spent on these platforms required companies to exist in these virtual environments. Although technology has become important, it is not possible to remove people from the focus. While doing social media marketing, individuals or companies should analyze their target audience well. In these platforms where the interaction of the users is essential, if the right target audience is not determined and content is not produced in accordance with the purpose and the interests of the target audience, no interaction will occur. Although the loss of influence of traditional media day by day provides an advantage in terms of social media marketing, impressive, remarkable, original and suitable content should be produced in order to reach the target audience.
We can say that staying behind the digital world, which affects almost every aspect of life, is one of the biggest mistakes companies will make. Reaching competitors, customers or resources that will contribute to the company is just a few clicks away.
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