Updated: May 19, 2021
Social media marketing is on the minds of every major corporation across the globe. The impact of this form of marketing can be monumental and strategists must devote considerable effort to understanding how their brand will effectively communicate with potential consumers. Schaefer discusses information related to how to use this tool and why it is both engaging and effective. Understanding the psychology of why social media marketing can be so impactful is key to implementing an effective strategy. This article will examine Schaefer’s easy to understand background on why social media works so well, the function of social media marketing in business, discuss some potential obstacles, and finally propose solutions to those obstacles in an effort to better understand social media marketing overall.
Before the age of digital marketing, traditional media such as newspaper ads were common but marketing in the digital age has evolved significantly and allows for an immediate and interactive approach or marketing and consumerism. Schaefer gives leaders, executives, professionals, and business owners excellent advice pertaining to the role of social media for businesses. Social media has become an essential asset in the arsenal of any marketing strategist and when implemented correctly can effectively improve ROI and profitability .. This article will discuss those parameters, and how to utilize then effectively.
Social Media Marketing
One of the main underlying themes that permeate Schaefer’s messages have to do with avoiding stagnation and abiding by the status quo. A large part of effective social media strategy has to do with evolving with the ever-changing digital landscape and navigating the perilous terrain of current events, cultural ebbs and flows, and understanding what exactly consumers are wanting.
Social media: A key tool in the marketing decisions of most businesses
Since social media platforms appeared on the scene in the early 2000’s businesses have recognized the potential for improving communication, brand exposure, and increase in revenue that social media can potentially provide. The concept is simple but there is a world of marketing, metrics, and analysis that requires an in-depth examination to fully utilize all the benefits that social media has to offer businesses and organizations.
The five foundational social media strategies. Schaefer describes what he refers to as foundational social media strategies. Social media is a key tool in marketing decisions of most businesses because it appeal to these basic human instincts. The strategies listed below are effective facets typically considered by marketing managers and strategists but laid out in an easy to understand format for Shaefer’s readers.
Humans buy from humans. Social media is a personal and interactive experience. Much as business has been conducted for thousands of years, social media allows for an immediacy in response from client and business as well as potentially face to face communication. Depending on the service being sold there may be examples of work. For example, if an individual is buying a graphic design job the designer normally will have a portfolio for the client to preview in order to get an idea of the style of the artist as well and the different types of work the artist does. Unlike in true face to face interactions the client cannot hold the product physically but for some types of services and products, as mentioned above, it may not be as important to the client.
Small Interactions and the Engagement Curve. Repeated exposure to products can create an emotional bond for individuals. As Schaefer states “it's not just a brand. It’s a buddy”. The psychology behind this is the comfort that individuals derive from people, places and things that they are familiar with. As they spend more time with these products and create a positive association with them pleasure centers in the brain will begin to fire when they utilize these products. Some products lend themselves to this type of bonding even further. Specific scents can create pleasure pathways in the brain that the individual may remember for the rest of their lives. Of course, this phenomenon is not limited to scent but an individual who was bathed consistently with, for example, Johnson and Johnson’s lavender baby wash, and had a positive experience while using the product consistently is likely to develop a bond with that product/brand.
The Social Media Mindset. There are certain expectations when one enters the realm of the social media scroll. Facebook, and other social media users expect to see various posts, usually specific to their interests, content that in thoughtful which may include video, .gif animation, or simply catchy phrases in text, and a scroll that never ends. In order to really grab the attention of an audience Schaefer argues that certain elements should strongly weigh in on the marketing approach. Schaefer discusses three required elements: targeted connections, meaningful content, and authentic helpfulness in terms of business benefits.
Targeted Connections. It is important to have a great product but it is just as important to target the right audience/market with that product. This involves solid market research involving similar products or ideas, or if nothing similar exists then strategic logic involving the likelihood of the product or service being well received. The timing can play into making an effective connection as well. For example, if the product has to do with peppermint, it may be advantageous to deliver the introductory marketing campaign during the holidays. Meaningful Content. Predictable and dependable social media activity (updates, posts, etc.) is vital to stay relevant and at the forefront of consumer’s minds. The content should not be gears towards an obvious sell 100 percent of time and should include helpful tips and tricks related somehow to the product. For example, if the product is peppermint essential oil, the company may post content having to do with the benefits and applications of the oil.
Authentic helpfulness. Authentic helpfulness can be strongly related to meaningful content and has to do with building those bonds that are so important to marketing success. Consumers will interact with a brand that they feel is aligned with their vision of what a product or company should be and potentially where it is going in the future. Social media provides an avenue to connect with consumes that may give the product or service a chance, but it also provides an excellent opportunity to correct an issue that arose when the consumer gave the product a change, but something went wrong. For example, if the product was damaged in shipping and reported on Twitter, their social media marketing managers should jump at the opportunity to make the situation “right again” for all to see. This keeps a consumer happy and is also positive publicity for those who may have been considering a purchase but had their doubts.
The information ecosystem. The phenomenon of human interaction with digital technology is occurring earlier and earlier with toddlers learning how to use mobile devices before they can even read and