Social advertising has become the darling of many brands across a spectrum of industries. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, social media is on an explosive growth curve and provide marketers with a triumvirate of benefits which are:
Reach: Social media is currently the number one online activity, having overtaken emails. Membership on these sites is huge and growing. The combined membership of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ stands at 2,375,750,000 (the world population is around 5 billion) This is an incredibly vast market indeed that brands can profitably tap into using minimal budgets.
The fact that branded content posted on social media can be shared from one network node to another means that brands can actually reach a wider radius that they would not be able to influence ordinarily using traditional forms of communication.
Relationships: “Social media’s strength is in the personal connections it enables, the
peer-to-peer contact, providing reasons for consumers to visit regularly and for
extended periods of time.” (Interactive Advertising Bureau) These relationships are very important as they enable word of mouth marketing (WOMM).
Research has shown time and time again that WOM is the key influencer of consumers’ purchase behaviour. WOM has a 94% trust rate as compared to 45% of advertisements.Relationships that brands also build with their target audience are key as customers tend to buy from the brands they trust and engage with on a regular and “personal” basis.
Relevance: Content on social media is usually considered to be relevant as it is generated by friends who share similar preferences, lifestyles and interests. This makes social media platforms to be highly engaging real estate. Brands can creatively participate in these online conversations by creating content that resonates with their networked community and thus increase its chances of going viral.
These three pillars, or “musketeers” enhance the appeal of social media as the most appropriate advertising platform.