How to be savvy on social media

Written by: Tenley Sanduski

Social media savviness can be a marketer’s greatest asset. In today’s digital world, many businesses have turned to popular apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat as their primary means of advertising.

This 21st-century approach to marketing provides a lot of benefits for brands looking to expand their reach. According to Instagram, over 1 million advertisers use the social platform and “75 percent of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post.”

Several local Madison businesses have implemented this approach, finding success reaching customers and building brands.

Tia Das, Assistant Studio Director at Cyc Fitness in Madison emphasized social media’s importance in business.

“I think that social media is the only really relevant platform for business now a days. Millennials operate 100% on social media, so unless you have a really strong social media presence it’s hard to exist as a company,” Das said.

Similarly, Jared Hoffman, a partner and investor in Salads UP said having a presence on social media is key to staying relevant to customers.

“It’s very important to have a presence on digital platforms to be easily accessible and always be putting out content that is catching people’s eyes and getting them interested in our products,” Hoffman said.

In 2016, Instagram had over 600 million active users, according to Statistica. With a base that large, it’s no surprise that brands have begun taking advantage of the direct access to consumers it allows.

According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed stories are from businesses, suggesting that not only are businesses reaching their consumers, but their consumers are listening.

Hoffman shared his perspective as to why consumers are so receptive to this type of marketing.

“With social media, you can really target and find out who exactly your customers are and interact with them to create a stronger bond between the brand and the consumer,” Hoffman said.

Targeting is an advantage social media has over traditional mass-marketing techniques. Facebook is one of the most notorious media platforms engaging in consumer targeting.

In a post on their website, Facebook shared how businesses can use the platform to find customers and market to them directly.

“With our powerful audience selection tools, you can target the people who are right for your business. Using what you know about your customers—like demographics, interests and behaviors—you can connect with people similar to them.”

Consumer targeting is an asset for businesses because it allows them to reach their current and potential customers without wasting their efforts on audiences that aren’t in their consumer pool. This ensures that advertising capital is being spent where it is likely to be most effective.

In addition to helping businesses reach their optimal customer base, social media provides a marketable way for them to brand themselves.

“You want people when they’re looking at your social media to identify with your personality and image. Social media is a way to control that image and put out the image you want as a brand,” Hoffman said.

The capacity for social media to be visual can help a brand create a memorable identity. When a company’s branding and visual elements are cohesive, a brand becomes stronger and more recognizable.

Social media is a powerful tool for marketers to reach their consumers directly and build themselves as a brand.