There are companies, brands and products that owe their success entirely to clever social media marketing. Digital marketing, when used well, is word of mouth at its finest.
Social Media is no longer just for fun, and is the smartest marketing tool that a small or upcoming business can access. Through these platforms, people publicly like and share the posts of brands they enjoy. And then their friends see this. Approximately 84 percent of customers make purchase decisions based on their friends’ recommendations.
Why is Social Media Marketing so important?
While it is necessary to invest a bit of bit money into digital marketing to achieve a high level of success, it doesn’t have to be a ridiculous amount. Social media is more about what is unique, different, engaging and clever, than what is broadly sponsored.
Social media marketing is all about getting people to share your content. In order to do this, you have to connect with them on some extra level. Not every company can do it, and not every company is gutsy enough to take the leap. But some who have, have reaped incredible success because of their daring-do.
For some very cool stories and examples of this, check out the Shorty Awards, which are awards all about honouring cleverness in social media, by brands, influencers or social awareness campaigns. Honourable mentions of companies that are champions of social media include Taco Bell, Domino’s and Cards Against Humanity.
Social media marketing is not about advertising or pushing your sales pitch. It is about engaging with the humanity of your customers by showing them the humanity in your business. It uses humour, quirkiness, emotion, curiosity, greed and fear to awaken something in the followers, and inspiring them to act.
This is not just important for businesses. Charities, community groups and individuals are also learning what can be done with effective use of this medium. As well as businesses who have been around for decades, and those that are already large and commercially successful; as customers become more digitally aware, this has fast become the best place to find them.
How Uber is using Social Media
One successful company almost purely owing its worth to social media marketing is global ride share phenomenon Uber. Starting as an idea between two friends on a snowy night in Paris in 2008, you would be sure to have heard of Uber by now, if not frequently be riding in one.
Now operating in over 630 cities across the world, Uber has taken on the taxi business and turned it on its head. Uber offers people the opportunity to register as drivers and earn money in their own cars giving people lifts. Entirely managed through the app, riders register their payment details, book, track, pay for and rate their Uber trips all online.
There is extra incentive for drivers to know where you are going, keep yourself and your car spick and span, and be a generally personable person, that the taxi industry seems to have lost a long time ago. With expansive and brilliant safety features to protect both the driver and rider, Uber is literally taking over the world. Services have extended from ride share to include food delivery and package delivery as well, opening up bridged to access between an enormous range of businesses and customers.
Through social media, Uber became a verb as well as a noun, and this was entirely developed by the followers, Uber never said itself, ‘Why not Uber home?’
Uber has harnessed the power of word of mouth marketing in a number of very clever ways, including:
- Using multiple platforms at once to reach as many followers as possible, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Uber posts often and keeps it customers regularly excited about new deals and services.
- Functioning entirely through its app, and through mobile access and smart phones. Essentially it was built for people on social media and out and about.
- Using Facebook to deal with customer complaints and dealing with them well. Uber understands that criticism handled appropriately is a marketing tool, and it uses this tool exceptionally well. Modern business is about being open and transparent, and very public. Uber has over 8 million followers on Facebook.
- Using Twitter to reach 700k followers and post constant deals, videos and pictures. Uber use Twitter as a continual news feed, and keep things polished and good-looking so as always to promote the company well. Its Instagram feed reaches over 400k followers and is just as gorgeous to look at. Uber uses these platforms as a constant source of information delivery, but does so in an attractive way to ensure retweets, likes and shares.
- Offering incentives to riders in exchange for a social media share. Riders were sharing their Uber codes on social media as a way to get free rides home. This resulted in word spreading about Uber incredibly with minimal investment in advertising. Again, this is tapping into the power of sharing through digital marketing, which is advertising gold.
- Using YouTube to post videos, reaching over 40 million views of its 1000 videos. Many businesses shy away from videos, but the engagement power of these cannot be denied. On all platforms, videos are becoming the way to connect with people and get them to look at your feed just that little bit longer.
- Using other channels as well, such as Pinterest.
Uber understands that multiple platforms, multiple forms of media, and ongoing updating are key to digital marketing. While social media marketing need not cost a lot in terms of advertising, it does take time and effort. Instead of paying for advertisements, pay clever people to create posts and keep your feed fresh and attractive.
What can you do?
To learn more about you can use social media to connect with your customers, talk to RANDI digital today. Don’t let any fear of the unknown hold you back; it’s the brave businesses in this arena that achieve success, and we can help you to be brave.