Social media as a marketplace

It would be difficult to find a strong argument that social media isn't a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. While careful planning and execution are critical for success and not every campaign will be a smash hit, social's power to connect your company to teachers, administrators and other professionals in the world of education is impossible to ignore.

There's another important part of social media to consider beyond outreach, connecting with an audience and raising awareness of your products, however. Many different social platforms can also serve as a direct avenue for selling your offerings, or at least quickly take a customer to a place where they can complete a transaction.

Why is social media an effective avenue for educational marketing?

"Nearly 8 out of every 10 teachers use social media."

Nearly 8 out of every 10 teachers use social media on a personal level. They spend plenty of time liking, sharing, following and interacting with friends and family, just like social media users from many different occupations and backgrounds do. However, they also use it to find products and services relevant to their jobs, and connect with brands and businesses they trust. The existing familiarity with social media as an avenue to discover new information from trusted companies, as well as regular use by many educational professionals, positions it as a powerful tool for more direct sales efforts.

One question that could easily spring to mind at this point is why social media doesn't have much of a reputation for getting customers to make a purchase, or at least to get close to that point. A very important factor is Amazon's patent on one-click purchasing, which the company controlled from 1999 through late 2017, CNet pointed out.

This function, which allows a person to store their credit card or other payment and shipping information, then simply click once to complete the purchase, helped catapult Amazon to the top of the ecommerce world. It also was a limiting factor for potential third-party marketplaces like social media sites. Because direct purchasing was limited, it made more sense for businesses using social media to focus on directing potential customers to their own websites. Now, social media companies have the ability to offer fast purchasing options for users, working with the businesses that utilize the platform. Facebook's Buy Button, which takes customers to a checkout page without having to visit a new website, is just one example.

One-click purchasing won't immediately turn social media into a hotbed of easy sales, but it can streamline the process as you market to professionals in the world of education. You still need to have a strong e-commerce strategy, from ensuring payment and personal information are secure to having an easily navigated website, as well as offer products and services in a way that stands out from competitors and offer real value to your intended audience. With this support, however, relatively recent changes in the world of social media can make it a more powerful marketplace.

To learn more about effective social media outreach and engagement, get in touch with us today!


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