The increasing importance – and value – of the social marketplace

Social media has grown significantly as a sales channel since the modern networks used by people across the country and the world first became publicly available. The context has shifted from communities made up almost entirely of individual users, to a smattering of early adopters using such networks, to the current atmosphere in which many business-to-consumer companies feel pressure to participate and engage with customers. Let's look at why the social marketplace is so important for modern organizations, and what it means for businesses focused on marketing to education professionals.

A closeup of social media icons on a smartphone screen.Social media provides many avenues to connect with potential customers in the world of education.

The rise of the social marketplace

There are a wide variety of factors to consider when it comes to understanding how social marketing and sales became so important. A few of the most critical elements include:

  • A high rate of adoption. The sheer number of people using major social networks makes it fertile ground for marketing, outreach and sales. The Pew Research Center reported that about 70% of all American adults use at least one social media site. Compared to the 5% reported when the Center began measuring social network use in 2005, this growth is very impressive. 
  • An acceptance of brands' activity. While no one wants to be buried in messaging from businesses on social media, millions of people choose to follow all sorts of businesses. The presence of companies on major social media networks is accepted and even welcomed by plenty of users.
  • An effective medium for conversation and promotion. Social media is built around sharing and, to one degree or another, discussion. It's easy for businesses to offer images and video of products and services, provide information about upcoming offerings and reach out to potential and current customers.
  • A relatively inexpensive way to advertise. Businesses can start accounts, make posts, reply to messages and much more without spending a dime. As Digital Doughnut pointed out, even paid advertising can be inexpensive. Companies can start off with smaller campaigns, then determine what works with their audience before committing more money to any particular effort.
  • A direct purchasing option. With Amazon's patent on one-click purchasing past expiration, many social networks have implemented streamlined processes for making a purchase through a post or on a brand's main page. Just a few clicks can bring your customers to the end of a transaction.

Why the social marketplace is important for your company

Whether you're focused on reaching teachers, administrators or other key professionals in the world of education, there's likely a social strategy that aligns with your needs. It might mean focusing on Pinterest and Facebook to reach teachers, who often use these networks to find ideas for instruction and activities, or leveraging LinkedIn to get in touch with high-level administrators. No matter what your specific target audience is, there's likely a way to reach them on social media. Because this presence is important for sales as well as marketing and customer support, it's vital to thoughtfully consider an ongoing strategy for a social presence. To learn how Agile can help your company make the most of social media, get in touch with us today!

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