Today, social media has become so ubiquitous that it is hard to imagine a day without the steady stream of information it provides. Now, imagine a scenario where a B2C organization needs to engage its customers, in order to drive its marketing strategies and increase business prospects. Would it employ traditional communication channels to communicate with its audiences? Or, would it opt for social media tools, with their capacity to drive dialogue and build relationships? The answer, as substantiated by recent B2C market studies, is an increased reliance on social media over conventional channels.
In 2013, B2C organizations are progressively relying on social media to market their products and services. A survey of North American marketing professionals corroborated this trend, and also found that B2C marketers increasingly employed LinkedIn—with usage up from 51 percent in 2012 to 71 percent this year. Facebook, however, was the most popular social platform, used by 89 percent of B2C marketers. Clearly, a vast majority of B2C marketers are seeing the opportunity in leveraging social media to deliver their content marketing messages. Marketing departments are also utilizing multiple social media channels to derive the best out of each platform.
Today, with social data volumes constantly rising, consumer goods organizations are also realizing the importance of driving consumer choice through social media analytics. They now analyze consumers’ sentiments in real time to augment their decision support system. Take the case of toy manufacturing company Lego that monitored blogs on social media to listen to customer sentiment. The company discovered that it even had a strong following among adult consumers, and was soon developing products for them.
Furthermore, big data can also be leveraged to gain social media insights for customer sentiment analysis. Big data tools, including Hadoop, No SQL, and Storm, are enabling analysts to scrutinize non-traditional data sets. Gulf Air has implemented a big data policy to analyze customer sentiment on social media posts and gain strategic insights into customer behavior, expectations, and requirements.
Apart from generating awareness and leads, marketers are also expanding their customer base and driving profits through social campaigns. For instance, a US-based waste management firm leveraged an inbound marketing platform to increase its social media reach by 135 percent and lead generation by 58 percent, in a year. During the period, it got a 500 percent ROI, primarily due to its social media efforts.
Consequently, enterprises spread across sectors, including aerospace, banking and financial services, food and beverages, healthcare, retail, and telecom, are increasingly leveraging social media for their B2C marketing campaigns. The 2013 State of Digital Marketing report from a US based social media marketing agency states that as compared to 54 percent of B2B marketers, 60 percent of B2C enterprises generated leads from social media. About 54 percent of B2C organizations also converted leads into revenues.
In this scenario, do you think that social media marketing would propel the B2C segment to greater heights? Share your views with us in the comments section below.