Before social media boomed, marketers thought that social media marketing was just another fad likely to pass soon. But when Facebook began to attract attention since 2004, more social media marketing strategies were developed. Today, this marketing tool has allowed companies to attract attention without having to spend millions of dollars on advertising.
In the 1970s and 1980s, before Facebook & Instagram existed, Internet users spent most of their time on social networks such as dating sites and online forums. Six Degrees, Livejournal and Friendster were the earliest forms of social media.
The dot-com bubble between 1995 and 2002 was a crucial event that allowed the Internet to become a practical and usable marketing tool. Marketing through search has started, which lead brands to build websites to establish an online presence. With the development of search engines from Google, Yahoo, and MSN, large companies have adopted SEO strategies to remain at the top of search results.
Marketers began to recognize the potential of content marketing when the popularity of Web 2.0 sites – especially blogs – increased. Internal marketing strategies, where more value is added to the customer and the acquired business, are beginning to replace the old external marketing strategies.
The arrival of social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and My Space between 2003 and 2004 led to the transition of Internet users from online multiplayer games to social media. Companies have picked up the positive effects of the presence of the social media site on e-commerce and eventually started to create their own “profile” on social networking sites.
In subsequent years, the customer’s favorable attitude towards social media marketing slowly changed the preference for business marketing from more proactive outbound marketing to more reactive inbound marketing.
More than 90% of marketing executives nowadays use social media as part of their marketing strategies. Successful companies use social media marketing to support brand identity and mission, to generate and retain customers, as well as for search and e-commerce. Social media not only significantly reduces marketing expenses and time to market products and services, but also increases marketing effectiveness and overall customer satisfaction. 83% of customers are satisfied when they post a complaint on the brand’s social sites and get a response. This helped companies to retain more of their customers, increasing current customer transactions.
Take advantage of free internet
There are over 2 billion people online at any given time. They spend about 23% of the total time spent on the Internet browsing or interacting within social media. At least 53% of individuals active on social media sites such as Facebook follow brands. With the help of the Internet, an increasing number of customers (if not all) expect to have online brands.
Tablets, iPads, and Android phones will only make Internet browsing more accessible to consumers. Social media marketing will allow companies to reach more target markets. As long as the Internet exists, social media will remain an important part of marketing strategies.