LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- According to data from Statista, a leading statistics company, about 61 percent of marketers agree that social media is essential for successfully promoting products and services. A number of other surveys confirm this finding.
"Social media bypasses traditional media, providing direct interaction with customers," said Amy Tang, marketing director for ZAFUL (www.zaful.com), an online retail fashion outlet.
"If the content is attractive and convincing, customers will help you market your products by spreading the word to others and providing positive comments. This type of promotion is very effective and it's free."
Effective marketing through social media requires a strategy and expertise. ZAFUL, based in China, has been extremely successful in using this type of platform to create brand awareness and increase sales. Below are a few tips.
1. Analyze Target Audiences and Build Self-image
Targeting the correct audience is one of the most important aspects of any social media campaign. There are many analytic tools that can help determine a company's target audience, which is the first step. Next is developing effective strategies to reach that audience.
A simple, recognizable, brand image is equally critical. If the brand is complicated or confusing, it's a major turn-off for prospective customers.
From the start, ZAFUL has been very clear about its target audience and brand image. A great deal of research has gone into analyzing customer personalities and buying habits in the e-commerce market. The company positions itself as "a one-stop online shop for today's most daring, exciting and edgy fashion apparel."
2. Content is Related to the Brand
The content posted on social media is the carrier of the brand image. When the Internet was relatively new, online marketing merely conveyed information about the products or brand. Today's social media marketing experts encourage customers develop a sense of identity with the product.
When this happens, the audience will offer positive comments, write blogs about it and share the "news" with others. By arousing feelings and approval, social media content can take on a life of its own, circulating through the web multiple times.
For this reason, ZAFUL augments product information with customer experiences, tips on outfit matching, industry trends and tutorials. This type of practical information is far more likely to be shared with others, engaging new shoppers and helping to develop credibility as well as brand recognition.
"Due to the fast pace of social media, the content on social media must have a strong visual appeal and that arouses customer emotions," explained Tang.
3. Effective and Prompt Interaction with Users
Social media marketing empowers customers to express themselves. Thus it is important that companies respond in a timely fashion. A positive social media interaction improves users' retention rates and builds a strong, reliable brand image.
Conversely, a bad experience by a shopper on social media, such as not replying promptly to a customer complaint or suggestion, can spread negative publicity like wildfire.
4. Products and Services are the Determining Factor
Ultimately, a company's brand image is determined by the quality of its products and services - and customer satisfaction.
"Building up and spreading a positive brand image in social media is great," noted Tang, "but you have to back it up with your products and after-sales service. Good communications, including user-friendly exchange and refund policies, are a must for developing customer satisfaction."
5. Enlist Effective Opinion Leaders
Having your brand endorsed by a well-known decision-maker, or opinion leader, can really make a big difference in product recognition and acceptance. Determining who these people are and recruiting them for your "team" are essential steps in building your brand.
ZAFUL, an e-commerce fashion retail outlet launched in 2014, operates with an eye for the latest product lines and styles, offering clothing, swimwear and accessories at discount prices, usually $20-50. According to Google Trends, the company website received significant gains in online searches over the past year. In the swimwear market, for example, US hits on the site increased 1,450 percent.
For additional information, visit www.zaful.com.