Social media is a promising avenue for marketing strategist because it offers potentially the largest draw for any brand, which is the large following. With over 3.5 billion active users, your brand will stand to benefit by setting up and being active on social media. The increased appeal for brands online is further enhanced by the high interest of followers in brand activity, with certain platforms having up to 80% of users following at least one brand.
Social media can be a great platform for you. It will help you grow your brand quickly and foster the development of relationships with your clients which may lead to development of brand loyalty. Here are the potential benefits on offer.
Great low cost advertising
You can market your brand for free just by joining social media and targeting some metric to help you meet your business goals. Signing onto these social media platforms is free, which means that you will not need to incur any expenses to grow your brand online. It may be difficult to achieve your goals organically, since it will take some time to develop a following and grow your brand. However, you can still achieve rapid growth through strategic social media campaigns, even if this is done completely through paid means.
A variety of paid ad options
Social media provides options for businesses that may seek other means of advertising aside from simply setting up a social media page. You can take advantage of one of many paid advertising features, which are available across different social media platforms. These paid advertising features allow you to reach your desired audiences better, increase brand awareness and boosts the performance of your posts. They may be inexpensive, with some paid ads only costing $1. You can buy Instagram followers for as low as $1.Or you can buy automatic comments for next posts. You may even consider free trials of these paid ad features to get a feel of how they might influence your social media marketing for better final judgment.
You will be better able to market your business if more people can find out about your brand. Traditional advertising is limited in this sense because it caters to users largely by a location basis, and may only be restricted to persons with access to these forms of media. The large number of active monthly users on social media includes persons finding access through both computer and mobile interface. These people are spread around the world, and may not necessarily fit in a single demographic. You could have potential clients halfway around the world. The paid ad options will allow you to target your desired audiences for even better visibility levels, which may translate to higher rates of growth.
Better personal selling
You can reach your target audience members on a personal level, which makes it easier to carry out personal selling. Personal selling involves leveraging important personal life events, and taking advantage of the personal interaction supported by social media, to increase brand awareness and target increased sales. The platform will also offer personal marketing, which is the most effective way to reach potential clients without spending any money. You can use personal marketing by taking advantage of your customers' reviews and experiences with your brand.
Real time interaction with clients
You can engage with your followers on social media in real time, which makes it easier to offer customer support. Your clients are very likely going to use your social media platform to interact with your brand and find out more about your identity, values and products. They will expect some interaction with your brand, which may sway their trust and confidence levels in your brand. An interactive brand with timely and professional responses, even when the user has a negative comment, will attract and keep follower interest. You will be better able to grow your brand by talking to your clients. If anything, you might be able to find out more about their preferences and tailor your brand to suit their needs.
A global reach
The biggest appeal of social media is the large volume of active monthly users. There are over 3.5 billion users on different social platforms, who are spread out across the globe. This distribution is beneficial for brands with a global outlook. If you are looking to market your brand t the rest of the world, social media represents the most effective and inexpensive way to reach out to your potential clients. Social media also incorporates different languages, which allows your brand to provide content for people in other parts of the world. It is set up to facilitate global interaction, which may also be between your brand and potential clients from faraway places.
Will social media help grow your brand? If trends in brand efforts towards embracing social media are anything to go by, the answer is resounding. Even if you do not consider paid advertising options, social media will provide a range of benefits to help you achieve different business goals. Setting up on social media will help you achieve these goals quickly, efficiently and for the fraction of the cost it would require to market your brand on traditional avenues.
Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.
Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.
Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.
As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.
Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.
So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.
Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.
For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."