It's difficult to remember a time when social media didn't play such a huge role in our daily lives, yet it's been less than fifteen years since social media really took off!

Before that, companies wanting to promote their brand had to resort to traditional and often costly means and media, such as TV & Radio, Press Advertising and Direct Mail.

For many smaller businesses, this was not always an option they could afford, making it even more difficult to reach their target customers. Nowadays, it has never been easier for businesses to promote their products and services to a much larger audience for a smaller cost, thanks to the scope of social media.

Paid adverts on social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, allow you to set a budget and select a specific target audience (including gender, location and age) as well as allowing you to specify criteria such as personal interests to help focus on your target market. This means your business is able to fully utilise the advertising spend without wasting expenditure contacting consumers who are less likely to be interested in your products.

Whilst paid adverts are likely to reach a wider audience than unpaid posts, it's still possible to reach consumers without spending anything at all. One popular way to do this is to run competitions, requiring the entrants to like your business's social media page and interact with the competition post. The post may then show up on their friends' social media feeds and so on. It also means the new followers to the page will see your future posts and be encouraged to do business with you.

Popular posts appearing on many people's social media feeds and attracting lots of interaction are known as 'Trending Posts'. Trending posts advertising products often encourage impulse purchases, where the customer may not have previously been looking to buy that specific product but has had their attention drawn to it by the trending post. Trending posts can also raise awareness by exposing consumers to goods and services they didn’t even know existed!

Brand and service reviews on social media are also an integral part of attracting customers. Did you know consumers are 80% more likely to buy a product recommended by a friend? So imagine how many additional people may be reached when that friend leaves a glowing review on social media. On top of which the more positive reviews a business features on their social media pages, the more likely a potential customer is to have the confidence to buy from them.

It isn't just reviews from friends and family that persuade people to part with their hard-earned cash. Reviews and praise from social influencers, such as ‘Celebrities’ and 'Bloggers', will also encourage consumer spending. Research has shown that even knowing a 'Social Influencer' is being paid to review goods won’t put a buyer off from making a purchase. If you can get a social influencer on board your brand – it has a powerful and positive effect!

Finally, consumers love the fact that it’s easier than ever to contact a business. Whether it’s to inquire about prices, opening hours or to leave some feedback - at the click of a button a customer can send a direct message to your business - and the more efficient and faster your response rate, the more the consumer’s trust in you will grow.

At Destination, we understand the ways consumers use and interact with social media, and we can utilise this to provide your business with the very best social media marketing.