Social media is a powerful marketing strategy. In fact, “half of millennials trust influencers they follow for product recommendations, and almost a quarter of millennials and GenZ women most often learn about new products from influencers,” (Abiaka, 2022). The shift to remote models of work and activity has resulted in increased levels of social media use (Samet, 2020). In response to the pandemic, businesses have put greater emphasis on social media to engage with consumers.
Social media was a huge contributing factor for growing Rock n Rags, a clothing boutique based in Highland Park, Illinois. Founder and CEO Kira Kessler can not imagine how the business would be around without social media: “it was how we found our community and followers–it was totally integral to our success” (Kessler, 2022). Furthermore, Zoey Fishman, Head of Online Operations at Rock n Rags, says a lack of social media presence caused a lot of stores to go out of business during the pandemic (Fishman, 2022). Creating an online presence can make or break a brand’s success, especially in uncertain economic times.
Unfortunately, many businesses do not utilize social media strategically. Surprisingly, “82% of companies agree that social media is a vital channel for delivering exceptional customer experiences, but only 58% have a defined strategy for doing so,” (Hall, 2021). Failing to use social media can limit a brand’s potential. Cindy Ho, a social media manager and student at Walter Payton College Prep, believes that “businesses, small and large, should use social media to their advantage” because “social media can be leveraged to make new brands seem more popular and more experienced than they actually are, which is certainly helpful from the business perspective” (Ho, 2022). For businesses that may be hesitant to change their current marketing strategy, Cindy offers some advice: “the most important thing is to start, instead of worrying about everything that might come after” (Ho, 2022). Social media offers numerous opportunities for any individual or business to expand its network.
Social media is a powerful and low-cost marketing strategy that can propel businesses forward. As experienced by Rock n Rags and Cindy Ho, employing a social media marketing strategy is key to success. Leveraging appropriate models can offer pathways for success that would not otherwise be possible.