Nowadays Social media is hype all over the world. To understand Social Media, One must first establish an accepted definition. Social media was defined by Marketo (2010) in The Definitive Guide to B2B Social Media as “the production, consumption and exchange of information through online social interactions and platforms. ” They are considered to be low-cost tools that combine use of technology and social interaction and has become one of the main source of communication in the 21st-century and has enabled us to express our thoughts, ideas and feelings in a completely different way.
The massive growth of social websites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) has ushered the world into a new era of Social Media. The global reach is nothing short of amazing, so much so that if Facebook were a country, it would be third largest (The Economist 2010), next to China and India. The marketing world has also been influenced by social media. It is not only been used for personal use, but there are many companies that are using Social networking sites as a marketing tool.
The use of the social media in marketing is considered as a deviation from the traditional forms of marketing. In the past, marketing is done in terms of directly selling to the target audience particular products and services. There are some indispensable benefits of using social media in marketing. One of the greatest powers of social media in marketing is that the business firm can use it for targeting a local audience or market. It gives marketers a better way to communicate with peers, customers and potential consumers.
It is a free marketing tool and is faster in terms of spreading information about a business products and services than manpower and also helps companies to establish good communication with its customers and helps to market their products, builds brand equity, and increase customer’s loyalty. Application of social media in marketing comes in many forms and fits many functions. One function is to reach out and communicate with your customers, and blogging is one such tool for doing so.
To ensure a successful presence on social media, the companies need to use variety of marketing theories so that they can boost their brand in different aspects. This can be combined with innovative ways of consumer interaction so that companies have a good chance to take the lead in the marketing world. For example, Ford Motor Company had recently adopted social media to promote the release of their new model Ford Focus. “We selected 40 Social Media practitioners and gave them each a Focus to test at a test track in Spain,” said Paul Venn, executive vice president of Team Detroit, Ford’s advertising agency.
The videos were then distributed via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. The feedback from this marketing approach “is positive, given the number of views and the tenor of comments from videos shot on the test drive” (Levin, 2011). We have seen how social media has influenced the marketing world in a positive manner using suitable example; however there are some negative aspects of using social media in marketing. Many small organisations do not use social media because it is very time consuming and needs to be used effectively.
It is also a very competitive medium and marketers who use it very often and are successful with it are few in number and far between in comparison to the general population. Using social media enables people to direct messages towards an organisation that other consumers can see and often they cannot be ignored. The key here is to see how quickly an organisation will respond. All organisations will receive negative reviews but if they do not respond to them then it can be seen as poor service and it could be difficult for them to recover. It is often important to monitor social media even if you are not using it yourself.
It is easy for someone to pretend to be anyone especially on social networking sites with cyber squatters all over the place. If you do not have knowledge about social media presence, someone could pretend to act as your business which could cause great damage to the reputation of your brand. In conclusion, this essay has clearly stated how social media has been used as a marketing tool in a number of ways regardless of the disadvantages.
In the time of immense financial crunch and cut throat competition, social media marketing is a blessing in disguise. It provides an array of benefits which tempts many organisations to use to social media in marketing. References: 1) eBook: Andreson, E. (2010)
Social Media Marketing: Game Theory and the Emergence of Collaboration [eBook] , Berlin, Heidelberg. 2) Article: Andzulis, J. , Panagopoulos, N. , Rapp, A. , Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management; Summer2012, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p305-316, 12p 3) Websites: a) DISCOVERY: Heriot-Watt University Library Resources [https://vision. hw. ac. uk/webapps/portal/frameset. jsp? tab_tab_group_id=_9_1] b) Google : http://www. dreamgrow. com/indispensable-benefits-of-social-media-marketing-to-your-business/