Social Media = media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.
Despite what people might think social media is not a new and modern thing, it first started in the 1990s. However, it is only recently on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace that digital marketing through social media has really taken off! Here we’re going to assess the pros and cons of social media in digital marketing.
Techniques- There are many different techniques used on social media sites which targeted at the specific groups that use them. Examples of this these are ‘liking’, being able to follow or become a friend of a company/organisation, sponsored adverts, mobile ‘tagging’, like/follow suggestions through friends, online ratings and companies themselves offering a motive to like or follow them for example extra discount on products. More and more companies are now hiring people especially to promote, monitor and manage social media pages.
Benefits- for this section the stats speak for themselves…
- 800m regularly use Facebook.
- 40% of people make purchases based on a social media comment.
- 500m using twitter.
So many people are on social media sites now that companies would be stupid not to take up the opportunity to market themselves and their product online. On websites like Facebook organisations can advertise through friends of followers, therefore targeting likely markets through the modern era ‘word of mouth’. Websites like Facebook and Twitter are also great for promoting campaigns, a great example of this is ‘bring back the wispa bar’- thousands of people joined a Facebook petition aiming to bring back the old chocolate bar, when Cadburys bought it back sales rocketed and more petitions followed. Further to this, an online marketing expert, Jeff Bullas provided this list of benefits of social media-
The 12 Major Benefits Of Social Media
1. Increased awareness of the organisation
2. Increased traffic to website
3. Greater favorable perceptions of the brand
4. Able to monitor conversations about the organisation
5. Able to develop targeted marketing activities
6. Better understanding of customers perceptions of their brand
7. Improved insights about their target markets
8. Identification of positive and negative comments
9. Increase in new business
10. Identification of new product or service opportunities
11. Ability to measure the frequency of the discussion about the brand
12. Early warning of potential product or service issues
Negatives- One major flaw of using social media is the fact that the organisation itself can’t keep a constant eye on what is being written by customers or critics on your site. A recent example of this Tesco’s Facebook page receiving lots of bad comments and attention after the news of their beef burgers containing horse meat.
Another negative of using social media is that it is difficult to get the right balance on these sites, one extreme is too much information and customers may get fed up of companies ‘spamming’ their home pages, however, if a company is completely inactive followers will forget about them and possibly ‘unfollow’ or lose interest.
Facebook(2013) – http://www.facebook.com
Twitter(2013) – http://www.twitter.com