Marketing Through Social Media

Introduction

Social media platforms such as:

are popular tools. Technology has enabled people to access social media and connect with others. Smart phones, tablets and gadgets come preloaded with access to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook so users can instantly set up profiles and access their social media "on the go".

Considering the popularity of social media it's not surprising that firms have embraced social media in their marketing campaigns. The success of a marketing campaign often includes a judgement of its popularity on social networking sites. For example an analysis of the success of Coca Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign included statistics showing how many more people visited Coca Cola's Facebook site during the campaign (an increase of 870% during the 2011 summer marketing campaign in Australia) and by how much its Facebook site grow.

Facebook Statistics

The table below (source socialbaker.com) shows Facebook users based on geographical location.

Continent Users Penetration
Asia 267 797 740 6.61%
Europe 249 960 720 30.20%
North America 236 432 000 43.79%
South America 144 406 140 36.41%
Africa 50 437 300 4.97%
Oceania 14 624 020 39.46%

By 2012 Facebook had accumulated nearly a billion users, from a business perspective this is the equivalent of reaching an audience greater than the size of north America and Europe.

Facebook Example

Dell has successfully used social media to generate business, in 2009 its global sales associated with ‘tweets’ reached $6.5 million. These examples demonstrate the potential of social media, so it's not surprising that firms recruit people to increase their social media followers.

Benefits of Using Social Media For Firms

Social Networking Sites And The Promotional Mix

When a company is planning their marketing strategy it makes sense for the firm to integrate social media into the promotional mix. The promotional mix needs to include how the firm will introduce the marketing campaign to its social network followers. It could also include how social media will be used to create a "Buzz" about the marketing campaign. This may include links on social networking sites to promotional materials, exclusive offers and personalised messages.

The promotional mix should include how the "Buzz" will be maintained and for how long. For example part way through its "Share a Coke" campaign, Coke decided to offer people (in the UK) the opportunity to print out personalised Coke bottle labels at shopping centres such as Westfield.

Finally the promotional mix needs to include a contingency plan detailing how to overcome negative social media activity because (as is the case with positive social media) negative social media can spiral out of control very quickly.

Conclusion

As we know the business world is very competitive, if a business wants to survive it needs to reflect the activities of its target market. If your target market are social media users a strong social networking site presence is essential. Updates should follower a regular pattern so followers know when to expect new posts but check regularly for messages from followers so that they feel you are always available for them. Social networking activity needs to be closely managed and aim for growth at a pace that the firm can comfortably handle.



 

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