social media marketing
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites or blogs to promote and increases the sales of a product or service. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing both are some, social media marketing is becoming more popular these days. Among all of the social media most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns.
social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope. When using social media marketing, firms can allow customers and Internet users to post user-generated content like the product review
More than three billion people in the world are active on the Internet. Over the years, the Internet has continually gained more and more users, jumping from 738 million in 2000 all the way to 3.2 billion in 2015. Roughly 81% of the current population in the United States has some type of social media profile that they engage with frequently. Mobile phone usage is beneficial for social media marketing because of their web browsing capabilities which allow individuals immediate access to social networking sites.
Mobile phones have altered the path-to-purchase process by allowing consumers to easily obtain pricing and product information in real-time. They have also allowed companies to constantly remind and update their followers. Many companies are now putting QR (Quick Response) codes along with products for individuals to access the company website or online services with their smartphones.
Retailers use QR codes to facilitate consumer interaction with brands by linking the code to brand websites, promotions, product information, and any other mobile-enabled content. In addition, Real-time bidding use in the mobile advertising industry is high and rising due to its value for on-the-go web browsing.
Mobile devices have become increasingly popular, where 5.7 billion people are using them worldwide. This has played a role in the way consumers interact with media and has many further implications for TV ratings, advertising, mobile commerce, and more. Mobile media consumption such as mobile audio streaming or mobile video are on the rise – As of 2013, worldwide mobile phone Internet user penetration was 73.4%. In 2017, figures suggest that more than 90% of Internet users will access online through phones.
Strategies for social media marketing
Two basic strategies
for engaging social media as marketing tools:
Social media can be a useful source of market information and a way to hear customer perspectives. Blogs, content communities, and forums are platforms where individuals share their reviews and recommendations of brands, products, and services. Businesses are able to tap and analyze the customer voices and feedback generated in social media for marketing purposes; in this sense, social media is a relatively inexpensive source of market intelligence that can be used by marketers and managers to track and respond to consumer-identified problems and detect market opportunities. For example, The Internet erupted with videos and pictures of the iPhone 6 “bend test” which showed that the coveted phone could be bent by hand pressure.
The so-called “bend gate” controversy created confusion amongst customers who had waited months for the launch of the latest rendition of the iPhone. However, Apple promptly issued a statement saying that the problem was extremely rare and that the company had taken several steps to make the mobile device’s case stronger and robust. Unlike traditional market research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and data mining which is time-consuming and costly, and which take weeks or even months to analyze, marketers can use social media to obtain ‘live’ or “real-time” information about consumer behavior and viewpoints on a company’s brand or products. This can be useful in the highly dynamic, competitive, fast-paced and global marketplace of the 2010s.
Social media can be used not only as public relations and direct marketing tools but also as communication channels targeting very specific audiences with social media influencers and social media personalities and as effective customer engagement tools. Technologies predating social media, such as broadcast TV and newspapers can also provide advertisers with a fairly targeted audience, given that an ad placed during a sports game broadcast or in the sports section of a newspaper is likely to be read by sports fans. However, social media websites can target niche markets even more precisely.
Using digital tools such as Google Adsense, advertisers can target their ads to very specific demographics, such as people who are interested in social entrepreneurship, political activism associated with a particular political party, or video gaming. Google Adsense does this by looking for keywords in social media user’s online posts and comments. It would be hard for a TV station or paper-based newspaper to provide ads that are this targeted (though not impossible, as can be seen with “special issue” sections on niche issues, which newspapers can use to sell targeted ads).
Social networks are, in many cases, viewed as a great tool for avoiding costly market research. They are known for providing a short, fast, and direct way to reach an audience through a person who is widely known. Facebook and LinkedIn are leading social media platforms where users can hyper-target their ads. Hyper targeting not only uses public profile information but also information users submit but hide from others.
Social media marketing networking websites
Social networking websites allow individuals, businesses and organizations to interact with one another and build relationships and communities online. When customers join these social channels of the company,
consumers can interact with them directly. That interaction can be more personal to users. Social networking sites act as word of mouth or e-word of mouth. The Internet’s ability to reach billions of users across the globe has given online word of mouth a powerful voice and far reach.
The ability to rapid changes in buying patterns and product or service it’s because of influence through social media. Social networking sites and blogs allow followers to retweet, repost, comments, etc made on a product being promoted, which is quite frequently possible on social media sites. the user’s connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people on the website as well as social sites which increases the traffic on the sites and increases the sales
of product and services of the company
Social networking websites are based on building virtual communities that allow consumers to express their needs, wants and values, online. Social media marketing that connects these consumers and audiences to businesses that share the same needs, wants, and values. Through social networking sites, companies can keep in touch with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty to followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience. Social networking sites also include much information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new semantic analysis technologies, marketers can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online.
Twitter allows companies to promote their products in short messages are known as tweets limited to 140 characters which appear on followers’ Home timelines. Tweets can contain text, Hashtag, photo, video, Animated GIF, Emoji, or links to the product’s website and other social media profiles, etc. Twitter is also used by companies to provide customer service. Some companies make support available 24/7 and answer promptly, thus improving brand loyalty and appreciation.
Facebook pages are far more detailed than Twitter accounts.
They allow a product to provide videos, photos, longer descriptions, and testimonials where followers can comment on the product pages for others to see. Facebook can link back to the product’s Twitter page, as well as send out event reminders. As of May 2015, 93% of businesses marketers use Facebook to promote their brand.
LinkedIn, a professional business-related networking site,
allows companies to create professional profiles for themselves as well as their business to network and meet others. Through the use of widgets, members can promote their various social networking activities, such as a Twitter stream or blog entries of their product pages, onto their LinkedIn profile page. LinkedIn provides its members with the opportunity to generate sales leads and business partners. Members can use “Company Pages” similar to Facebook pages to create an area that will allow business owners to promote their products or services and be able to interact with their customers.
WhatsApp was founded by Jan Koum and Brian Acton. Joining
Facebook in 2014, WhatsApp continues to operate as a separate app with a laser focus on building a messaging service that works fast and reliably anywhere in the world. Started as an alternative to SMS, Whatsapp now supports sending and receiving a variety of media including text, photos, videos, documents, and location, as well as voice calls. WhatsApp messages and calls are secured with end-to-end encryption, meaning that no third party including WhatsApp can read or listen to them.
Yelp consists of a comprehensive online index of business profiles. Businesses are searchable by location, similar to Yellow Pages. The
website is operational in seven different countries, including the United
States and Canada. Business account holders are allowed to create, share, and edit business profiles. They may post information such as the business location, contact information, pictures, and service information. The website further allows individuals to write, post reviews about businesses, and rate them on a five-point scale. Messaging and talk features are further made available for general members of the website, serving to guide thoughts and opinions.
In May 2014, Instagram had over 200 million users. The user engagement rate of Instagram was 15 times higher than of Facebook and 25 times higher than that of Twitter. According to Scott Galloway, the founder of L2 and a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, the latest studies estimate that 93% of prestige brands have an active presence on Instagram and include it in their marketing mix. When it comes to brands and businesses, Instagram’s goal is to help companies to reach their respective audiences through captivating imagery in a rich, visual environment. Moreover, Instagram provides a platform where users and companies can communicate publicly and directly, making itself an ideal platform for companies to connect with their current and potential customers.
Many brands are now heavily using this mobile app to boost their marketing strategy. Instagram can be used to gain the necessary momentum needed to capture the attention of the market segment that has an interest in the product offering or services. According to a study by Simply Measured, 71% of the world’s largest brands are now using Instagram as a marketing channel. For companies, Instagram can be used as a tool to connect and communicate with current and potential customers. The company can present a more personal picture of its brand, and by doing so the company conveys a better and true picture of itself. The idea of Instagram pictures lies on on-the-go, a sense that the event is happening right now, and that adds another layer to the personal and accurate picture of the company.
Snapchat is a popular messaging and picture exchanging an application that was created in 2011 by three students at Stanford University named Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. The application was first developed to allow users to message back and forth and to also send photographs that are only available from 1–10 seconds until they are no longer available. The app was an instant hit with social media members and today there are up to 158 million people using Snapchat every single day. It is also estimated that Snapchat users are opening the application approximately 18 times per day, which means users are on the app for about 25–30 minutes per day.
YouTube is another popular avenue; advertisements are done in a way to suit the target audience. The type of language used in the commercials and the ideas used to promote the product reflect the audience’s style and taste. Also, the ads on this platform are usually in sync with the content of the video requested, this is another advantage YouTube brings for advertisers. Certain ads are presented with certain videos since the content is relevant. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video are also possible on YouTube, “for example, a user who searches for a YouTube video on dog training may be presented with a sponsored video from a dog toy company
in results along with other videos.” YouTube also enables publishers to earn money through its YouTube Partner Program. Companies can pay YouTube for a special “channel” which promotes the companies products or services.
Platforms like LinkedIn create an environment for companies and clients to connect online. Companies that recognize the need for
information, originality/ and accessibility employ blogs to make their products popular and unique/ and ultimately reach out to consumers who are privy to social media. Studies from 2009 show that consumers view coverage in the media or from bloggers as being more neutral and credible than print advertisements, which are not thought of as free or independent. Blogs allow a product or company to provide longer descriptions of products or services, can include testimonials and can link to and from other social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and are promotional techniques for keeping customers, and also for acquiring followers and subscribers who can then be directed to social network pages. Online communities can enable a business to reach the clients of other businesses using the platform.
Blogging website Tumblr first launched ad products on May
29, 2012. Rather than relying on simple banner ads, Tumblr requires advertisers to create a Tumblr blog so the content of those blogs can be featured on the site. In one year, four native ad formats were created on web and mobile and had more than 100 brands advertising on Tumblr with 500 cumulative sponsored posts.
Engagement with the social web means that customers are active participants rather than passive viewers. Social media use in a business or political context allows all consumers/citizens to express and share an opinion about a company’s products, services, business practices, or a
government’s actions. Each participating customer, non-customer, or citizen who is participating online via social media becomes a part of the marketing department.
Engagement in social media for the purpose of a social media strategy is divided into two parts. The first is proactive, regular posting of new online content. This can be seen through digital photos, digital videos, text, and conversations. It is also represented through the sharing of content and information from others via web links. The second part is reactive conversations with social media users responding to those who reach out to your social media profiles through commenting or messaging.
Traditional media such as TV news shows are limited to one-way interaction with customers or ‘push and tell’ where only specific
information is given to the customer with few or limited mechanisms to obtain customer feedback.
Campaigns on social media
Local businesses: Small businesses also use social networking sites as a
promotional technique. Businesses can follow an individual’s social networking site uses in the local area and advertise specials and deals. Small businesses also use social networking sites to develop their own market research on new products and services. By encouraging their customers to give feedback on new product ideas, businesses can gain valuable insights on whether a product may be accepted by their target market enough to merit full production, or not.
In addition, customers will feel the company has engaged them in the process of co-creation—the process in which the business uses customer feedback to create or modify a product or service the filling a need for the target market. Such feedback can present in various forms, such as surveys, contests, polls, etc.
Social networking sites such as LinkedIn, also provide an opportunity for small businesses to find candidates to fill staff positions. Review sites, such as Yelp, also help small businesses to build their reputation beyond just brand visibility. Positive customer peer reviews help to influence new prospects to purchase goods and services more than company advertising.
Purposes and tactics of social media marketing
One of the main purposes of employing social media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and makes them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products. These companies use social media to create buzz and learn from and target customers. It’s the only form of marketing that can finger consumers at each and every stage of the consumer decision journey.
Marketing through social media has other benefits as well. Of the top 10
factors that correlate with a strong Google organic search, seven are social media dependent. This means that if brands are less or non-active on social media, they tend to show up less on Google searches. While platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have a larger number of monthly users, the visual media sharing based mobile platforms, however, garner a higher interaction rate in comparison and have registered the fastest growth and have changed the ways in which consumers engage with brand content. Instagram has an interaction rate of 1.46% with an average of 130 million users monthly as opposed to Twitter which has a .03% interaction rate with an average of 210 million monthly users. companies make use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to reach audiences much wider.
Sponsored mobile Post – Advertisements (Advertisers’ blog posts) will show up on the user’s Dashboard when the user is on a mobile device such as smartphones and tablets, allowing them to like, reblog, and share the
Sponsored web post – “Largest in-stream ad unit on the web” that catches the users’ attention when looking at their Dashboard through their computer or laptop. It also allows the viewers to like, reblog,
and share it.
Sponsored radar – Radar picks up exceptional posts from the whole Tumblr community based on their originality and creativity. It is placed on the right side next to the Dashboard, and it typically earns 120 million daily impressions. Sponsored radar allows advertisers to place their posts there to have an opportunity to earn new followers, reblogs, and likes.
Sponsored spotlight – Spotlight is a directory of some of the popular blogs throughout the community and a place where users can find new blogs to follow. similarly, Advertisers can choose one category out of fifty categories that they can have their blog listed on there.
These posts can be one or more of the following: images, photo sets, animated GIFs, video, audio, and text posts. For the users to differentiate the promoted posts to the regular users’ posts, the promoted posts have a dollar symbol on the corner. On May 6, 2014, Tumblr announced customization and theming on mobile apps for brands to advertise.
Web site reports
This involves tracking the volume of visits, leads, and customers to a website from the individual social channel. Google Analytics is a free tool that shows the behavior and other information, such as demographics and device type used, of website visitors from social networks. This and other commercial offers can aid marketers in choosing the most effective social networks and social media marketing activities.
Return on investment
The end goal of any marketing effort is to generate sales. Although social media is a useful marketing tool, it is often difficult to quantify to what extent it is contributing to profit. ROI can be measured by comparing marketing analytic value to contact database or CRM and connect marketing efforts directly to sales activity.
Customer response rates
Several customers are turning towards social media to
express their appreciation or frustration with brands, product or services.
Therefore, marketers can measure the frequency of which customers are discussing their brand and judge how effective their SMM strategies are. In recent studies, 72% of people surveyed expressed that they expected a response to their complaints on Twitter within an hour.
Social media marketing in sport
There has been an increase in social media marketing in sport, as sports teams and clubs recognize the importance of keeping a rapport with their fans and other audiences through social media. therefore Sports personalities such as Cristiano Ronaldo have 40.7 million followers on Twitter and 49.6 million on Instagram, creating opportunities for endorsements.