The paper provides a brief background of LinkedIn and Facebook. The paper consists of an overview of the social media industry and its importance as a tool of communication. It explores the marketing tactics and strategies used by the two corporations. The comparison part explains the differences and similarities of the marketing methods employed by Facebook and LinkedIn. The overview part suggests the best tactics for Sof-A-legue.com to attain a better competitive advantage. The section on situation analysis explores Sof-A-Legues's goals plus objectives, and identifies various strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Also, conducts an analysis of the 4ps.
Marketing Plan for Sof-A-Logue.Com
Sof-A-Logue.com is establishing a new marketing scheme, which we shall use to make it to become better known to fresh markets and clients. As a result, we shall use Facebook and LinkedIn, which are social media platforms, as a basis of comparing their strategies to get the best. The following information will be useful; as it will help you to comprehend what we should do in our quest to take Sof-A-Logue to the next level.
Part 1: Brief Background of the Companies
LinkedIn is a social media platform that Reid Hoffman initiated in 2002. LinkedIn is in the business of helping its clients be more fruitful and successful by allowing professional connections to be visible. LinkedIn is a social network that concerns itself with providing professional a platform where they can interact and share ideas. As of February 2013, LinkedIn functions as the world's leading professional network on the Internet with its membership being 200 million in various countries across the world ("LinkedIn," 2013.)
LinkedIn remains to be the most suitable way for professionals to stay connected and interactive with other professionals from all over the world. LinkedIn is a highly competitive social platform as it helps its members to establish, broaden, and sustain a network of business mentors. On the other hand, in the year 2004, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, and by 2011, it had more than 500 million active users with at least half of the users logging in daily (Zarrella, and Zarrella, 2011). Facebook is an online social site, which presents people with a way of sharing information and ideas in a natural and pleasurable way. This platform allows clients to stay connected and be in a position to communicate and intermingle with friends using videos, photos, status updates, and messages, among many other upcoming ways. It is among the sites with the largest traffic levels (Zarrella, and Zarrella, 2011).
Part 1: Brief Background of the Industry
Social media is a platform that enables people to interact with others by creating, sharing, and exchanging information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. According to Castells (2007) and Manovich (2009), in the wake of the new Millennium, the world saw the invention of Web 2.0, which saw online services shift from providing channels for online exchanges to being interactive, allowing for two-way communications in time (as cited by Dijck, 2013). These platforms have provided means through which people from all walks of life can interact at all levels of life including socially, economically, and even at professional levels.
Families are using the platforms to communicate with their loved ones, organizations strike deals on the social media while students are using the social media in their career pursuits. It is necessary to note that social media platforms are dynamic objects rather than products. According to Feenberg (2009), the designing of these platforms should be in a way that they meet the dynamic needs of users and objectives of the owners, which are likely to change with the changing technological infrastructure and the competing platforms (as cited by Dijck, 2013). Social media is now widely used for communication and interaction in all spheres of life.
Part 1: The Strategies used by Each Company
Facebook and LinkedIn apply a number of marketing strategies, which have enabled them recruit and maintain many users to their site. First, Facebook has developed products, which are of various forms and customers could apply them for various functions. For instance, they have products such as Facebook groups, which allow members to create and join groups including a class in college, and Facebook pages for individuals among others. Second, Facebook allows users to access it through a number of media including mobile phones as almost everyone can access them ("Facebook," 2013.) In addition, Facebook allows members to interact using various media such as photos, video, and chat among others.
Further, Facebook introduced Live feeds which have given it a competitive advantage over the rest of the social media platforms ("Facebook," 2013). Additionally, Facebook is keen on getting information about how they are fairing in the market. Through their website, they have developed a platform where users can give feedback about Facebook's products and what they expect from the company. Lastly, Facebook allows members to access it through other platforms using other websites and search engines such as Yahoo.
On the other hand, LinkedIn targets at its niche by making it more professional than a recreational site ("LinkedIn," 2013.) Therefore, it is able to command a substantial number of professional clients who may be reluctant to join social networks, which may seem just for "leisure." In addition to this, LinkedIn allows businesses to advertise their wares on the site making it appeal to a number of companies. For both sites, membership is free, which is a strategy meant to attract all regardless of their social class.
Part 1: Comparison and Contrast of How Each Reaches its Market
To be able to reach their target markets, both LinkedIn and Facebook have employed various methods with some being similar while others are unique to each. It is beneficial to analyze the common channels that both use as our company can adopt them to be able to reach the target audience. First, both have websites through which they communicate with the target audience. By logging to their websites, one can get a quick scan through the companies' activities, news, product, and most important a "login" prompt. Second, they have used other media to advertise their products by having their reviews in platforms like Encyclopaedia Britannica ("Facebook," 2013: "LinkedIn," 2013). This provides them with a platform to communicate with their target audience by providing the latest information about their performance in the market and the new products that they have to offer (Facebook, 2013: LinkedIn 2013).
Although the companies have similarities in the way they reach their markets, there are differences, which resulted from the different market niches that they aspire to influence. Whereas Facebook has employed social responsibility as one of the ways to get to its target market, it is apparent that LinkedIn has not ventured into this strategy. On the other hand, Facebook allows its users to invite friends to their sites and even give a list of suggested friends to their friends. LinkedIn, unlike Facebook that uses mainly text to pass their messages to the market, has capitalized on the use of more graphics than text to communicate to their target audience (Facebook, 2013: LinkedIn, 2013). The analysis of these channels of communication can form a basis for which we can decide on the best communication methods to use to reach our market.
Part 2: Overview of a Marketing Strategy for a Sof-A-Logue.com
It is crucial that we develop a better and more appealing marketing strategy, than the current one, for Sof-A-Logue.com for it to be able to gain a competitive advantage in a highly competitive environment. The company will mainly use the internet as its marketing tool to reach out to its target audience. The initial strategy that we shall be employ is the creation of a website, which attracts the interest of visitors and induces them to visit the site again (Wiideman, 2008). In addition, a new slogan and mission statement, which the market can identify with, are in order because they will stick to the minds of the audience. Further, if there is a need, we can change the company's name and give it a name that is simpler and appeals to the target market. We shall carry out a post marketing evaluation to allow the team to understand the dynamics of the market and make out whether the marketing campaign is fruitful.
Another marketing strategy that can make the company achieve its goals and objectives is by introducing products, which our competitors have not ventured. For this purpose, having a platform for students to interact and share academic issues is a milestone for the corporation. Also, we can decide to have a platform where educational the users on the site share materials. The site's users should be extended to include children but under their parents' watch and guidance. There are markets, which remain unexplored by the competitors, and developing strategies to access them will be paramount. For instance, according to Smith, Segall, and Cowley (2012), the government of China censored the use of Facebook…