Popularity of Social Media Marketing Among Businesses
Viral Marketing (social media)
Social Media Marketing
Social media are a shift in the way people read, share and discover information and related contents. This is taking place through the internet in the form of social networks (example Myspace, Facebook), blogs, music and video portals (example YouTube), micro blogging (example Pluk, Twitter) and news aggregators. The possibility brought through Web 2.0 is an evolutionary convergence allowing two way communication platform that harnesses collective intelligence. Social media marketing caries potential similar to a double-edged-sword (Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels, 2009).
Reasons for Exceedingly Popularity of Social Media Marketing Among Businesses
Outwardly, communication activities by businesses of all sizes have changed owing to growth of social media globally (Martin, 2009). Unlike the traditional channels of communication, social media provides a platform for existing and potential consumers to share opinions virtually. This transfers power to build or break a brand from the business owners to the market consumers. Businesses struggling to develop a communication channel with the market bank on the social networks platform to obtain real-time reactions from the market. The potential in monitoring public sentiments on a round-the-clock basis on the social network spaces allows quick attention to complaints, consumer preferences and potential revenue maximizing opportunities. Businesses use the social networks to conveniently avert potential disasters that are likely to boil to apprehensions (Myron, 2009).
The growth of social media marketing is present in rising investments made by companies and businesses towards marketing. (Dailey, 2009) observes that large companies are allocating up to 10% of annual marketing budget towards social media marketing programs. Small business allocations to such ventures are approximately 30% of the total marketing budget. The proportions in budgetary allocation will increase with high expectations in the efficiency of the social networks. Social media marketing have better outreach to the market stretch as well as, a higher return on investment (ROI) *(Dailey, 2009).
The growing preference for social media marketing by business of all sizes is not only attributable to the expected return on investment (Donna, Hoffman, & Fodor. M., 2010). In comparison with the traditional marketing media, social media marketing has a better accuracy in targeting the core objectives of advertising a product in the market. Marketing seeks to define, build recognition, increase trials of the product or service, expand products or service, bolster reputation and build loyalty (Donna et al., 2010). Social media networks provide this and more through the avenues of interactions that encourage market participation. This perspective offers efficiency in defining a product and authenticates candidly market opinions on the product. Other marketing media fail to offer interactions that can lead to greater impact on consumers' decision owing to lack of participation forums.
Social media has transformed the marketing venture through allowing willful participation of potential consumers in obtaining and reacting to information. Audio and vision marketing advertisement constantly interrupt potential consumers during their normal viewing/listening. According to Dailey (2009), it compromises the willingness of potential consumer to embrace information presented in this form. Social media marketing is different in that the consumers exercise the derogative to obtain the information. Willing participation in reading and airing views about a product opens a channel for potential and existing consumers to absorb more information on a product or service. In the real world people hold value the opinion of their close associates. The social network media offers substantial volume of affiliation magnifying the potential influence people's opinion will have on personal choices. The social media in this perspective have a bigger influence owing to reach and relations created compared to other media (Myron, 2009).
Businesses are compelled to reorganize and rethink their strategies and communication measures in reaching out to the market. The influence of each consumer's opinions on brands and products serves to create powerfully coordinated forces that raise awareness. Social media marketing is preferred by business owing to the transfer of control to the customers that lessens the burden of public relation in corporations.
The time spent on social network has also influenced business preference for social media marketing. It is observed by Dailey (2009) that the average person revisits their social network site at least four times a day. This behavior provides an opportunity to gather valuable information on individual interests that advertising business target for purposes of selling their brands. The interactions generated from the frequent visit to the site builds opinions on a product allowing for brand recognition and trials by consumers. Business growing preference for social media marketing is not ill-advised given the potential the discussion forums generate in influencing the brand performance.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing For Business Entrepreneurs
Social media framework outlines a measure for a global community engagement omitting the apprehension of the long-term value of investment in the processes (Joel, 2009). The form of business to client engagement presents opportunity for a business to connect and build a community of loyal consumers. The increasing affiliation of consumers is an investment that provides leverage to the company against potential competitors in the market. The rapport and trust resulting from the firm and consumer connectedness builds a durable business relation hard for competitors to encroach upon (Joel, 2009). Businesses are likely to look at the short-term influence the social media provides but, it also extends the potential of sustainability in the market and brand loyalty.
Social media marketing allows businesses to enhance their customer service experience through brand configurations that reflect customer needs (Dailey, 2009). The responsiveness of a company to consumer needs in general improves the perception of the company in global magnitude. It will in a tremendous way contribute the customer retention and in a powerful way contribute to sustainable business.
Social media marketing provides an open space for companies to interact with consumers. These interactions are fruitful only to the business entrepreneurs receiving appraisals or positive criticisms on their brands (Myron, 2009). It is also expected that, the company will respond to the reactions shared by consumers in the market. Business to market interactions in the social media can be used to tarnish brand image by competitors in the market. This compromises the essence of objective interaction and sets in the need for marketers to defend their brand. Objectivity in the interaction is likely to be lost where marketers participate in shaping people's opinions through the same social network media. Disgruntled employees can also use the avenue social media provides to discredit the business, its products or services.
Businesses have significantly lost the power to control the perception of their brands through the evolution of social media marketing. The business entrepreneurs come to terms with challenges of engineering their desired product image owing to the influence of social media. Marketing objective in businesses is an uphill task of attending to matters relating to brand as far as public misgiving may arise. Owing to the spread of social media, a business facing numerous public misgiving may see its brand crumble (Joel, 2009).
Social Marketing Media and Pepsi's Gain in Customer Insight
The choice to use of social marketing media by Pepsi contributed to the reduction in advertising cost availing funds for use in other product proportion measures. The choice to abscond heavy spending on advertising during the Super Bowl gave leverage to the company to interact with consumers and build identification with the brand. Social media marketing improved Pepsi's outreach to the market by substantially multiplying the number of people participating in the marketing campaign. The social media activities providing a multiplier effect complements customer relation to build consumer brand loyalty.
As it was discussed earlier, the influence of other people's opinion is seen to play a substantial role in advertising Pepsi's products. Social media marketing creates a community of interest group that provided multiplicity of interest other than those of the company. This helped to recruitment of customers beyond the scope of the marketing venture initially planned. The use of social marketing media provided PepsiCo and opportunity to explore in a wider market range by casting a wider net.
Consumers' participation in the social media marketing allowed the company to gather views and opinion from the market. These made the consumers feel valued thereby, influencing other potential consumers to air their views in the social networks. The social network marketing provided an opportunity to willing persons to air out their opinions without fear or intimidation. This platform encouraged more views as opposed to advertising through other media where no opinions would be gathered.
Social media marketing is interactive in nature and, it pulled the different interests together to provide insights for the company. Consumer participation in the voting for ads campaigns and picking flavor names affords the company an opportunity to understand the market desires. This is an aspect that is not realizable through other media marketing campaigns.
The involvement of followers in the company social network created a platform for discussions on a wider scale that increased with little or no effort by the…