Social media as a marketing tool is versatile, far-reaching, fast, inexpensive, fosters brand awareness, and can improve customer service.
Illustrate how social media can be used in the promotional mix
- As a marketing tool, social media is distinct from industrial or traditional media and is versatile, far-reaching, fast, relatively inexpensive, and fosters brand awareness and improves customer service.
- Social media used as a marketing tool provides useful and valuable measurable data on trends, consumer interaction, feedback, public opinion, brand activity, and customer buying habits.
- The Internet has overtaken television as the largest advertising market of all as banner and pop-up ads showcase a vast array of products and services.
- Social Bookmarking: Enables users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarked Web documents for future use.
- Backlinks: Are clickable and bring traffic back to a company’s website.
- Engagement: Means that both customers and stakeholders are participants rather than passive viewers.
Social media enables individuals and communities to co-create, share, and modify content in an interactive, Internet-based environment. Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic through social networking sites. It is driven by word of mouth. Results come from earned, as opposed to paid media. As a marketing tool, social media is distinct from industrial or traditional media, is versatile, far-reaching, fast, relatively inexpensive, fosters brand awareness, and improves customer service.
Different Types of Social Media
Limited only by the imaginations of Internet Web designers, social media offers marketing vehicles, such as magazines, forums or discussion sites, weblogs, social blogs, microblogs, instant messaging, email, crowdsourcing distributed to a specific group of people, photographs or pictures, articles, video, and wikis or collaborated websites allowing additions, modifications, and deletions. Others include social networks, subscribed episodic audio, video, PDF or ePub podcasts downloaded or streamed, online telephonic services, and social bookmarking services that enable users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarked Web documents for future use and more.
Social Media Functionality
There are six ways social media functions: a). collaborative–Wikipedia, blogs, and microblogs, such as Twitter; b) content communities (e.g.,YouTube); c) social networking sites (e.g., Facebook); d) virtual game worlds (e.g.,World of Warcraft; e) virtual social worlds (e.g.,Second Life); and f. voice-over IP or online telephone services. All can be consolidated into one profile via aggregation platforms. All can be woven into a marketing plan rich with sales promotions, public relations outlets, advertising, and other elements of the “promotional mix.”
Mobile social media on a wide array of devices, such as tablets, iPods, phones, and other new products, extend and expedite marketing reach.
Search Engine and Keyword Optimization
Search engine ranking, content quality, or the relevancy to search terms, backlinks and links have emerged as effective social media marketing tools.
Backlinks are clickable and bring traffic back to a company’s website. They impact ranking within the search results if positioned properly. In addition, the anchor text used within a link, where it appears on a page and the other content on the page dictates its effectiveness.
The words used in website copy give exposure if they match common search words used in queries. A good social media marketer researches the correct words that people type into search engines so it behooves a business to embed those words in their websites. If a narrower focus is used when selecting keywords, competition within the search results drops dramatically so research using search phrase competition results, and search volume is the foundation of successful Internet marketing.
Strategic and Focused
Social media used as a marketing tool provides useful and valuable measureable data on trends, consumer interaction, feedback, public opinion, brand activity, and customer buying habits. Its reach is precise and easily aimed at a targeted audience. Automated information technologies, that are indigenous to social media platforms, optimize the production of goods and the delivery of services.
In the context of social media, “engagement” means that both customers and stakeholders are participants rather than passive viewers. Each participating customer becomes part of the marketing process, as other customers read comments or reviews.
Social Media Impacts Traditional Advertising
The Internet has overtaken television as the largest advertising market, as banner and pop-up ads showcase a vast array of products and services. QR codes, facilitated by mobile social media, online and in tandem with print advertising deliver extensive product and service information with a simple scan of a cell phone.
Internet and social media leaks frequently impact traditional advertising as ads often appear online earlier than they are scheduled to premiere and go viral. They are seen more quickly and by more users without the time delays of traditional advertising methods.
Blogging gets a product to the public within minutes and without any technical, production, or print requirements. Most Web space hosts provide a free blogging platform, such as WordPress, for customer use. They are picked up by search engines, are indexed quickly, are interactive, and allow for online dialogue. Blogs are automatically updated with each post and are accessed through a feed. Functionality is expandable through a wide array of plugins.
Social Media and Confidential Information
The speed at which information spreads on the Internet has a downside. In 2010, the top three incidents faced by organizations involved sharing too much information in public forums, loss or exposure of confidential information, and an increased exposure to litigation. Legal damage is capable of devastating a business.