Marketing Made Easy-Welcome To Social Media
Social media has taken the society by a storm. It is the talk of the town. With internet penetration going deeper into rural villages through mobile telephony, there is no doubt that social media offers a revolutionary medium of interaction that can only be ignored at your own peril.
Marketers have already sensed this. Some are already in like a pack of carnivores at a major kill. Other scavengers are cycling menacingly overhead like hungry vultures! It is big, and bound to grow even bigger. Millions of subscribers log into various platforms of social media to communicate. Whereas most users are on social media for fun, more and more people are discovering ways of doing serious business while at it! It is becoming more and more acceptable to mix business with pleasure!
That is why virtually every company of repute has a Facebook account, this being the leading global social media. With the advent of technology, other forms of social media have sprung up, some being specific to particular interests, e.g. dating, professional groups, sports, etc. Whatever their nature, this platform offers unique and revolutionary opportunity for brand marketing.
Social Media is the New Marketing Frontier
Some of the most popular social networking sites besides the Facebook include Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, MySpace, Google plus, Tagged, Deviant Art, LiveJournal, CafeMom, meetup, Ask.fm to name but a few. Both the public and private citizenry in their specific groups are networked into these social sites. Many individuals subscribe to more than one network due to varied interests. Interactions vary from constant to hourly, daily weekly or even monthly.
Some of the features that make social media attractive to brand marketer is the ease of entry. Just create a brand profile, set up a social media account and click the mouse and voila, your brand is out there, swimming with the rest! It is almost too easy, with plenty of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) guidelines.
Another aspect and probably the most compelling is that of cost. As a forum for creating Brand Awareness, social media is currently the most cost effective mode of marketing in the print and electronic media. You can get your brand exposed to millions of potential consumers the world over by merely advertising cheaply on a popular social network site, or simply create and popularize your own website. You can strategically link your website to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc so that you are able to attract sufficient web traffic. For example, goal.com, a popular website for soccer fans all over the world has a Facebook account, allowing it to take advantage of the heavier web traffic experienced on the latter.
Therefore, the two greatest attractions offered to marketers by social media are versatile flexibility and cost effectiveness. Although social networks offers more on Brand Awareness, some serious product sales have been generated and transacted through it.
Social Media-The New Brand Manager’s Paradise
Social networks also offer possibility of packaging your product according to the specific niche market. For example, a condom manufacturing company will place its product/brand within the major dating sites like Cupid corner and Tags. Products targeting teenagers will be circulated among sites popular with that age group for maximum impact.
With the advent of Skype on Facebook, Facetimes, Google +, YouTube, etc, you can upload anything related to the brand, ranging from Digital photos, diagrams, product literature, short demonstration videos, etc, and avail it to millions of viewers worldwide at a minimal cost.
Social media marketing has the tendency to provoke other forms of brand exposure, i.e. the ever-effective word of mouth! Attracted viewers will tend to spread the “Brand Gospel” gleaned from the network sites to friends and family free of charge. This kind of communication resonates well with the public since they obtain the information from trusted third party source with no apparent vested interest. This phenomenon of “earned” media as opposed to “paid” media is a bonus no marketer wants to pass up.
Lastly, social network sites have the unique attraction of being secure and confidential hence user friendly. Potential consumers can confidentially get the information via the confines of their handsets or laptops.
Technological applications that allow for placement and transmission of voice, data, and video on phone have injected a very new experience to social media marketing. The introduction of free service by Google+ will make it even more particularly so, and for most brand managers, the sky is the limit.