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Social Media Marketing-A Tool of Innovative Marketing

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The latest developments in the field of marketing, communication and information are leading to new innovative business and consumption models, in which users are gaining a leading role and are increasingly important. Social Media is rapidly emerging as the next big frontier for customer engagement and interactions. There are millions of customer interactions taking place every day on Social Media sites such as Face book, Twitter, YouTube, etc. as well as a vast number of customer support forums and online communities. Social Media emerged and continues to be as a cultural phenomenon. It is also quickly becoming a business phenomenon. Increasingly, current and prospective customers are using Social Media to communicate about the products and services they buy or intend to buy. Leading enterprises have recognized the importance of tapping such communications. Social Media are new innovative tools that collects millions of users all around the globe and they offer several possibilities and opportunities to companies that want to develop communication and marketing strategies while gaining competitive advantage on their competitors. This paper presents the definition of Social Media marketing with its strategies; it also attempts to identify the challenges and opportunities facing by Social Media sector and find out the current and future trend in the area of Social Media marketing.
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Social Media Marketing: P a g e | 1
Journal of Organizational Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2014
An International Journal
HATAM Publishers
J. Org. Management 3(1), 01-07, 2014
Journal homepage: http://www.hgpub.com/index_files/jorm/jorm.html
Social Media Marketing-A Tool of Innovative Marketing
Rohit Bansal*,1, Rana Zehra Masood2 and Varsha Dadhich3
1 Department of management Studies, Vaish college of Engineering, Rohtak
2 Department of Commerce, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
3 Insider Sales Person, LPS Industrial Supplies Pvt. Ltd (LPS Bossard, Rohtak)
*Corresponding author, Phone: 09896034734 , E-mail: rohitbansal.mba@gmail.com
ARTICLE INFORMATION
Article history
Received 11 October 2013
Revised 25 November 2013
Accepted 15 December 2013
Available online 22 December 2013
Keywords
customer engagement,
Social Media,
customer relationships,
interactivity
1. Introduction
Social Media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through Social Media sites.
Social Media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and
encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and
presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or
company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media
rather than paid media. Social Media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet
access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer
service. Additionally, Social Media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement
marketing campaigns. Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build
Journal of Organizational Management
ISSN 2231-7228
Social Media Marketing: P a g e | 2
Journal of Organizational Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2014
relationships. When products or companies join those sites, people can interact with the product or company.
That interaction feels personal to users because of their previous experiences with social networking site
interactions. Social networking sites and blogs allow individual followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made
by the product being promoted. By repeating the message, all of the user’s connections are able to see the
message, therefore reaching more people. Social Media Marketing makes use of Social Media sites to raise
visibility on the Internet and to promote products and services. Social Media sites are useful for building social as
well as business networks, and for exchanging ideas and knowledge. Social Media marketing provides
organizations with a way to connect with their customers. However, organizations must protect their information
as well as closely watch comments and concerns on the Social Media they use. A flash poll done on 1225 IT
executives from 33 countries revealed that Social Media mishaps caused organizations a combined $4.3 million
in damages in 2010 The top three Social Media incidents an organization faced during the previous year included
employees sharing too much information in public forums, loss or exposure of confidential information, and
increased exposure to litigation. Due to the viral nature of the internet, a mistake by a single employee has in
some cases shown to result in devastating consequences for organizations.
1.1 Definition of Social Media marketing
Social Media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a
marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a
company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach.
1.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media market
1.2.1 Advantages
The Social Media marketing is cost effective than any other form of marketing. Building a profile in the most
followed Social Media platform is not going to cost much. Social Media marketing helps in building the brand
name of the company, and establishes the company as an authority in the market. The companies become
ubiquitous through Social Media Marketing in term that they are found everywhere by the customers and anyone,
anywhere can access company’s social profile. Thus engaging and interacting with the customers becomes easy.
By making it easy for others to communicate with company, company can answer all queries and issues
promptly.
1.2.2 Disadvantages
A presence in Social Media would necessarily mean that company is going to get flooded with rave reviews;
chances are a higher visibility will get a few negative comments or reviews. Lots of creativity and time is required
to make the Social Media marketing successful. Though at the onset it seems to be costless, the resources are to
be paid to create the profile, update it and answer to the queries posted by clients, on regular basis. There is a lot
of understanding involved in Social Media marketing. It is possible for the employees to leak out information
through the media and if company does not check the profiles several times, it could find out that some of the
latest news have been pre-released, resulting in more negative press.
Challenges in the area of Social Media Marketing are as follows:
Lack of sufficient resources.
Measuring ROI (Return on invetment0.
Managing and growing social presence.
Integrating Social Media with lead gen and sales.
Integrating Social Media with rest of the marketing.
Monitoring Social Media
Figure 1 shows the different challenges faced by the companies in their Social Media marketing campaign
according to the percentage of their existence in the Social Media marketing sector.
2. Objective of the study
The main objectives of the study are:
i. To find out the tools for innovative Social Media marketing
ii. To identify the effective strategies for implementing Social Media marketing.
iii. To outline present trend and see the future possibilities in the area of Social Media marketing
Social Media Marketing: P a g e | 3
Journal of Organizational Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2014
Source- Awareness. Inc. State of Social Media marketing January 2012
Figure 1: Challenges of Social Media marketing
3. Literature Review
Social Media network are applications that allow users to build personal web sites accessible to other users
for exchange of personal content and communication (Bowden and Lewis 2009). Social Media according to
Bowden and Lewis can be characterized as: online applications, platforms and media which aim to facilitate
interactions, collaborations and the sharing of content.
According to Forrester research study (2011) by Ernst. J, David M. and Cooperstein, Dernoga M,
companies (brands) are gradually shifting their advertising priorities to align better with today's buyers. Today’s
buyers are tech savvy and Social Media maniacs. Therefore it is the proliferation of the Social Media network
services in brand management and marketing that bring us to the attention of Social Media networks. First, the
researcher will define Social Media and then outline those networks that are driving the debate.
Evans .D. argue that though communication is the core dimension of Social Media networks, not all platform
categories are equally suitable for all marketing objectives because most of the platforms are not equally well
suited for information, collaboration, and even for cultivating relationships
The purpose of social networks is primarily for communication and exchange of ideas of common interest
among peer groups or communities. However, it is through frequent communication initiated by the marketer on
the interactive social networks (Gummesson, 2002)
Cheung et al. (2011) have initiated a study exploring customer engagement in online social platforms. The
authors of the research-in-progress paper have defined it as “the level of a customer’s physical, cognitive, and
emotional presence in connections with a particular online social platform”. The conceptual model developed
suggests that customer engagement in an online social platform is a construct comprising vigor (level of energy
and mental resilience), absorption (level of concentration and engrossment) and dedication (sense of
significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride and challenge) towards the online social platform, which are driven by
involvement and social interaction.
According to Kozinets et al. (2010.) As brands continue to infiltrate relations within social networks, the “self-
interested logics” of the market may undermine the “sharing/caring” communal ideal and threaten the traditional
social contract of the group. Interaction with these brands in terms of adding content, providing comments and
spreading messages therefore causes tension for the individual engaged and makes them less likely to share
content with their strong ties.
According to (Warc, 2012a) the context of online Social Media has become of great interest to marketing
practitioners as the new Social Media platforms quickly emerged as valuable tools central to their effort of
customer engagement.
The ground-breaking study of Katz and Lazarsfeld (2009), on personal influence, argued that marketing
messages were not delivered in the “hypodermic needle” style in which marketers influenced the conversations
22%
0
31%
33%
34%
37%
42%
58%
77%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
Lack of sufficient resources.
Measuring ROI
Managing and growing social presence.
Integrating social media with lead gen and sales.
Integrating social media with rest of the marketing.
Monitoring social media.
Managing publishing of social content across
Social media marketing training
Social Media Marketing: P a g e | 4
Journal of Organizational Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2014
and purchasing behaviors directly within mass publics. But rather, these messages were received and interpreted
first by opinion leaders who then disseminated the message to the larger population, leading to a two-step
communication flow.
4. Tools of Social Media Marketing
When it comes to Social Media marketing, every business has different needs. But many of those needs can
be met with the same marketing tools tailored to a business’s specific situation. All it takes is a little creativity and
the ability to communicate your company’s message to the right audience. Following are some of Social Media
marketing tools that can be relevant to almost any business.
Company Blog company can interact with its customers and potential clients, field questions, handle
customer service issues, and develop communications through their business blog. Social Networks This
marketing solution includes sites like Face book and Twitter. You show up, interact with people as you would at a
party or offline social event and once you have built the relationship you can take that relationship deeper on your
business website. Micro blog A micro blog is a type of blog where company posts are shorter than a traditional
blog. With blog, company can have posts up to several thousand words, but limited to the number of characters
per post. Social Bookmarking Social bookmarking websites are marketing solutions that allow one to save,
organize, and share links and other resources with other users. Q&A Websites This type of marketing solution
includes sites like Quora, Answers.com, and Yahoo! Answers. Participants ask questions, answer them, and vote
on each other’s answers.
Video Sharing YouTube is the largest and most well known video sharing website. Companies can vote on
other videos, share videos with audience and market business less expensively than by using television ads.
Professional Social Networks –It’s a niche social network for busy professionals who aren’t interested in playing
games or participating in other frivolous activities. It’s the perfect type of marketing solution for B2B businesses,
freelancers, and other professionals. Podcasting Communities Podcasting communities are similar to video and
photo sharing sites except that they are based around audio uploads. Presentation-Sharing Websites As a
marketing solution, a community that allows uploading presentations and sharing them with customers is a great
tool for any business.
4.1 How to choose an effective tool for Social Media marketing
This is one of the biggest issues that how a company can choose tools for its Social Media marketing project
that will be prove effective and able to create huge customer base. Some of the points needs to be considered
while choosing a tool for Social Media marketing campaign are-
Clarity of Mission, Analysis of opportunities for future Mission, Use detailed questionnaire to get information
about that, what kind of content should be used, when content should be shared, how presence, values and
ethics should be shared, Analysis of different research tools.
Choose an effective tool after analysis.
5. Strategies for effective Social Media marketing
While Social Media marketing (or Social Media optimization) is being focused by every business in today’s
world, it is important to consider a range of effective Social Media marketing strategies as described below:
Companies today give lucrative offers to their customer as free coupons, discount on immediate cash
payment and gift offer to promote their business, encouraging foot traffic in store, and also giving an incentive to
keep checking back. Keep coupons fresh, and aim to switch them up every month to stay relevant and keep
customers interested. Business is part of a community; it is a better idea to use social networking sites by
creating web pages to interact with the customers. It’s easy and beneficial to give thanks online to all of the
brands that help to make business shine. We all know that company can’t sell 24-7, especially when company is
trying to establish a meaningful relationship with its customers and fans. It should try let customer known about
the nature of business, and Social Media can play a vital role by Sharing a photo or joke with the prospects.
Whether a car dealership, retail chain, or local dealer all are the part of an ever changing industry, full of
new products and developments. So it is a good idea to share your information, creativity with the world. It could
be anything from a new color of denim that popular this season to a concept car that was just revealed in Japan.
No matter what type of posts are shared but make sure it is relevant to their interest area. This engages customer
because Customers are the greatest ambassadors, so keeping their attention is crucial, and content is key!
Share with them solid information, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Social Media Marketing: P a g e | 5
Journal of Organizational Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2014
6. Current and Future Trends in Social Media Marketing
6.1 Current Trend in Social Media Marketing
In a survey of 700 marketers from all over the globe, Wildfire App discovered that nearly all marketers find value
from Social Media marketing and that 75% of marketers plan to increase their media spending. The top two
benefits highlighted by these marketers are increased brand awareness and the ability to engage in dialogue
directly with their customers.
Source- www.heidicohen.com 24/01/2013
Figure 2 Avg. No. of accounts per co. on social networking sites
Nine out of ten businesses are present on at least one Social Media platform- The subtext is that Social
Media is becoming a mature communications system. It’s acceptable to be on these platforms and to use them to
achieve business goals. As an interesting contrast to a company’s perception of Social Media’s value, Marketing
Sherpa surveyed marketing agencies to understand how they calculate the value of Social Media for their clients.
The survey found that Social Media clearly helps search results for many businesses, but the largest majority of
companies benefit from posting content on their company blog.
Since companies have gained experience from being on Social Media platforms, they’re no longer hindered
by fear of the unknown. Specifically, about half of firms are on Google+ (although this could be a defensive
search strategy) and about a quarter are on Pinterest. Further, they are adapting to local needs. Wherever
necessarily, some firms are using multiple languages either through one account or via targeted accounts.
6.2 Future trend in Social Media Marketing
Total Social Media users are forecast to grow by just 4.1 percent in North America in 2013. Compare that
with growth rates of 21.1 percent in Asia-Pacific (including China, India, and Indonesia), 12.6 percent in Latin
America, and 23.3 percent in the Middle East and Africa. To solve the mobile revenue puzzle, social networks will
push ahead next year with new social ad models. Traditional banner and interruption ads will decline, replaced by
innovative offerings like Promoted Tweets and Sponsored Stories. What makes these so-called native ads
unique is that they don’t look like ads at all, apart from small disclaimers. They appear in-stream and read exactly
like another piece of user-generated content.
It is anticipated that the rate of growth in mobile usage will exceed the growth in usage through personal
computers for the foreseeable future. Mobile Internet users are set to overtake wired Internet users by 2015 in
the U.S., but this shift is happening far faster on social platforms. At the same time, developing viable advertising
options for mobile platforms is more critical than ever. Borrell Associates found that small- and medium-sized
businesses (SMB) will double their Social Media advertising budget in 2013. Although businesses are increasing
their investment in Social Media, they are more reluctant to put large advertising budgets toward it. Awareness
found that 75% of businesses spend $10,000 or less, with most businesses solely investing people’s time toward
the effort. Figure 3 shows the budget allocated for the Social Media marketing campaign by different businesses
over the globe in 2013.
4.2
2.1
1.6
0
0
5.8
4.2
2.7
0
0
10.1
10.4
8.1
2.6
2
0
5
10
15
20
25
twitter
facebook
google+
youtube
pinterest
2012
2011
2010
Social Media Marketing: P a g e | 6
Journal of Organizational Management, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2014
Source- Awareness.Inc.State of Social Media marketing January 2012
Figure 3: Budget allocated to Social Media marketing advertisement in 2013
Social Media will allow consumers to get real user experience before making purchase decisions
7. Conclusion
Social Media have gained a fundamental role in communication and marketing strategies. The new
generations of consumers have very high brand awareness, they act on international markets through the
internet and their opinion can have a great effect on people in different parts of the world. So it is very important
for companies, when managing fan pages and brands’ Facebook presence, to create high quality contents and to
exactly know the users’ behavioral dynamics on the social network, in order to reach the higher possible user
engagement. For an effective result and in order to create successful promotional campaigns, they need to know
what drives engagements are needed to keep things in line with their fans’ needs. Posts of brands’ Facebook fan
pages can have different characteristics and their content can have different effects on different consumers. The
benefits of Social Media marketing speak for themselves: by creating high level of brand loyalty and minimizing
the communication gap between the company and its customer. It serves as the innovative tool of marketing for
engaging more and more customers towards the organization. It is also cost effective i.e. not huge funds are
required for Social Media marketing. On the other hand it has some limitation and challenges that needs to be
addressed to achieve greater growth in customer satisfaction and organization’s profitability. Hence it can
concluded that Social Media marketing is not just a contact centre imperative, but also an important enterprise-
wide phenomenon that impacts several business functions. This includes sales, marketing, customer service,
product development, corporate communications and PR, and employee communication and collaboration.
Although Social Media marketing may not be appropriate for every company or product so it should be carefully
implemented in the company
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over $100000
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... Social media marketing activities is a type of online marketing that uses social networking platforms as a form of marketing (Bansal, Masood, & Dadhich, 2018). Social media marketing focuses on producing content that enables people to share within their own network, a feature that enables the organization to increase exposure as well as broaden customer horizon. ...
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Social network sites: definition, history, and scolarship
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Constantinides, E., & Fountain, S. J. (2008). Web 2.0: Conceptual foundations and marketing issues. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 9(3), 231-244. [4] Boyd D.M. & Ellison N.B., "Social network sites: definition, history, and scolarship", Journal of computer-mediated communication, 2007.
Social Media gains ground
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Ernst.J, David M. and Cooperstein, Dernoga M. Foster Study "Social Media as a tool of marketing and creating brand awareness" 2011 (http://publications.theseus.fi/handle/10024/44591)
A History of Personal Influence in the Electronic Era
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Katz and Lazarsfeld "A History of Personal Influence in the Electronic Era." (2009). (http://themonkeycage.org/2009/06/30/documentary_on_katz_and_lazars/)