Marketing Communication Through Online Social Media - Essay Example

Marketing and advertising using social media can also help enhance other forms of online and offline marketing. This is also discussed. This is followed by examples of successful usage of social media. Details of the survey made to understand the usage patterns on social networking sites, response to marketing communication efforts made through these sites and the potential for marketing immunization are discussed. The results of the survey and the key findings are discussed in the end.

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The report concludes that online social media is very well suited for advertising and can be very effective because of the efficiency due to the ability to target advertisements and that online social media can be very useful for marketing communication. 5 Social networks have become a cultural phenomenon. Faceable, one of the largest social networking sites in the U. S. Was founded in 2004. By June 2010, it boasts more than 400 million active users and continues to grow rapidly. Faceable is the most popular social networking site now. Here are some statistical data on Faceable to show how significant it is. 50% of the users log on to Faceable in any given day ; Average user has 130 friends ; People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Faceable ; There are over 160 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups and events) ; Average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events ; Average user creates 70 pieces of content each month ; More than 25 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blob posts, notes, photo albums, etc. ) shared each month. There are hundreds of other similar sites including Namespace, Friends, Gang and Bebop.

These can be used as platforms for marketing and advertising and can be very effective for the same. Social networking sites are the most important among social media marketing platforms. The following pages discuss in detail about these sites and the facilities which can be used by 3. About Social Media Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. These tools include blobs, usage boards, bedposts, micro blobs, bookmarks, networks, communities, wise, and flogs.

Social media can also be defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on technological foundations and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content”. Businesses also refer to social media as user- generated content (UGH) or consumer-generated media (GM). Social media utilization is believed to be a driving force in defining the current period as the Attention Age. A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.

Social media have become appealing to big and small businesses. Credible brands are utilizing social media to reach customers and to build or maintain reputation. As social media continue to grow, the ability to reach more consumers globally has also increased. Social media have become the new “tool” for effective business marketing and sales. In this project, only social networking sites have been focused on. Social networking sites are the most efficient among all the tools and technologies that constitute social media. 7 4. Some of the most popular social networking sites Faceable

Founded in February 2004, Faceable is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people’s real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Faceable and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. As of June 2010, it boasts more than 400 million active users and continues to grow rapidly. Passbooks simplified navigation gives users easy access to core site functions and applications.

Faceable applications and third-party applications can be used by the users too. Faceable is one of the most-trafficked PH sites in the world. 8 Twitter Twitter is a social networking and micro blobbing service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Since late 2009, users can follow lists of authors instead of following individual authors.

All users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, external applications (notably including those developed for Smartness, or Short Message Service (SMS), although the availability of SMS services varies by country. The website currently has more than 100 million users worldwide. By March 2010, Twitter has recorded 1,500 percent growth in registered users. Over 70,000 registered applications have been created for Twitter, according to the company. Twitter has experienced rapid growth starting with 500,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007.

This grew to 100 million tweets posted he first quarter of 2010, 4 billion tweets were posted. Currently, about 65 million tweets are posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second according to Twitter. However, Twitters usage can spike during prominent events. 9 Argot Argot is a social networking website that is owned and operated by Google Inc. The service is designed to help users meet new friends and maintain existing relationships. It is one of the most visited websites in India and Brazil. In fact, as of December 2009, 51. 09% of Rust’s users are from Brazil, followed by India with 20. 2% and United States with 17. 28%. As of June 2010, ALEX traffic ranked Argot 63rd in the world; the website currently has more than 100 million active users worldwide. Anyone of age above 13 years can Join Argot. Linked in Linked is a business-oriented social networking site. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 21 June 2010, Linked had more than 70 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide 10 Other Social Networking Sites There are several other social networking sites which are not as popular as those discussed above.

These include Bebop, Namespace, Bio. There are also other niche sites. The most popular site for videos- Youth is also similar to a social networking site but is not used as a social networking site. 11 5. How Social Networking Sites can be used for Marketing Communication Social networking sites can be used for marketing and advertising using the various options offered by the various social networking sites which are discussed below. Apart from these, the sites can be useful for viral marketing and for word of mouth marketing because of the interactions that happen on the sites among people.

Following are the says in which some of the most popular social networking sites can be used for marketing and advertising Faceable: Faceable, the most popular social networking site is a boon for marketers and advertisers given the huge number of users it has and the options available like Pages and Groups and the highly efficient advertising options available. Faceable Pages: A Faceable Page is a public profile that enables brands and businesses to share their business and products with Faceable users.

When fans interact with the Faceable Page, stories linking to the Page can go to their friends via News Feed. As these friends interact with the Pages, News Feed keeps driving word-of-mouth to a wider circle of friends. Users can ‘like’ a page. By doing so they get subscribed to it. There are many examples of leading brands using Faceable Pages to promote itself, to connect to fans, to advertise its products etc. For example, Maidenhair Scorpio has an official faceable fanfare which helps owners of thieved interact and post content related to the SUB, etc. 12 Below is a screens of the fanfare. 3 Faceable advertising: Faceable advertising can help the advertisers reach the exact target group by advertising which shows the advantages of using Faceable for advertising. As mentioned in the above picture, the advertisements can be targeted to selected groups of people. The criteria can be location, age, interests, political views, hobbies, etc. By doing so, the advertisements get an increased chance of being clicked on, because only the target group will see the advertisements and not all users. This is the biggest advantage of advertising on social networking sites.

This is because all those information are available with the sites. Also, details on who clicked on the advertisements, with specific age and location, can be obtained. This will help understand how well the reach has been and who have been attracted by the advertisement. 14 Below is an example of how Faceable advertising, with its features, helped a business target advertisement to the right people. In this case, it is a photography firm which specializes in wedding photography. The firm wants to target the advertisements towards women who are engaged and are 24 to 30 years old.

Using Faceable advertising, the advertisement was targeted towards women who were engaged and were 24 to 30 years old. This means not only good response but also cost effectiveness for the firm. In any other media, such targeting is not possible. This is a boon for advertisers. 15 Faceable Connect: Faceable Connect enables a viral sharing loop on sites and increases social engagement. With Faceable Connect, users can easily share content and their actions with their friends on Faceable. As these friends discover the content, they click back to your site, engaging with the content and completing the viral loop.

Faceable connect helps websites to increase traffic. Hence this can be very useful for rand’s and companies to drive traffic to their sites. Below is a screens showing the advantages and features of Faceable connect. 16 Faceable Share: Faceable share lets visitors of a site share the site with their friends on Faceable, bringing new users to it thereby driving new traffic. Brands and companies use this feature extensively for promotion. 17 Twitter: Twitter is increasingly being used as a business promotional tool. Twitter encourages this through ‘Twitter 101’, a web-based tutorial aimed at business users.

One of the most famous business Twitter users is Dell, which said that $mm of its 2009 sales name directly through Twitter and Faceable combined. It has been argued that smaller businesses also benefit from using Twitter, since they can compete on equal terms with larger businesses within the Twitter platform. In the I-J, a survey indicated that 17% of small British businesses were using Twitter, mainly to attract new customers. Below is a screens of the twitter page of dell. Notice the amount of followers. 1. 5 million people can be reached through tweets.

The above image which is a screen shot, shows the twitter page of Dell which is official and verified. The Verified account’ feature assures users that it is the official page and not some prank or fraud. Note the number of followers. It is 1. 5 million. This means that 1. 5 million fans 18 spread news on offers or discounts or new releases or anything that the company wishes to pass on. Linked: Advertising on Linked can be very effective. Since the site is for business people, businesses targeting such people use it for advertising their products and services.

Below is a screens of Linked advertising feature called Directs. The above image shows the number of people that can be targeted using Linked Ads. Similar to Faceable advertising, ads can be targeted at specific groups of people by defining the characteristics. 19 Since Linked is a site for professionals, the site can be used for advertising by firms and business people who have such professionals as their target market. In the above image which is a screen shot taken from the site, the ad shown is that of a financial advisor offering professional planning and tax preparation.

Other sites: Similarly, other social networking sites can also be used for marketing communication too. Argot, for example, has ‘Promote’ feature which enables rumination through one’s networks of friends. Other social networking sites like yelp, Namespace have features for advertising too. One big advantage of using this media is that when a friend or a known person promotes or talks about something, it is more likely to get noticed or taken seriously by others, than by a normal advertisement. Another advantage is that this media is naturally suited to create a ‘buzz’ and can be the perfect medium for viral marketing. 0 6. How social media can help enhance other forms of online and offline marketing Social media can be used to synergies other form of marketing, both online and offline. For example, social media can help to enhance email marketing which is another form of online marketing. The rise of social media is pushing the evolution of e-mail marketing from blast campaigns to more personal, one-to-one engagements. People regularly receive messages from Linked, Faceable or other social networking contacts about new business opportunities, promotions, industry trends or personal notes.

Perhaps, the most important is the use of e-mail to send social media. Some of the most effective business case studies are being generated with social media embedded in e-mails. Offline, social media can help in many ways like building the brand by highlighting the social media connection. For example, by adding the Faceable fanfare address to the print media and other promotions, the audience gets attracted towards it because Faceable is a very well known brand and when the lesser known brand, which is trying to get some attention, has its name at the end of the web address followed by Faceable, it is more likely to get noticed.

This is similar to brand association. 21 Problem Statement: Given the recent trend of increased use of social networking sites by people all over he world, there is a need to understand if marketing communication can be carried out effectively using those sites as a platform in order to harness the power of social networks for businesses. Objectives: 0 To understand the usage patterns and demographics on social networking sites 0 To understand the behavior of the users towards marketing and advertising efforts and advertising through social media Methodology: Data was collected through a survey.

Forms from Google documents was used to design a questionnaire which was later e-mailed and spread across social networking sites in order to collect data from them. The data which was then available on a spreadsheet was analyzed. SAPS was used to analyze the data. Cross tabulations were done to get more insights. Target Group: General internet users.