Social Media Marketing

What can social media brand conversations provide marketers that traditional media cannot?

Social media is the platform of interaction used by individuals and groups to author and share content generated by users. The conversations carried out about brands in social media are more helpful to marketers than traditional media because social media marketing is less costly compared to traditional media marketing.

Through social media, a marketer can get to 1,000 consumers for just a fraction of what it would cost using traditional media such as billboards, email or television and therefore spends less.

Traditionally, word of mouth was used as a marketing tool, but it was not effective for marketers. However, social media has advanced the word of mouth as a marketing tool due to a large number of subscribers on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which have enhanced marketing. Moreover, social media conversations enable marketers to measure the effectiveness of their products, services and marketing techniques, which traditional media conversations find hard to measure (Haliassos, 2011).

What can social media brand conversations provide consumers that traditional media cannot?

Social media is a two-way platform that enables the marketer and the consumer to engage in interactive conversations about services and products. The consumer is, therefore, able to get instant feedback from the marketer whenever an issue needs clearing up about a service or product. This is in contrast to traditional media where the interaction is non-reciprocal and the consumer does not get instant feedback from the marketer (Haliassos, 2011).

How can marketers use information extrapolated from social media sites to create stronger customer relationships? Give examples.

Marketers use social media platforms to magnify their brand presence and create stronger customer relationships through interactive conversations. Customers express their opinions and attitudes towards brands in social media, for instance, Facebook and Twitter using tools such as comments like and follows.

A keen marketer will, therefore, study these trends and work on improving his brand value to attract more customers. Social media also enables marketers to spy on rival brands and their strategies so that they can gain a competitive advantage over the rivals, for example, a marketer can ‘like’ a social media page of a competitor and keenly study their strategies (Haliassos, 2011).

Referring to the Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior in Figure 5.2 in Chapter 5 of your text, which of these factors might be affected by social media and how? Use a personal example to illustrate, if possible.

Consumer behavior is influenced by personal, psychological, social and cultural factors with social factors being most susceptible to social media. Marketers have realized that reference groups act as comparison points in forming a consumer’s attitude towards a brand and therefore try to pick out their target market’s reference groups.

Using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the opinion leader of the reference group will expose a potential customer to new lifestyles and create the urge to conform. This, in turn, affects the consumer’s attitude and may influence his brand choices because the opinion leader is admired and respected by the consumer. For example, the marketers of Heineken identified James Bond as an opinion leader and therefore sponsored the movie ‘Skyfall’ to influence the brand choice of James Bond fans (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012).

Families can also influence consumer behavior. Members of a family keep in touch through social media platforms where they even discuss brands and exchange ideas. The recommendations and opinions of family members regarding a particular brand are considered as trustworthy or credible therefore influence a consumer’s choice that is on the same social network. For example, if my family member ‘likes’ the page ‘Virgin Atlantic’ on Facebook, the marketers of Virgin Atlantic might suggest that I ‘like’ the page too and display it as ‘Pages You May Like’ on my homepage (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012).

As a result of using services like Radian6, companies hope that by understanding their customers better they will increase their brand value. What do customers get in return? Do you think there are any privacy issues that need to be addressed via government regulation?

Radian6 is used by companies to assist them in monitoring brand mentions in the social platforms. These mentions come in the form of comments and meaningful conversations about brands by consumers. The companies, therefore, get feedback concerning their products or services in return. This enables producers to meet market expectations. Therefore, customers benefit from companies’ use of Radian6 because their feedback spurs companies to provide quality products or services (Haliassos, 2011).

There is no privacy issue that needs to be addressed via government regulation in social media marketing. For instance, companies need to know exactly where their customers are located as part of the feedback given through social sites. The companies are therefore entitled to access their customers’ personal information if they are willingly made available on social media.

This means that privacy is the sole concern of the consumer as he chooses on what exactly to make available and this also applies to the companies. Moreover, social media has transformed the world into a global village as participants from across the globe meet in a virtual room. Government regulations would mean that the participants are narrowed down to consumers from the same state or country, which would not auger well with company marketers (Christou, 2010).

References

Christou, C. (2010). Social Media Marketing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haliassos, M. (2011). Online marketing. New York: Pearson Education.

Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2012). Principles of Marketing. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.