Use of Social Media as a Marketing Tool

Introduction

The sheer proliferation of social media platforms such as blogs, wikis and online forums has created an unprecedented opportunity for companies to take advantage of this new social trend to promote particular products and services via online social platforms. Nearly 22% of all online activity within the U.S. alone is spent on social networking websites and as such is indicative of the consumer market share that social media platforms could potentially provide to the company should it utilize such a marketing tool (Pullen, 59 – 61).

Furthermore, it has been proven using social media programs such as viral marketing initiatives that a certain degree of “hype” can be generated for a particular product or service yet only cost a fraction of a standard advertising campaign (Kaplan and Haenlein, 253 – 260).

Thus from a cost-benefit standpoint the utilization of social media platforms as marketing tools is not only advantageous for the company in terms of brand promotion and gaining a certain degree of market penetration into potentially untapped consumer segments but it can do so at a relatively low cost and as such presents numerous potential avenues of approach by which the company can generate consumer awareness of its products (Kaplan and Haenlein, 253 – 260).

Utilizing Facebook

One way of utilizing social media in advertising the company’s products and services is to create a Facebook fan page for the company to help better connect itself with its current customer base. What must be understood is that by creating a fan page this allows subscribed Facebook fans to receive updates from the company in the form of product launch dates, overall product availability, performance and other factors that can contribute to its sale (Wilner, 71 – 81).

A fan page creates a “human” face for the company in that by posting daily news regarding the particular industry the company is in this helps consumers to better understand the company and thus create a greater degree of product awareness which translates into a higher likelihood of product patronage.

It is also interesting to note that through the fan page the company can also better facilitate particular promotions such as discounts, special contests and other such methods of promotional marketing that are meant to entice greater public interest over a particular product (Wilner, 71 – 81).

Various companies ranging from the alcoholic beverage maker Jack Daniels to the computer manufacturer Asus have Facebook fan pages and this has enabled them to create a larger consumer fan base since instead of the company merely being a nameless entity that consumers buy products from it is subsequently transformed into an entity with particular views, positions on current events and even a sense of humor when it comes to posting its daily wall posts (Wilner, 71 – 81).

Conclusion

It is based on the various perspectives that I have elaborated on that I highly recommend that the company venture into at least some form of social media marketing to better connect itself with its customers.

There is little risk in utilizing this particular marketing tool and the potential rewards are massive in terms of greater brand awareness, better consumer relations and the creation of a particular image for the company that goes beyond merely being a business entity but rather is one connected to an open attitude regarding current events, the needs of consumers and being a company that is modernizing instead of being stuck in the dark ages of consumer marketing.

Works Cited

Kaplan, Andreas M., and Michael Haenlein. “Two hearts in three-quarter time: how to waltz the social media/viral marketing dance.” Business Horizons 54.3 (2011): 253-263. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web.

Pullen, John Patrick. “Dollars, sense and social media marketing.” Entrepreneur 39.6 (2011): 59-61. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web.

Wilner, Sarah J. “Networked narratives: understanding word-of-mouth Marketing in Online Communities.” Journal of Marketing 74.2 (2010): 71-89. Business Source Premier. EBSCO. Web.