Madonna once sang that we all live in a material world. That may have been true at one time, however, it would be more accurate to describe society as the electronic world. As technology continues to improve by leaps and bounds the use of electronic devices has become more and more common in society. Look around next time you go in a coffee shop and you will likely see a handful of people on laptop computers, more typing away on Blackberries and iPhones, and even more talking on their cell phones. Person to person communication has almost become a thing of the past. Marketing companies are fully aware of this growing trend and are busy devising new and ingenious ways to use the increasing use of social media through these electronic devices to their advertising advantage.
With the dawn of the internet and the current electronic age, it is quite possible for people to communicate in close to real time with someone half way around the world from them. As the ease to access becomes more prevalent all over the world the thirst for information has grown exponentially. The major media outlets have found the task of information dissemination more and more daunting as the demand becomes more pressing. So to fill the void social media has been created.
Social media is simply a form of sharing information through personal interaction. The concept applies more directly to the various electronic forms that have become popular in recent years via the internet and web-based technology.
The idea is to allow the people the opportunity to become a larger part of the information superhighway; rather than just digesting what the major media outlets produce the onus is being put on the people to be the information producers themselves.
With traditional media advertising not in the budget for new and growing companies, social media marketing has really filled the void. Depending on the social media type in use, companies are able to get their message out to potentially millions of people with minimal cost to the company. Hotmail was a pioneer in this area in the late 1990s when they added a small ad with a link for people to sign up for their email service at the bottom of every sent email from their subscribers.
The types of social media that can be used in a social media marketing strategy is only limited by the user; there are many forms readily available for people to use. Many of the more common ones can be split up into one of four categories.
First, there are concepts or slogans which can appear in many forms such as banner ads. These are usually visually stimulating messages designed to grab your attention so that you remember their statement. Then there are grass roots forms that typically start with a small group of people viewing a message and then sharing it within their own social network. Emailing, text messages, and internet blogging are some of the more common forms. Finally there is electronic media that has a sharing option to it, i.e. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, message boards, and forums.
With the right social media marketing strategy a company can see their bottom line grow in leaps and bounds in a relatively short amount of time. As the different types of social media grow so does the reach and extent to which a company’s message gets out.
From February of 2008 to February 2009 Twitter grew by a staggering 1382% by recording 7 million visitors. To get a different image of how fast growth can be, there were only 4.5 million recorded in January of 2009 meaning that this form of social media grew by nearly 50% in just one month!
The benefits of social media to advertisers lie in more than just the tremendous potential for growth. To get a real understanding of the benefits would include a discussion of the differences between social and rational forms of media. While both have the ability to reach both small and large audiences there are some differences that benefit social media users.
Essentially, social media is more demanding of the user. Since it is so open to use and so easily updated or changed, consumers know that they need to return in order to be informed. So while advertising in traditional media will get the message out on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, social media advertising is viewed much more often. With the relatively low cost involved, using social media for marketing has become smart business.
Social media can be used to accomplish all the same things that traditional media does for marketing strategies. Proper use of the many different social media outlets can dramatically increase the chances for a business to increase its search engine visibility. With the increased visibility via the search engine naturally will come better brand exposure and awareness to the public. A good strategy will also be in control of the type of material being generated meaning that brand reputation can receive a boost through social media. Better brand awareness, a boost in brand reputation, and increased exposure will only lead to one thing-increased sales volume.
When increased sales can be coupled with lower advertising costs than social media marketing becomes an invaluable tool to business success.
No Related Indexes