What is Social Media?
Social media is a digital channel that allows people, communities and organisations to connect with each other due to the development of the technology (Tuten & Solomon, 2013).
Social media marketing is where social media is used as a form of communication to deliver and exchange offerings from an organisation (Tuten & Solomon, 2013).
Techniques associated with it
Social media marketing’s main techniques include audience participation, managing social presence, viral campaigns and customer feedback (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2012).
- Audience Participation
A main form of audience participation is User-Generated Content Campaigns (Tuten & Solomon, 2013). By using this method, brands are able to get consumers to take part in contests. Companies benefit from this as it is the cheapest form of generating ideas.Consumer-solicited content, also referred to as ‘Participatory Advertising’ by marketers is another form of participation (Tuten & Solomon, 2013). This is known as invited but non-compensated citizen advertising, which is another form of describing marketing messages that were construed by consumers.
- Managing Social Presence
Your company’s presence on social media is vital. A good presence will lead to better rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), brand awareness, increased traffic to your website and increased conversation about the brand itself (Istvanova, 2014).
In 2014 the Internet Advertising Bureau UK undertook a study to see how consumers respond to brand presence on social media: 80% of consumers said that they would most likely buy goods from a brand in the future because of a brand’s presence on social media. (Wight, 2014)
- Viral Campaigns
These are mainly generated by electronic word-of-mouth: discussions on social media about brands and promotions that increase awareness (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2012).
- Customer Feedback
Social media provides a platform for dialogue between companies and customers. Therefore, it functions exceptionally well as a method to receive and respond to customer feedback instantly.
A great example of a company that uses social media to help their customers is Virgin Trains. They have been highly ranked on the Leaderboard.coms UK Twitter Social Customer Care Leaders (Stephens, 2015). One customer had a problem in the toilets on a Virgin train and tweeted about having no toilet roll. Virgin Trains was able to contact an employee on the train and within a few minutes the customer received his toilet paper (ITV News, 2015).
Why incorporate Social Media Marketing?
- Increase positioning in search rankings
A 2013 study by Searchmetrics suggests search engines and social media are becoming increasingly interlinked, with social media engagement leading to increases in search rankings (Searchmetrics, 2014).
- Boost brand awareness
Social media can be used to boost brand awareness by attracting new customers, as well as retaining the loyalty of existing customers, by engaging them with regular content (Istvanova, 2014).
- Increase sales
A recent study from marketing analytics company HubSpot suggests that 77% of Business-to-Consumer and 43% of Business-to-Business companies have made sales as a direct result of their Facebook presence (Hubspot, 2014).
- Low cost channel
Frequency of transmission isn’t affected by the costs of advertising associated with other platforms, meaning you can post content as often as you want without financial impact.
Drawbacks of Social Media
- Associated costs
While social media is relatively low cost it is not ‘free’, as it can be time consuming: successful social media accounts can require daily attention, especially if used as a platform for customer service. Content creation can merit a role in itself in your company.
- Unclear ROI
The creation of a social media account is not a guarantee of instant return on investment (ROI), as it takes time to build a following. Also, while there are tools which allow you to measure ROI in specific situations, it is overall unclear how many sales can be attributed (Gruber, 2014).
- Incompatible content
An issue experienced by brands active on numerous social networks is that content may have to be tailored to fit. For example, Twitter is classified as a ‘micro-sharing vehicle’ as posts have a character limit of 140 (Tuten & Solomon, 2013). Some content will not fit in a single Tweet, meaning that it will have to be adapted if it is to be communicated through Twitter.
A recent campaign that used Social Media
In 2012, Doritos launched ‘Doritos:Mariachi’, which comprised of television advertisements that supported a social media campaign.
Centred around the band ‘The Mariachis’ touring the UK to promote the Doritos brand, they played a selection of ‘cheesy’ cover songs in the style of mariachi music. Initially, TV advertisements introduced the campaign tagline “For fun, add a little Mexican” (Campaign, 2012) and directed viewers to the Doritos Facebook page to enter a competition: the chance to book The Mariachis to play for you on their tour. Winners could choose between a virtual performance, with The Mariachis performing through webcam which would stream to social media, or to book a performance at a party – performances were uploaded to Facebook and YouTube the next day for all to view.
AMV BBDO Agency Planner Tom White stated that the cost effectiveness of social media coupled with the opportunity for dialogue with consumers, was what drove them to make Doritos:Mariachi social media-centric (White, 2014).
Facebook was used as the campaign hub, while Twitter and Instagram channels were used to grab fans “in the moment” (White, 2014:online), making effective use of the microblogging format of the platforms. Tom White stated that:
“On Twitter, we provided additional visual content not available on Facebook, and used this to run competitions to engage our fans” (White, 2014:online).
FreezeFrameDMMP is the digital agency for you
“If businesses haven’t got the right [social media] presence then they’re really going to be missing out, because customers are expecting to find businesses and brands on there.” (Bramble, 2014:online)
With our agency’s professional expertise we can help you to integrate social media into your marketing strategy, using cutting-edge techniques to introduce new opportunities for consumer engagement, increasing your brand’s exposure and sales.
Get in touch now: freezeframeDMMP@gmail.com
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