Social networking websites
Social networking websites allow individuals and businesses to interact with one another and build relationships and communities online. When companies join these social channels, consumers can interact with them directly. That interaction can be more personal to users than traditional methods of outbound marketing and advertising.
Social networking sites act as word of mouth or more accurately, e-word of mouth. Social networking sites and blogs allow followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made by others about a product being promoted, which occurs quite frequently on some social media sites. By repeating the message, the user’s connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product/company.
Social networking websites are based on building virtual communities, that allow consumers to express their needs, wants and values, online. Social media marketing then connects these consumers and audiences to businesses that share the same needs, wants and values.
Through social networking sites, companies can keep in touch with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a very narrow target audience.
Social networking sites also include much information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new semantic analysis technologies, marketers can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online. An understanding of buying signals can help sales people target relevant prospects and marketers run micro-targeted campaigns.
In order to integrate social networks into their marketing strategies, companies have to develop a marketing model. In a marketing model based on social networks is provided. The model includes the following steps:
- Selection of potential social networks to use;
- Definition of a financial plan;
- Definition of organizational structures to manage the social network in the market;
- Selection of target;
- Promotion of products and services;
- Performance measures
Social networking is used by 76% of businesses today. Business retailers have seen 133% increases in their revenues from social media marketing.
Just under half the world’s population is currently on the Internet. Roughly 75% of those people are on social media and ¾ of those folks have social media accounts on their mobile phones.
Mobile phone usage is beneficial for social media marketing because mobile phones have social networking capabilities, allowing individuals immediate web browsing and access to social networking sites. Mobile phones have grown at a rapid rate, fundamentally altering the path-to-purchase process by allowing consumers to easily obtain pricing and product information in real time and allowing companies to constantly remind and update their followers. Many companies are now putting QR (Quick Response) codes along with products for individuals to access the company website or online services with their smart phones. Retailers use QR codes to facilitate consumer interaction with brands by linking the code to brand websites, promotions, product information, or any other mobile-enabled content.
Mobile devices and The internet also influence the way consumers interact with media and has many further implications for TV ratings, advertising, mobile commerce and more. Mobile media consumption such as mobile audio streaming or mobile video are on the rise – in the United States, more than 100 million users are projected to access online video content via mobile device. Mobile video revenue consists of pay-per-view downloads, advertising, and subscriptions. As of 2013, worldwide mobile phone Internet user penetration was 73.4%. In 2017, figures suggest that more than 90% of Internet users will access online content through their phones.