Essay on Social Media Marketing – Concept, Measures and Platforms

Published: 2021/11/22
Number of words: 2516


In the contemporary business world, social media marketing has gained popularity due to its wide application globally. The concept entails the utilization of different social media platforms to market products. Initially, researches and practitioners used digital marketing or e-marketing terms, but social media marketing is widely used today. Different platforms allow advertising companies to track success, progress, and ads campaign engagement since they have in-built analytic tools[1]. Companies address different stakeholders in their online advertising, such as potential buyers or employees. Organizations that have not embraced various platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are missing huge deals from potential customers. Great social media marketing contributes to business success, drives sales, and leads, as well as building dedicated brand advocates.

1.1. Problem Statement

Most organizations today have established social media platforms to boost their online presence. Today, customers search for products online hence the need to embrace social media platforms. However, other organizations still deal with traditional marketing techniques, thereby making new businesses reevaluate the applicability of social media marketing. The analysis will show whether social media marketing is suitable for modern companies.

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1.2. Research Questions and Objective

The paper will address the following research questions; What are the benefits of social media marketing as opposed to traditional marketing? What platforms are available for companies? Also, the objective will be to address social media marketing popularity and its significance in businesses.

2. Social Media Marketing Concept

2.1. Pillars of Social Media Marketing

Strategy: before companies can publish any content on social media, it is imperative to develop a strategy. A strategy helps the business understand its business goals, which for social media marketing include enhancing brand awareness. Most businesses use it for driving sales and website traffic. Businesses must also focus on what platform to use, be it Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. It is recommended to pick platforms where the target audience is on[2]. Also, what kind of content does the business wish to share with the target audience, for example, links, videos, or images? Is the content entertaining or educational? These questions can be answered by developing a marketing persona.

Planning and Publishing: publishing is as simple as sharing a post or image. Small businesses usually start by maintaining social media presence for their products to be discovered by potential buyers. Companies require to publish content likeable by the audience, at the right frequency and timing[3]. Scheduling posts is an excellent way of maintaining consistency and saves time while enabling the product to reach the audience at the right time.

Listening and engagement: as businesses gain followers, questions regarding their products also grow as the audience starts commenting on posts or messaging directly. Monitoring social media conversations regarding the brand is essential[4] (Bernecker 2015, pp.501-502). Businesses are required to utilize social media listening and engagement tools to track all social media messages, mentions regarding their product to respond accordingly.

Analytics: analytics assist businesses to know whether they are reaching the desired audience. They can track the number of mentions and hashtags on posts. Facebook and Twitter provide such information useful to evaluate business progress.

Advertising: social media advertising entails creating ads to reach a wider audience other than individuals following you on social media platforms. Nowadays, social media advertising can determine which audience to display ads. Companies can create ads based on audience behaviours, demographics, or interests essential[5]. Companies can, therefore, run social media campaigns and use social media advertising tools for optimizing ads, automating processes, and making bulk changes.

2.2. Social Media Platforms

Reaching new customers is essential for most businesses, and as social media platforms grow, it becomes challenging to choose the right one. Companies may decide to use all platforms, but some are better suited for marketers compared to others. In addition, companies must use the right platform based on their target audience.

Facebook: Facebook reaches 1.45 billion in terms of daily active users. The platform is best known for customer service, advertising, collecting reviews, and engaging the company’s audience. When discussing social media marketing, companies first think of Facebook since it is widely used globally. Companies usually develop a Facebook page to update the audience on their products regularly[6]. Customers today expect businesses to have Facebook pages where they can ask questions regarding products or services offered. Thus, Facebook has revolutionized social media marketing.

Twitter: monthly users are nearly 320 million, compared to 2.20 billion for Facebook. Most users seek news and information from Twitter and thus can be useful for companies that publish firsthand content regularly. Companies can promote their products through tweets containing links to the product website, images, videos, or hashtags[7]. Most companies provide customer service through Twitter by ensuring a 24/7 presence, thus enhancing brand loyalty and appreciation.

LinkedIn: the platform enables companies to develop professional profiles to network and meet others. By using widgets, companies can promote their social media activities like blog entries and Twitter stream regarding their product pages. Through LinkedIn, companies can generate business partners and business leads.

Instagram: researchers have found that about 93% of prestige brands and 71% of the world’s largest brands have an active Instagram presence and integrate it into their marketing mix[8]. The goal of Instagram is to assist companies in reaching a potential audience through a captivating visual environment. Users can also communicate publicly, making the platform easier to connect to prospective and current customers.

YouTube: advertisement on YouTube is done in manners that suit the target audience. The ideas used in promotion and language used reflect audience taste and style. Ads usually sync with videos requested, which is an advantage for advertisers[9] (Buchenau and Dominik 2015). Sponsoring videos is also possible as a promotional opportunity. Companies also pay YouTube for a special channel designed to promote products and services.

3. Significance of Social Media Marketing

3.1. Benefits of Social Media Marketing

With little costs, businesses can spend less time increasing their brand recognition and driving sales. Around 90% of marketers claim that social media marketing has immensely exposed their companies. According to Social Media Examiner, approximately 96 per cent of today’s sellers have embraced social media marketing, and 85 per cent of them are uncertain which tools to use[10] (Müller et al. 2018 p.75). Thus, confusion can be diminished by explaining the benefits associated with this form of modern marketing.

Improved brand awareness: modern marketing is effective in increasing business visibility. Executing a social media strategy will go well in improving brand recognition since companies engage a broader audience. Creating a social media profile and getting sponsors and business partners to like your page and interact with posted content increased brand awareness and business reputation. According to Müller et al. (2018), 91% of marketers claim to invest few hours on social media improved their exposure, which boosts sales and profits[11].

Better customer satisfaction: platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are communication platforms. Developing a voice in such a platform is essential in humanizing one’s business. Customers appreciate when feedback is given on their posts rather than automated messages. Acknowledging comments shows that businesses care about their customer’s needs and aim at providing the best experience.

Improved brand loyalty: most businesses aim at establishing a loyal customer base. To achieve this, they need to engage with customers and develop meaningful relationships regularly. Customers see social media as platforms for communicating directly with companies. Most people are loyal to brands that practice direct engagement on social media with them[12] (Schulze, Christian, Lisa, and Bernd 2015). The benefits include increased brand loyalty, enhanced customer satisfaction, and brand authority.

Reduced advertising costs: this marketing strategy is perceived as a cost-efficient. In most platforms, creating profiles is free, and paid promotions have relatively low costs. Cost-effectiveness is vital since businesses can enjoy higher ROI (Schulze et al. 2015). Also, the business can maintain a better budget since business and added marketing costs reduce significantly.

Enhanced search engine ranking: SEO is essential in obtaining website traffic and attaining better site ranks. According to Social Media Examiner, 58% of regularly social media marketers see enhanced search engine rankings. Being ranked among the top level for your keywords can transform your traffic and business recognition.

3.2. The Future of Social Media Marketing

Over time, social media has progressed into a remarkable marketing tool and is changing at a quick pace. Businesses need to review what will work for them in future marketing to optimize their strategies. Influencer marketing is popular nowadays and has already beaten print marketing with regards to popularity. People can leverage their followers by collaborating with brands. Influencers promote company products at a cost and brand look for influencers with most followers and influence[13] (Evertz 2018). However, influencers are becoming expensive for SMEs. So, what’s next? Chatbots and AI are social media latest trends making it progressively easier for individuals to reach out brands. Companies can also respond to messages quickly. AI is recognized as the future of social media marketing. Facebook Messenger uses Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence to promote products and respond to customer queries. Also, companies can use to assist in scheduling meetings and collecting leads.

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With influencer marketing rising, fake influencers are becoming popular too building false partnerships with brands. Thus, companies must commit resources to scrutinize the authenticity of their influencers. Employees can also become influencers in their circles by promoting company brands on their social media groups and pages[14] (Kreutzer 2018). Groups are becoming common today, like in WhatsApp, Facebook, and Telegram. Such groups have innovative features like story updates and live videos, thus generating additional engagement. Instagram stories have become an advertising feature with brands showcasing their stories. Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook also embraced stories lasting for 24 hours and allow individuals to develop different content. On Instagram, approximately 500 million individuals watch stories each day, the same as on Facebook and Messenger, and this interaction has resulted in a popular marketing tool. Live videos have also become popular social marketing strategy which has been adopted by 95% of marketers[15] (Kreutzer 2018). Live videos enable the audience an opportunity to interact with businesses in real-time hence clearing their doubts. It is vital to build trust and ensure transparency with customers. Such trends will shape the future of social media marketing, thus reaping more benefits for businesses and customers.

4. Conclusion and Outlook

In modern times, traditional marketing strategies cannot match social media marketing strategies, which have revolutionized the whole idea of marketing. Many companies have opted for social media marketing due to the benefits attributed to the strategy. The advancement of smartphones changed the entire game since companies and individuals can quickly post their products and services from their mobile phones. Billions of individuals use social media platforms, which is a perfect opportunity for advertising. As technology advances, trends in marketing would make advertising much easier for users. Traditional marketing strategies have been beaten to the ground; hence their application has been limited today. Businesses require efficiency and cost-effectiveness, which is a goal that social media marketing has managed to achieve. As a result, businesses have developed brand loyalty, awareness, positive, and brand authority, which has enabled them to stay competitive.

5. Bibliography

Alalwan, Ali Abdallah, Nripendra P. Rana, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, and Raed Algharabat. “Social media in marketing: A review and analysis of the existing literature.” Telematics and Informatics 34, no. 7 (2017): 1177-1190.

Bernecker, Michael. “Social Media Marketing als Asset für Existenzgründer.” In Entrepreneurial Marketing, pp. 501-515. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2015.500-510

Buchenau, Peter, and Dominik Fürtbauer. Chefsache Social Media Marketing: Wie erfolgreiche Unternehmen schon heute den Markt der Zukunft bestimmen. Springer-Verlag, 2015.21-60

Evertz, Stefan. Analysiere das Web! Wie Sie Marketing und Kommunikation mit Social Media Monitoring verbessern. Vol. 10244. Haufe-Lexware, 2017.

Kreutzer, Ralf T. “Plattformen für den Einsatz des Social-Media-Marketings.” In Social-Media-Marketing kompakt. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2018. 31-157

Kreutzer, Ralf T. “Social-Media-Marketing kompakt.” Ausgestalten, Plattformen finden, messen, organisatorisch verankern, Wiesbaden (2018).30-40

Kreutzer, Ralf T., Andrea Rumler, and Benjamin Wille-Baumkauff. B2B-Online-Marketing und social media. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2015.149-227

Müller, Julian M., Benjamin Pommeranz, Julia Weisser, and Kai-Ingo Voigt. “Digital, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing in industrial buying: Still in need of customer segmentation? Empirical evidence from Poland and Germany.” Industrial Marketing Management 73 (2018): 70-83.

Schulze, Christian, Lisa Schöler, and Bernd Skiera. “Customizing social media marketing.” MIT Sloan Management Review 56, no. 2 (2015): 8.

[1] Alalwan, Ali Abdallah, Nripendra P. Rana, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, and Raed Algharabat. “Social media in marketing: A review and analysis of the existing literature.” Telematics and Informatics 34, no. 7 (2017): 1177

[2] Kreutzer, Ralf T., Andrea Rumler, and Benjamin Wille-Baumkauff. B2B-Online-Marketing und social media. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2015.152

[3] Ibid

[4] Bernecker, Michael. “Social Media Marketing als Asset für Existenzgründer.” In Entrepreneurial Marketing, pp. 501-515. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2015.501-502

[5] Ibid.503

[6] Kreutzer, Ralf T. “Social-Media-Marketing kompakt.” Ausgestalten, Plattformen finden, messen, organisatorisch verankern, Wiesbaden (2018).31-32

[7] Ibid

[8] Müller, Julian M., Benjamin Pommeranz, Julia Weisser, and Kai-Ingo Voigt. “Digital, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing in industrial buying: Still in need of customer segmentation? Empirical evidence from Poland and Germany.” Industrial Marketing Management 73 (2018): 70

[9] Buchenau, Peter, and Dominik Fürtbauer. Chefsache Social Media Marketing: Wie erfolgreiche Unternehmen schon heute den Markt der Zukunft bestimmen. Springer-Verlag, 2015.30

[10] Müller, Julian M., Benjamin Pommeranz, Julia Weisser, and Kai-Ingo Voigt. “Digital, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing in industrial buying: Still in need of customer segmentation? Empirical evidence from Poland and Germany.” Industrial Marketing Management 73 (2018): 75

[11] Ibid.83

[12] Schulze, Christian, Lisa Schöler, and Bernd Skiera. “Customizing social media marketing.” MIT Sloan Management Review 56, no. 2 (2015): 8.

[13] Ibid

[14] Kreutzer, Ralf T. “Plattformen für den Einsatz des Social-Media-Marketings.” In Social-Media-Marketing kompakt. Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, 2018. 31

[15] Ibid

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