Effectsof Social Networking
Effectsof Social Networking
Inthe modern world, there is high usage of social networks as astrategy of marketing. Social media is any online media with a strongparticipatory element such as text, video, audio, imagery, or aninteractive. On the other hand, social networking refers to theactivities of social media users that include sharing, connecting,and discussion of various topics (Anderson,2012).Research shows that more than half of the human races below thirtyyears today have never known a life without an internet. In addition,research states one-third of this population check on social mediathe first thing when they wake up. Correspondingly, business peoplehave adopted the use of social media to do marketing. In fact, morethan ninety percent of business people have joined at least one ofthe social networks. These people include CEOs, decision makers,consumers, co-workers, among others. In addition, about eightypercent of business and companies have also signed up accounts onsocial media sites, and a corresponding percent of buyers areadvocates of social media. In essence, online social media andnetworks have a significant role in marketing. For instance, it isbridging boundaries and crossing the seas to create a common platformfor business people. This essay discusses the effects of socialnetworking on marketing, as well as the strategies and techniques forsuccessful marketing of products and services change as people’sattention shifts from traditional location to social networkingsites.
Examplesof social networking site
In2004, Mark Zuckerberg developed Facebook, a social networking site.Initially, the main users of Facebook were college and universitystudents. However, this changed after few months later giving accessto anyone with a valid email address. Today, Facebook have millionsof users uploading images and video on a daily basis. Facebook offersit users a platform to form a network with millions of people withsimilar interest. According to Facebook Company, more than eightypercent of its user’s signs into their account daily while eightypercent sign to their account at least one in a month.
Orkutis a social network, named after Orkut Buyukokten, a former Googleemployee. It main purpose is to help users meet new friends, as wellas maintain existing relationship. New users can sign in without aninvitation. Similar to Facebook, Orkut permits the user to creategroups called “communities.”
Twitterallows business and companies to promote their products or servicesin short messages. These messages appear on the user’s homepage.One can provide a link to the product’s website, videos, photo, andso on.
Google+provides pages and features of Facebook and has capacity toincorporate with Google search engine, Google Maps, and Google Adwords. Marketers make use of Google personalised search services toadvertising their products.
LinkedInis a professional business site. Companies use widgets to promotetheir activities, products, and services. This site allowsindividuals to create own professional profiles and business networkthat they can use to meet other people. In addition, LinkedInprovides its users with an opportunity to generate business partnersand sales leads.
Currently,Instagram has over two hundred million users. Statistics rates itsuser’s engagement as fifteen times and twenty-five times highercompared to Facebook and Twitter respectively. According to Anderson(2012),more than ninety percent of prestige companies have active Instagram,which they include in their marketing mix. Instagram aims at helpingcompanies to get in touch with their targeted consumers through avisual environment. In addition, Instagram offers a platform wherebycompanies and communicate with their consumers either directly orpublicly hence, it is an ideal platform to connect companies withpotential customers.
YouTubeis a social site that is popular for video advertisements. YouTube ismore advantageous because adverts are in the form of a video.Companies may choose to market their product through promotionalopportunities through sponsoring a video. Furthermore, YouTubereflects audience taste and style through the language it uses incommercials and promotions.
Othersocial media that have been used for marketing include socialbookmarking Sites, blogs, Tumbler, MySpace, and Hi5.
Effectsof Social Networking
Tostart with, the use of social networking in marketing has enabled theconnection of people at low cost, which is beneficial for smallbusinesses and entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. Fotis,Buhalis, and Rossides (2012) say that social networks act as customerrelationship management between the company selling products orservices and the consumers who are willing to purchase these productsor services. Social media creates an ideal platform for brandawareness, as well as stay connected to the customers. Nowadays,Companies use social media as a platform of advertisement in the formof text ads or banners. A good example of a social network used forbusiness purposes is LinkedIn, where businesses are advertising theirproducts and services. Business can now use social networks toadvertise any new product, share company news, post business-relatedlinks and photo, and for promotion purposes. On the other hand,social media is a platform that consumers use to show their loyaltyto their favourite products and brands. Likewise, some consumers areusing social media to gain benefits from promoting products of theirfavourite companies. Research show that over forty percent ofconsumers who share their brand experiences receive discounts. Socialmedia users trust the recommendation they receive from friends andfamily. According to Nielsen’s Global Survey, two-third of usersrespondents are highly influenced by the marketing that is done inthe social media (Verma, Stock, and McCarthy, 2012). Further, socialmedia plays a significant role in protecting brands. Research statesthat fifty percent of social media users normally write a productreviews and the products they purchase to protect other users frombad experiences. Additionally, one-third of the social media give anegative reviews and zero rating to punish companies.
Additionally,social media have transformed consumers from passive consumers toactive consumers. Traditionally, marketers used funnel metaphor whiledealing with consumer buying processes (Rosman and Stuhura, 2013). Aconsumer would lay down multiple brands of goods and services oftheir choice. Then, they would linearly narrow them down to make thefinal decision by eliminating the unwanted products. On the otherhand, business and companies used paid-media to spread their messagesdownwards the funnel to build awareness of their product, driveconsideration, as well as inspire consumers to purchase theirproducts or services. In this model, the whole communication processof marketing was one-way. Fortunately, the emergence of social mediahas significantly changed the funnel metaphor, which is increasinglybecoming irrelevant. Consumers are no longer passive they are nowempowered to take charge, unlike previously when they depended on thebrand to converse with them. Nowadays, they have instant access toinformation and can depend on the social media to make a purchasingdecision without involving the brand itself. Furthermore, socialnetworks have potentials to influence discontented consumers topurchase. In fact, most marketers are buying ads within social mediasuch as Facebook and Twitter. At the same time, innovative marketersare coming up with their content whereby they build social tools andonline communities in their websites. Fotis et. al., (2012) statesthat the most innovative companies such as ModCloth use social mediato reinvent their products, as well as consider consumers ideas inthe design process. On the other hand, empowered consumers increasetheir influence on the brand messaging and communication.
Further,social networking has promoted company branding and awareness. Socialmedia users have the capability to give their views regarding acertain product on social media circles. Therefore, business andcompanies can take advantage of this to boost their brand image andbrand reputation. In addition, social networking has brought aboutthe issue of online rating that result to repercussion for managerialpractise. Kwok and Yu (2013), notes that online rating influences thequality of products and services produced. Online social media playsa significant role in marketing that has corresponding implicationson how channels, consumers, and companies functions. In an onlinesocial platform, consumers can give online feedback about aparticular product, and on the other side, agents, channel partners,consumers, and investors can view the feedbacks given. The feedbackcan be processed with the number of ratings and reviews. Researchshows social media have effects on online rating, consumer conversionrates, consumer purchase intentions, product value and sale, and firmvalue. According to the Lange-Faria and Elliot (2012) findings,online rating and reviews affect business, both online and offline.They include consumer purchase, conversion rate, purchase intentions,brand evaluation, firm value, firm performance, and consumer rating.In addition, the effect of a business online rating and review onperformance metrics depends on various characteristics such as thebusiness itself and the consumer characteristics, among others.Lange-Faria(2012), urge that online rating and review affects the managerialpractise through positive and negative rating they receive. Further,social networking affects consumer conversion rates. Research showsthat positive conversation rates are asymmetrical that is, the highthe positive affective content, the smaller its effects in theconversion rate in the consumer reviews and vice versa. Therefore,business managers should identify and promote the positive reviewsfor a given product or service. In addition, they should encouragemore consumers to give positive reviews, as well as adapt theireditorial reviews.
Asmuch as social networking has positive effects on marketing, ifimproperly used, it can also have negative effects on businessmarketing. For instance, social networking leads to strategic shift,reduced control over content, unpredictable schedules, and negativepublicity spread.
Asdiscussed above, social networking provides companies and businesseswith wide a range of options to communicate with their customers.However, these platforms are likely to change the nature of thecompany or business communication. For instance, a company may favourvisual content and personal engagement over the traditionalmarketing. For the business that commonly use traditional marketingstrategies, they need a complete revisit to their marketing strategy.Unfortunately, the whole process is time-consuming and requires a lotof money. Nevertheless, a business that depends only on thetraditional marketing limits its success on the social mediacampaigns. Further, social media platform are defined as the abilityof multiple users to communicate and interact together, and that whatpredicts the social media success. On most social media, consumershave the right to “like,” comment and give a report on a certainproduct or service. However, this can have negative consequences ifthe comments are off-topic or negative. Unfortunately, at some point,companies and business have reduced control over the content on theiraccount. For instance, most companies sign up Facebook pages andgroups, and any Facebook user can write a comment on the page.However, since there are many comments, it is complex for the personin charge on the account to read all of them and delete the negativecomments.
Socialnetworking brings about unpredictable schedules. Normally, socialmedia marketing needs constant observation on all message or commentat any time (Verma et. al., 2012). This is unlike in the traditionalmarketing where workflows are predictable based on broadcast date. Insocial media marketing, the marketing department needs to be alert torespond to any change in regardless of day or night. Therefore,social network users determine the amount of time and the schedulingof marketing instead of the company itself. Social media are good atspreading good consumer review, as well as negative consumer review.Some social network users can use social networking spread hatred,negative comments, and reviews. As a result, these comments maydamage the reputation of the business hence, reduce profits, as manyconsumers are unlike to purchase the company’s products orservices. In addition, due to the informal and conversational toneused in social media, there may be a misinterpretation ofinformation. For instance, positive information can be interpretedout negatively, and once the users it is in the media, it iscomplicated to delete or take them back.
Strategiesand techniques for successful marketing of products and serviceschange as people attention shifts from traditional locations tosocial networking sites. Examples of traditional advertisingtechniques include television and print advertising. Prior socialnetworking marketing, marketing department did protect advertisementinformation as they do. Today, the marketing department must protecttheir information, as well as keenly watch all the comments on thesocial sites. According to the flash poll conducted in 2010, manycountries revealed mishaps that cost millions of money (Rosman et.al., 2013). This is because companies were sharing much informationin social networks hence, loss of confidential information. Further,the marketing department staffs needs to be extra careful. A singlemistake committed by one employee may result in a devastatingconsequence to the whole company. Further, the traditional marketingcode of ethics is also applicable in the social network marketing.Unlike traditional marketing, social media marketing does not focuson the psychographics and demographics given in the magazines andtelevisions. Currently, marketers can engage consumers online wherethey get first-hand information about consumer needs and wants.
Socialnetworks such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter allow companies andbusinesses to form connections and interact with their consumers. Inallows them to share news, messages, photos, and videos. In the lastfew years, these social media have rapidly grown, and almost everycompany is taking advantage to utilizing them. Social networks are asignificant way to make a company look friendlier, as well as form aclose relationship with customers. A company that engage in socialnetworking interacts directly with its customers. Ultimately, socialnetworkings have positive effects if well utilised.
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