Social Media Coming of Age in Business
Social media has a long history when compared to what people know nowadays. Facebook and other social media platforms exist as a natural outcome of the evolution of the social media development that has occurred for several centuries. It is evident that letters served as the earliest communication methods. They were delivered by hand from the sender to the recipient. When it comes to analyzing the history of social media, one may see that the earliest postal services existed as early as 550 B.C (Hakansson, 2015).
Despite the development, the messages became short (Parveen, Jaafar, & Ainin, 2015). The business industry also continued to grow due to friendly economic policies and various incentives that existed in the market.
The development of supercomputers after the 1940s saw the creation of networks between computers and consumers. The situation influenced the development of the internet. The 1960s saw the growth of a primitive form of the email. Improvement in networking established the development of social media in the 21st century (Verma, Stock & McCarthy, 2012). The situation has seen advanced technology growth that has facilitated business growth and development. Communication has become the norm of modern society as people find it easy to pass information and engage in conversations with high productivity. Businesses can advance and build an excellent online foundation when it comes to interacting with the market around them.
Businesses are doing well in comparison to the 20th century and the past because of the significant networks existing that support business development. The market has changed tremendously due to the growth of social media and the existence of online marketing. The past could not see customers knowing the real information about a product unless they had to ask from a shop and view the products by themselves. They could also depend on traditional media to support their quest to know about a product and service (Buted et al., 2014). However, modern society allows them to get reviews from other customers and engage on real issues revolving around a brand. The journey of the internet, social media and online information is enough to comprehend the role played by social media/information in influencing business growth
Online Marketing Strategy
The online platform consists of several social media marketing approaches that spread brand awareness. Social media allows a business to select the right networks with relevance to the specific operations, mission, and objectives. The online marketing strategy may also entail a business focusing on finding alternatives to visual branding (Bruhn, Schoenmueller & Schäfer, 2012). The market and consumers react and respond to visuals as in images and videos. Social media profiles are created through effective strategies to ensure that they are similar. Social media allows a deeper connection between consumers and businesses. Social media and other online platforms serve as essential channels with many things going viral instantaneously. A propaganda scheme and marketing strategy allows a business to become competitive. It allows proper planning of business strategies and the correct implementation of present and future development plans.
For marketing purposes, effective social media use ensures that a business has wide access to more customers than businesses that use traditional media for their marketing. Social media sites have a high score when it comes to search engines. They enable customers to add connections to their browsing platforms. Businesses should also ensure that they create links that are easily found in search engines. Regular updates with links in the social media platforms raise extra traffic. Online platforms are significant when it comes to undertaking search engine marketing
The rise of social media and research has impacted purchase decisions in the current years (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). There are more approaches to consider in making decisions regarding purchases. Social media serves as a platform through which individuals find information that attributes to their purchase process. Customers have an opportunity to interact with other customers who have purchased products and services from the same company that they would also like to acquire their goods and services. It becomes easy for them to ask about the quality of the products.
Push and Pull Online Marketing
Push and pull marketing is a very effective strategy used in digital marketing that upgrades traditional marketing. Push and pull marketing has various ways of reaching and approaching customers. Push marketing strategy involves a business brand promoting a product to specific customers. In other words, push marketing strategy is where advertisers force their products upon customers. On the other hand, pull marketing strategy works in the opposite way. The pull marketing strategy is when customers are attracted towards a product of a brand. In a pull marketing the customers have developed loyalty towards a product. Social media marketing involves the use of a push strategy while search engines (YouTube, Bing, and Google) use pull strategy for marketing. The two marketing strategies are widely used within businesses to get a product or service to the customer in the market. They use a combination of strong personal brand and direct communication marketing tactics to facilitate increased exposure of a product.
Getting Public through Social Media
The world consists of almost 3.4 billion individuals who use social media and the internet (Kumar et al ,2016). In addition, more than about 2.3 billion people are labelled as active users of social media (Parveen, Jaafar & Ainin, 2015). The given estimation means that majority of the internet users have a constant engagement in social media. The world also sees a tremendous growth regarding the employment of social media for brand awareness in the business market. Companies have the opportunity to show their logo through opening profiles with their information regarding operations and branding (Bruhn, Schoenmueller & Schäfer, 2012). For marketing strategies, effective social media use ensures that a brand has plentiful access to more customers than the brands that use traditional media for their marketing.
Social media sites have a high score when it comes to search engines. It enables customers to add connections to their browsing platforms (Hanna, Rohm & Crittenden, 2011). Businesses also ensure that they can create web links that are easily found in search engines. Regular updates with links in the social media platforms raise extra traffic. Online platforms are significant when it comes to undertaking search engine marketing.
The market and consumers react and respond to visuals. Social media profiles are created through effective strategies to ensure that they are similar. The above factor allows a deeper connection between consumers and brands. Social media and other online platforms serve as essential channels with many things going viral instantaneously.
YouTube ads and Google Searches
Google had developed a very effective marketing strategy for different brands using the online social media platform YouTube. Advertisers have the opportunity to target YouTube ads based on search histories of individuals, a factor that gives different brands a new perspective of infiltrating the mindset of consumers. Google has announced several updates on YouTube offering ads for brands when viewing videos from different channels. It also introduced new measurement tools to assist brands in achieving their brand awareness campaigns. Google’s introduction of search data focusing on YouTube’s different types of videos that influenced an intriguing status to advertisers. Brands had the chance to push video ads to different YouTube viewers who possessed specific interests in searching for either movie trailers or video gaming videos.
YouTube ads currently work by targeting the type of videos watched by specific users. Any individual who is logged into YouTube through their Google profile may have saved their search history which may be used to target specific advertisement (Ketter & Avraham, 2012). This strategy can be seen as very effective for advertisers to spread their brands to reach audiences. Google’s search data is known to be the most powerful information used as a guide for advertisement.
Marketers use the above kind of profiling through purchasing specific advertising rights on different popular websites to collect cookie information (Parveen, Jaafar & Ainin, 2015). This leads to the creation of a single profile regarding a user. Internet advertising and marketing focus on potential customers based on the way they undertake their browsing over the internet. The above factor creates an opportunity for marketers and their websites to flash banner ads through their pages.
Cookies act as tagging strategy used to identify a user’s computer out of other million users that access the internet. The tracking occurs anonymously, and the user has the power to permit before any site may store a cookie on its domain machine. Regarding huge internet penetration to most parts of the world, everything is easy nowadays. The internet has made it possible for data collection to exist easily (Kumar et al., 2016). Social networking sites have and continue to keep privacy violations that were done in the past by cookie profiling through malicious access of personal information. Facebook serves as the most privacy invading website regarding social networking. It takes the first position and followed by Google since it is the most visited site.
Just like any other popular websites, Facebook and Google utilize cookies to monitor its different users. They also track down even when a user logs out of their profiles. Marketers use the same kind of approaches to ensure that they monitor activities of users in their websites. They use two types of cookies (Bruhn, Schoenmueller & Schäfer, 2012). The first cookie is inserted into a user’s browser when they sign up. Another cookie is inserted when one lands at the homepage without having to sign up. Social media and website marketers record several information bits. The information relates to post types, passwords, and email addresses among others.
Marketers use social plugins such as share and like buttons to identify cookie records associated with time, website visited, and the date for the activity. The situation influences marketers to have a picture of the browsing behaviors of their users and identify religious, social, and political affiliations (Wamba & Lemuria, 2016). The above factors determine ways through which marketers have the
opportunity to present data to consumers in the market through their online platforms.
Traffic refers to the act when customers visit a business social media pages and web sites. Businesses can develop customer loyalty through increasing brand awareness strategies (Schivinski & Dabrowski, 2016). These strategies will generate several advantages and opportunities to lead in business. The advantages of including the business in the social media presence creates strong business partnerships, reduces marketing costs, and facilitates improved sales. Social media and information technology enable businesses to have market insight in building a strong operational background. Many small businesses depend on social media platforms to spread awareness of company’s quality products and services. Whenever a brand faces problem, the presence of social media ensures that the business receives insights into the reasons behind why the business experiences problems since most consumers leave behind comments and reviews online. Social media may also provide solutions to the problems suffered by businesses (Wamba & Lemuria, 2016). Social media has the power to humanize brands by allowing businesses to respond to various problems suffered by consumers. It further allows comments and feedback to and from customers & businesses. Businesses establish real communication with their customers which reinforces deep connections
Customer Behaviors to Online Purchases
The process of purchasing has become a simple cycle since customers can move easily through it. Social media influences consumers to stay within the cycle even after they have finished placing an order. Instead of just focusing on sales, the current purchase decision focuses on customer loyalty and retention (Bolton, 2013). Concerning this statement, some behaviors are developed when it comes to making decisions associated with purchases. The first behavior includes the rational visitor of a social media profile. Such behavior is found in customers who only visit a page because they are interested in either buying a product or finding more information about it. The rational visitor is known to save the information for later use.
The information acquired about a product does not raise any effect unless when there is interest in a product — secondly, the maximizer who spends much of the time on social media looking for different brands and products (Eriksson & Kovalainen, 2015). The maximizer is in the social media platforms and websites to learn more about a product and ensure that they are satisfied with its information before purchasing it. Social media and websites become part of the life of such an individual due to the significant amount spent on them.
Thirdly, the brand-oriented visitor likes visiting pages to identify reviews and any comments existing about a product. Such a user ensures that they love specific brands and that they may be on social media and their sites to confirm any valid information associated with their products (Kietzmann et al., 2011). There are those consumers who only visit social media and websites when they hear rumors about something. They only enter to know if something about a product or brand is authentic. The last group comprises of individuals who hate social media. Such individuals do not have an association with social media and websites and may prefer traditional media to learn about products and any other information. or fix position
Promotions added to Customers through Social Media
Social media allows brands to keep direct contact with their desired customers. The inexpensive nature of social media allows continuous promotions of products to customers. The above factor has influenced many brands to promote products online and receive feedback from customers. Customers on social media experience promotions being added in their social media accounts daily to have a touch of the products advertised to them. Customers are able to view the products since they are visible via links placed on their social media profiles.
Organization employment of Social Media for Acquisition Strategy
The role of social media has significant impact on influencing decision-making processes by organizations on what, how, where and when to introduce a product to the consumers and the market at large. It has also impacted interactions between brands and customers in the purchase cycle (Aral, Dellarocas & Godes, 2013). When it comes to B2B and B2C industries, social media and online information are used in initiating brand awareness (Scott, 2015). To elaborate more, this means campaigns are launched to ensure that a product reaches the market and influences the customers. Social media is the ultimate weapon used by brands to enslave customers through visual enslavement.
Consumers purchase brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Nike, and Adidas not because of the quality of their material but rather purchased for how brands will place them on social media. For instance, a brand like Nike pays celebrities such as Ronaldo and Michael Jordan millions of dollars to have their products posted on their social media profiles in order to increase brand awareness. The two sport legends have many followers on their Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat profiles are a strong force in bringing brand awareness and promoting the products they wear. These celebrities are seen as role models and they have an estimate of more than 10 million followers on social media platforms. Their names may attract some massive numbers of fans to be loyal to the Nike products. This influences consumers who love the two legends to engage themselves with Nike because of Ronaldo and Michael Jordan.
With internet growth and penetration into rural and urban areas, customers have an opportunity to access more information regarding their brands. Value has become the foundation of their purchase decisions.
The spreading of brand awareness in the market ensures the majority of consumers understand the personality of a brand. Social media serves as the best strategy to create the connection required with the desired customers. Social media serves as a channel through which many opportunities are presented in connection to interactions, content, and the voice of a brand (Ketter & Avraham, 2012). For instance, a brand with a profile on a social media platform such as Facebook. Regular and new customers will be reviewing a feed concerning new products and services (Jagongo & Kinyua, 2013). Brands with Facebook profiles or pages may serve as an opportunity for a regular Facebook user to become a regular purchaser for products of the business with a recognizable and consistent online brand presence. These brands will keep posting new products and promotions to update customers with social media profiles.
Social media creates a chance for brands to possess productive connections with several customers online. Businesses that use social media and information technology in engaging with their customers tend to acquire more positive responses regarding their brand (Schivinski & Dabrowski, 2016). Social media has an essential role in ensuring that brands are active as it allows them to have continuous communication with the market on a sincerer level.
In addition, social media platforms allow brands to initiate real-time communication with their customers. Importantly, it allows customers to speak their opinions and thoughts engaging in possible ways to improve businesses. Their reviews aid in improving the quality of products that are sold via their online websites. Social media platforms ensure that customers in the market understand the nature of brands, services, and products. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook among others ensure that audiences acquire relevant information about a business’s services. And so, it allows businesses to achieve being exposed worldwide by the increasing amount of traffic.
Aral, S., Dellarocas, C., & Godes, D. (2013). Social Media and Business Transformation: A Framework for Research. Information Systems Research, 24(1), 3–13. https://doi-org.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/10.1287/isre.1120.0470
Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., & Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda. Journal of service management, 24(3), 245-267. doi-org.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/10.1108/09564231311326987
Bruhn, M., Schoenmueller, V., & Schäfer, D. (2012). Are social media replacing traditional media in terms of brand equity creation? Management Research Review, 35(9), 770-790. https://doi-org.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/10.1108/01409171211255948
Buted, D., Gillespie, N., Conti, J., Delgado, B., Marasigan, R., Rubico, S., & Felicen, S. (2014) Effects of social media in the tourism industry of Batangas Province. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research| Vol, 23.
Eriksson, P., & Kovalainen, A. (2015). Qualitative methods in business research: A practical guide to social research. Sage.
Hakansson, H. (2015). Industrial Technological Development (Routledge Revivals): A Network Approach. Routledge.
Hanna, R., Rohm, A., & Crittenden, V. L. (2011). We’re all connected: The power of the social media ecosystem. Business horizons, 54(3), 265-273. doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.007
Jagongo, A., & Kinyua, C. (2013). The social media and entrepreneurship growth. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(10), 213-227.
Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business horizons, 54(3), 241-251. doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005
Ketter, E., & Avraham, E. (2012). The social revolution of place marketing: The growing power of users in social media campaigns. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 8(4), 285-294. doi.org.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/10.1057/pb.2012.20
Kumar, A., Bezawada, R., Rishika, R., Janakiraman, R., & Kannan, P. K. (2016). From Social to Sale: The Effects of Firm-Generated Content in Social Media on Customer Behavior. Journal of Marketing, 80(1), 7–25. https://doi-org.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/10.1509/jm.14.0249
Parveen, F., Jaafar, N., & Ainin, S. (2015). Social media usage and organizational performance: Reflections of Malaysian social media managers. Telematics and Informatics, 32(1), 67-78. doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2014.03.001
Scott, D. M. (2015). The new rules of marketing and pr : how to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Verma, R., Stock, D., & McCarthy, L. (2012). Customer Preferences for Online, Social Media, and Mobile Innovations in the Hospital Industry. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 183-186.
Wamba, S. F., & Lemuria, C. (2016). Social media tools adoption and use by SMEs: An empirical study.” Social Media and Networking: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. IGI Global, 791-806