There might be many definitions about social media, given the nature and broaden perspectives of it. According to ESOMAR (The European Society for Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR), a global association for market, social and opinion researchers. ), social media is defined as “internet based platforms and technologies that permit users’ interaction and/or facilitate the creation and exchange of user generated content. ” Whilst the scope is evolving, the following format is focused and discussed: Multi-person/group communication and/or collaboration platforms (e. . Twitter) Note: arguably Sina. com might say Weibo is more than Twitter, but to make it simple we quote Weibo here is similar to twitter in some sense. The urgency of connecting consume thru social media With the emerging of social media and the growing popularity across different regions, we can now keep in touch with each other all the time, share photos and messages simultaneously to thousands or millions, and it’s also allowed brands to interact much more closely to their consumers - you and me. Marketing in this way has forever been changed by social media.
Marketers can engage with and influence existing and potential consumes through adverts or other format of effective communication tools specifically tailored to that type of person, all based on information the consumer has given out on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, if the instinctive nature of Social network is taken into the consideration which is the networking expansion down to different level, the brand messages received and responded by consumers would cast substantial influence over their peers in the network.
One of the key and productive initiatives or requirements for a marketing manager is to increase the awareness that could lead to preference, purchasing motivation or even brand loyalty. With the feature of easy access, speedy and broaden coverage and most important of all, the lower cost of average reach, marketing manager is now equipped a new perspective to market a brand to thousands of consumer, increasing its public awareness through pages and helping to cement the brands image with regular updates, photos, articles and more. The increasing outreach of social media
Social media witnesses its popularity or taking over around the globe in the past few years. Especially in China, a country with growing potential in internet usages and mobile internet, based on the statistics from <The 29th China Internet Development Statistics Report> from CNNIC, by the end of Year 2011, the number of internet user in China exceeds 500 million in which one-quarter of net users use microblog(Weibo). Basically, it’s hard to find someone not signed up to one social media page or another, and so it makes sense that companies have set up pages to market their products and services.
The first step is to increase the brand awareness over this interactive platform. In short, social media has access to all. On the other hand, many brands in China also rush to build up their corporate microblog to have the first trials of interaction with consumers. According to the statics from Sina. com, till the end of Feb, 2012, totally more than 130,000 companies have set up the official weibo over Sina. com. Interesting thing is that among these companies, around half of them are coming from the dinning, i. e. restaurant, cafe or dining outlets.
Not surprisingly, when being asked in the survey about the intentions of stepping into the stage of launching the corporate weibo, 100% of these companies responded that the first priority is brand building, with PR and CRM on the second and the third places to follow respectively. Interactive way of exchanging brand information flow When communicating the messages, some of the key distinctive features about social media include two-way dialogues, interactive creation and speedy response. In the past, marketing managers frequently use the pre-set messages that fit into different segment to target their consumers.
Under these so-call old fashion ways of consumer communication, the messages are fixed and tailed made already, even the marketing managers could modify and even alter some fractions of the messages based on the judging of the change of the different situation. More importantly, this kind communication would be mostly in one direction, regardless the feedback from the receiver. In one way, social media allows users to interact with people and companies like never before, while also acting as an outlet to channel information about people and their opinions.
On the other hand, it enables consumers to talk directly to one another, which means, over the social media platform, the topic, the tone, the timing and the frequency of these conversations are now outside the marketing managers’ direct control. As a consequence, marketing managers of today must not just focus on the provision of the traditional messages, they should also understand the way of consumers speak of their mind to shape their discussions in such a way that it is consistent with the company’s strategy and communication paradigm.
When marketing managers set up a page on a social media site and people begin to follow it, they can ask these followers their opinions on the company’s products and services. On the very first stage, the information that can be gathered on these topics is invaluable, as it is essentially market research with the real information. Social media is a good platform with the mixed but advanced technology and full scaled of media features that enable instantaneous, real-time communication and applies multi-media formats, such as audio and video mediums.
All these, not just coming from local market anymore, it comes with global reach capabilities. An interesting fact reveals that so-called high carihighly educated All this information can easily be put to use in better marketing to customers, helping marketers appeal to their audience in much better ways than before. Promoting a positive image Any social media agency will tell you that keeping your brand image up on your social media page is crucial. Word spreads fast, even faster with social media, so when negative comments are posted about a particular brand on the page it can be swiftly tackled and the problem sorted.
Better yet, all of this being public will show other potential customers how your brand deals with problems. Facing off negative comments is great, but don’t forget that positive messages will also be posted. Marketing to the target market Today and in the past, marketing has been done through publications, signs, television and radio adverts. The target markets for these adverts are broad to try and appeal to as many people as possible as easily as possible.
While this is still effective, marketing through social media can be targeted towards a much more niche audience. Using the information that users post on their social media profiles, adverts can be made to target from either a broad range of people, all the way down to a specific group. This allows for a greater personalisation of adverts, appealing more towards people who’d ignore the normal adverts. At the opposite end of the scale, setting up adverts to easily avoid users that’d have no interest in the product or service is also possible.