The modern market is overwhelmed with products and services. Consumers want to secure and protect their personal space from unwelcome broadcasting intrusions. The new and urgent problem of modern marketing is to give the necessary information and advertising only to those who can be potentially interested (Evans 29). The failure to follow this principle can lead to a decrease in sales and the failure of the establishment of the productive relation between producers and potential buyers.
The present-day marketing is a hierarchy that involves anyone regardless of the fact whether a person admits it. People need goods, and companies need consumers for production growth. When a person does not consider the principles of the current market relations, he is apparently at the bottom of the pyramid (Gartelli 18). It makes the problem of effective marketing strategies urgent for all people concerned with their social success and its maintenance.
Social media provide different ways to sign the contract with the target audience. The company may open its official page or group for a social network and place banners advertising the promoted product or service. It helps to increase site traffic and attracts hundreds of new customers, virtually without making any effort and investing additional funds (Fuchs 41).
Social media marketing is a promising tool for the successful advancement of the company, regardless of its scope. Recently businessmen had paid a lot of money for advertising on the network. Nowadays, with the help of social media, many people advertise goods and services on the Internet free of charge. When friends on the social net click on an ad or link, the promotion of the website starts. With each click, the company is gaining popularity. However, the promotion does not always run quickly and effortless. The marketing specialists should pay attention to some features and nuances.
The paper claims that social media networks empower the business with new strategies and tools based on the permission marketing approach. They help to increase sales and lower expenses for advertising as well as make modern marketing less intrusive.
Peculiarities of Social Media Marketing
According to statistics, 95% of daily Internet users use social networks and conduct conversations about products, companies, services, share their opinions and impressions. Consequently, even a single member of the network community may affect the reputation of the company with a multi-million dollar, expressing positive or negative feedback. About 87% of social network users believe online opinion and not official information (Fuchs 25).
Luiz Moutinho, Enrique Bigne,& Ajay Manrai examine the changes in marketing and consumer behavior. They identify technological innovations as one of the avenues that start controlling these fields. They explore social media as one of the advancements that are quickly transforming marketing strategies. The authors also provide statistics on the significance of social media in the marketing field. They note that 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations that they receive from social media concerning the products and services. They prove that social media are indispensable in the current and future marketing as well as in the consumer behavior fields (Moutinho, Bigne & Manrai 23)
Social media marketing is associated with the promotion of some products on social networks, blogs, and live journals (Evans 34).
The characteristic feature of the social network is the creation of a personal profile. In blogs, people exchange opinions and, on live journals, share visions of some life phenomena. Social networks attract the widest auditorium and provide more opportunities for broadcasting and statistical search for target customers.
The networks can be public or semi-public, and they often need specifying the actual personal data as well as other information on the individual. Moreover, social networks provide numerous opportunities for the exchange of information such as publication of photos, video recordings or placing text entries in the form of status. The registered users can organize thematic communities, exchange private messages, and share opinions about products and services. Finally, people can set and maintain a list of other users with whom they have some relationships. It is very convenient while establishing trustworthy connections with potential customers.
Communication oriented type of social networks is the most popular and represents the greatest number of participants. Social networks of this type are directed at the daily exchange of messages and opinions between people on the Internet. Communication can occur through the simple exchange of meaningful information, such as statuses, videos, and music. Advertising in such networks can be targeted and aimed at all types of audiences. In targeted advertising, there are many settings where everyone can choose proper options and conditions. Ads can be placed in groups to the users’ page, only in communication between people. (Evans 41).
The second type identifies social networks with the same interests. Their users typically combine something spiritual and share common cultural aims and preferences, for example, books, films, or music.
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Professional social networks focus on people of the same profession. In general, users are searching for a new job, find it and then share their views. Among the provided publications, there can be reports, business publications, a variety of activities related to work, information about training courses (Evans 42).
Carroll identifies social media as one of the avenues through which business organizations can broaden the customer base. In addition to brand awareness, she discusses how social media can be essential in helping consumers know the individuals involved in the production. Strengthening the relationship between customers and people in business premises create a long-lasting loyalty to the organization. She discusses further, how the best social media can be employed in order to succeed in creating awareness. This success can only be achieved when social media is employed as a tool that supports the organization’s goals instead of a business strategy unto itself. (Carroll 14)
Social media networking is an excellent platform to promote the services and goods. Industry and production do not remain aloof from organizing the company’s events, conferences or public occasions. On the pages in social networks, wise marketing specialists issue various reviews and comments, post photos and videos, download presentation materials, and maintain regular dialogue with visitors and potential customers. (Evans 22).
Principles of Permission in Social Media Marketing
The background of the current selling challenges is the high number of brands and quality goods. This fact stipulates a high level of competition in marketing strategies. The initial success of selling, including online distribution, depends on originality and exclusiveness of the product. Ten years ago, businessmen were spending millions of dollars on uncontrolled advertising companies. Today, the Internet ranges the position and quality of goods by means of the customers’ response to their efficiency. The first step for an effective trade in any sphere might is the creation of unique content and original concept. The next step is making it available to the target customers, which can be detected by means of social media net monitoring. (Godin 31).
Paul Wetherly & Dorron Otter focus on helping business personnel to gain an understanding of the business environment. This understanding is important for the sustainability and advancement of any business premise. The authors identify and discuss competitiveness as one of the most important aspects that business entities must understand to survive in the business environment. Notably, the authors identify social media as one of the avenues through which business enterprises can become competitive. However, they argue that the use of social media is not a guarantee for that. They argue that a firm’s competitiveness can be only improved if the use of social media leads to a reduction in costs.
The necessity of an exclusive approach to the customer needs originates in the market principle of interruption. The current market is overloaded with an offer. It is a typical situation to get offers of products from the present urban environment. The situation forces present-day sellers to impose an initial introduction of the product to any customer available, without asking for permission.
The advantage of Internet selling technologies is the possibility of the target consumer’s choice and interaction through an individual online dialogue using social media services. Such an approach shortens by half the way of the product to its potential buyer. If a person has the intention to buy something, he starts searching for it. The aim of modern social media marketing developers is to draw the consumers’ attention at the stage of the buying process.
Placing photos with the goods and services in the social media networks attract more potential customers because the process of attraction implies the trust to the connected person. People should confide in the provider of the product, and it is easy to achieve this goal if the incentive comes from an associate. Such an approach allows potential buyers to spend less time seeking alternative solutions.
For example, modern e-commerce marketing strategies are based on the principle that people would not get informative e-mail letters without their prior consent. The incentive should come from a customer; then, the site services ask permission for further cooperation. A customer can receive offers or news of the company through e-mail if he gives the consent. There should be the initial customer’s need for the product. The permission-marketing concept underlines that the offer should be provided only for the target people. The question of a successful marketing strategy is to find the proper buyers of certain categories of goods. Moreover, the effect increases when the products are recommended by a familiar and reliable person in the face of a friend or colleague. (Godin 34).
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Godin mentions that by the time his book was published, marketers had allocated approximately 52 percent selling program budgets on direct mail and promotions (Godin 39). Any time, when the consumer submitted to receiving some information via e-mail, he participated in permission marketing (Godin 39). The social media have made the process even shorter contracting it to the simple click of the like button. On the one and, this process promotes the product. On the other hand, it allows the search engines to detect the kind of product potentially interesting for the customer. Such an approach allows the marketers to save their money and consumers save their time and efforts by more productive activity. This principle results from a basic interaction model, which means the initial interest from both communicants and non-imposing.
The best sellers search the best buyers, and not the targeted ones. The same situation occurs when some nice looking young girls seek rich and successful businessmen. As it is the current problem of loneliness, it does not depend on the lack of representatives from one or the other part. However, the problem is in the inability to perceive and meet the other side’s needs. Total saturation has become a problem, which has made the mentioned categories of people famous for their irregular love affairs as well as psychological and sexual disorders.
Promotion of the Product and Increase of Sales in Social Media
Marketing in social media includes a large number of practices and implies advertising campaigns. The most popular methods are the creation of the social media thematic groups and communities, working with the blogosphere, the formation of a good reputation. Promotion in social networks involves two aspects such as internal social media optimization and external promotion. In other words, it is necessary to act at both important levels.
First, it is necessary to optimize resources for the target audience on social networks. On the one hand, it enables users to easily share information, which is on the site. On the other hand, the project should be ready to receive the attention of the target audience. It implies clear and catchy content and attractive design. Such an approach allows companies to benefit from other fashionable and effective technology. Today, many businessmen apply to the spread of viral advertising. Interesting and unusual materials, which in this case are not obtrusive advertising, can be quoted by the users on their pages.
The site should include the buttons of social networks through which the visitors will be able to share information with their friends and followers quickly. They are usually placed at the bottom of each page. They can also be placed immediately after the title of the article.
After the site has been optimized, the developer can begin to attract the audience of social networks. Before starting, it is very important to choose the target audience. This choice will affect the success of social advancement. The results can be disastrous if the developer is working with users who do not belong to the target group of the potential buyers of products or services.
Cristina Castro Novo and Lei Huang present social media as an alternative marketing practice to word-of-mouth strategies. They observe that this alternative is more cost-effective than traditional advertisement strategies. Moreover, they note that social media is more efficient in marketing than conventional methods. According to Castro Novo and Huang, social media can be employed to accomplish three main goals, including building awareness and loyalty as well as increasing sales. They give an insight into how to measure the success of social media while creating awareness among the customers. The highlighted metric include web traffics, search volume trends, the share of voice, and social mentions among others. (Castro Novo and Huang 56)
While building promotion strategies, it is important to pay attention to the live chat. In social networks, people interact with other users. Ideally, advertising should create the desire to request a person’s support, recommendation, or to write a comment. The second important point is to focus on several communities. It is useless trying to cover everything immediately. The added information should be positive and significant.
The report, published by IDC, focuses on the importance of social media in the current competitive business environment. The report explores to what extent businesses employ social media in order to boost awareness among consumers. The author notes that the ultimate goal of using social media is to increase productivity and competitiveness through the reduction of the production cost. IDC identifies the betterment of external communication through social media as a means of gaining understanding and the ability to navigate the competitive environment. The author also explores how businesses can employ social media to boost the knowledge of the employees, thereby increasing the organization’s productivity. Importantly, IDC defines how social media can be used by workers to reduce productivity (IDC. Business opportunities: Social Media).
According to Dave Evans, the number of respondents using social networks doubled in 2011 compared with the data of a similar survey in 2010. The pages on Facebook and LinkedIn have 88% of the companies organizing business and incentive events. Among the social networks, the most popular are Facebook (70%), LinkedIn (65%), and Twitter (28%) (Evans 42).
Social media marketing is a complex of measures regarding the usage of the web as a channel to promote companies and other business solutions (Evans 40). The promotion of social networks allows the direct achievement of the target audience. It searches sites where the potential customers are largely represented and identifies the most appropriate ways of communicating with them.
Social media marketing includes many practices. The most popular of them is building brand communities, working with the blogosphere, reputation management, personal branding, and unconventional social media marketing promotion.
Monitoring of social networks provides the possibility to analyze the activity of the company, determine its place in the market and assess the success in competition. Specially designed services for detecting the effectiveness of a social network help to estimate and forecast the company’s activities in social media. There are free (TweetDeck, SocialSeek) and money (Youcan, BuzzLook) services, which provide users with advanced possibilities of monitoring. These systems allow analyzing the brand’s position for blogs, forums, and social networks. They help to explore markets and the activities of the competitors. The results in a convenient analytical interface provide a visual interpretation of the teamwork as well as every branch and segment in particular. The diagrams and graphs show vividly what stage there are quality gaps and incompetence. Regular work on monitoring and responding to customers’ messages in social networks creates a positive image of the company (Fuchs 29).
The emergence and popularization of social media have fundamentally changed the communication process and that of conducting business. Five years ago people spent considerable amounts of money on context ads and placing the site on the top-ten positions. Nowadays, social networking has become one of the most important tools of marketing communication in the modern industry and providing services. The success of marketing strategies in this sphere effects the acknowledgment, reputation, and prosperity of the company on the web as a whole.
The main strategies of product promotion on social media imply a two-sided process. On the one hand, it is important to create and develop a competitive site of a high-quality product with unique content and attractive interface. The next step is to broadcast it on social media by means of sharing and connecting to the most populous networks and target groups. Respectable and friends abundant users can give a lot of traffic even to a newly invented site. It is important to remember the principles of permission and avoid intrusive advertising.
According to the research, social media marketing reveals a new approach in advertising and permission marketing because it is based on socially meaningful connections between individuals. On the one hand, joining the groups and communities helps to find the necessary information on the products and services demanded by a potential consumer. On the other hand, such groups create convenient platforms for the products’ promotion and exposure. Social networks help to shorten the way from the producer to the actual buyer and, in this way, to make it more profitable for both sides of the supply chain process.