Social media is a platform that is easily accessible to anyone that has internet access. Social media includes web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals.
Social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for business organizations to successfully implement marketing campaigns. Increased communication by business houses foster brand awareness and often enhanced customer service.
Social media comprises of websites that allow users to share content, media, etc. Common examples are the popular social networking sites like Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, Blogging, YouTube, Photobucket, Flickr, Twitter etc.
Social networking websites facilitate individuals to interact with one another and develop rapport. Through social networking sites, business enterprises can have interactions with individual followers. Social networking sites act as word of mouth propagation. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, increased traffic is generated for the product/company.
Social media marketing – the process of gaining website traffic through social media sites – is the order of the day. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and inspires members to share it with their social networks.
Social media opens the floodgates for business houses to increase their brand awareness and facilitate interactions with the customers. Organizations can receive direct feedback from their customers and targeted markets.
- Twitter: Twitter allows companies to promote products on an individual level. The use of a product can be explained in the form of short messages that followers are more inclined to read. Messages can also link to the product’s website, Facebook profile, photos, videos, etc.
- Facebook: Facebook profiles are lot more elaborate than Twitter. It enables a product to offer videos, photos, and more detailed descriptions. One can also include testimonials and other followers can comment on the product pages
- Blogs: Business houses employ blogs to make their products popular and unique, and ultimately reach out to consumers who participate in social media. Blogs help a business enterprise to provide elaborate descriptions of products and/or services. Blogs can ink to and from Facebook, Twitter and other social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and used as a tool for retaining customer relationships.
- LinkedIn: LimkedIn is a professional business-related networking site, enabling business houses to create professional profiles and for their business to network and meet others. LinkedIn presents its members the opportunity to generate sales leads and develop business partners. Members can use “Company Pages” similar to Facebook pages to create an area for business owners to promote their products and/or services and be able to interact with their customers.
- YouTube: YouTube is a much sought-after media and advertisements are designed and presented in a way to appeal to the target audience. The language and ideas used in the commercials to promote the product are in keeping with the audience’s style and taste. Promotional opportunities such as sponsoring a video are also possible on YouTube.
Social media is ultimately about relationships. Social media poses an enormous challenge for business houses, as many old style management methods are becoming obsolete. Modern day customers are less interested in listening but instead want businesses to engage and hear their views. By analyzing the interactions, sharing information, fostering relationships and creating reputation, business enterprises can monitor and understand how social media activities impact their businesses.