What are Social media?
In layman s language, Social media are virtual platforms (Internet-based applications) for social interaction.They enable the user to create and exchange (information, pictures and videos) among the virtual community in a collaborative manner.
Among the plethora of social media, Facebook and Google+ (Google Plus) are more suitable for social interactions hence very useful for B2C marketers while Linkedin is more apt for business community hence used by B2B marketers.
Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest more focussed on micro-blogging, social news and visual media respectively. Social media are unique in terms of a framework, reach, quality, accessibility, permanence, usability and immediacy.
Social media as a marketing tools:
The ultimate aim of any marketer is to create profitable satisfied customers. From time immemorial to this modern ICT age, Marketers goal remains same, create brand awareness, attract potential customers, generate leads and ultimately convert them into profitable satisfied customers. Irrespective of media platforms, marketers twin aim is to attract and win new customers as well as keep existing customer happy be enhancing loyalty. Marketers always use available resources including existing media to reach target customers. In this age of technology, marketers are using these new media platforms and adopting innovative tactics to create brand awareness, attract new customer and enhance loyalty for existing customers.
Both B2C and B2B marketers use following tools:
Social media analytics tool is used to mine customer sentiment by collecting data from blogs, and social media websites and analysing it. It enables marketers to rectify marketing campaign and improve customer service.
Marketers employ Social media marketing (SMM) tools to create inspiring content which compels users to share it with their virtual community thereby broaden brand exposure.
Marketers use SMO (Social Media Optimization) strategy to draw new customers to their sites. SMO can be achieved by inserting social media links to content such as RSS feeds and sharing buttons, as well as by status updates, tweets and blog posts.
Social CRM(Customer Relationship Marketing) can be a potent marketing weapon for the marketer. When an organisation create a page in social networking site, it allows the user to connect with organisation’s brand which creates an opportunity for instant communication. Social media provide timely market data and feedback through conversations regarding marketer’s brand. From the customer’s point of view, social media enable them to provide their feedback instantly. Simultaneously, organisations can act swiftly to address customer issues and rebuild customer confidence.
Through Enterprise social networking, the company can connect with individuals having similar business interests. Internally, social media tools facilitate employees to access requisite information and resources thereby providing an opportunity to work synergistically for solving marketing problems.
By constantly upgrading business processes and operations, through research, Social media platforms enable an organisation to remain in constant touch with their customers.