Social media may be defined as an online service, site, or platform created to arrange social relations. Via the mentioned resources, people can post any information or find it. It an efficient tool in the framework of marketing. “Blogs, microblogs, social networks, media creation and sharing sites, social news sites, location-based social networking sites, review sites, and virtual worlds and online gaming all have their place in a company’s social marketing plan” (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel, 2018, p. 329). The proper utilization of the listed resources inevitably results in a loyal consumer base.
Within the scope of business development in social media, two primary models of brand promotion – Social Media Marketing and Social Media Optimization – should be mentioned. The former is the promotion of a website or company services through social media marketing, that is, through communication with representatives of the target audience through social resources. Thus, this method allows one to attract user traffic to the site directly and not through search engines. SMM covers not only social networks but also platforms such as blogs, forums, network communities, and various media resources that involve the active communication of users. The second model, SMO, implies the realization of internal technical work that increases the efficiency of the site’s interaction with social systems.
The use of various tools of social promotion on the Internet not only makes it possible to effectively establish communication with potential and real consumers of goods and services but also solves a number of other equally important tasks. The latter may include the promotion of the brand, forming loyalty among the target audience, helping to “detach” from competitors, and increasing the volume of sales. Moreover, SMO and SMM techniques are more effective tools than traditional advertising. After all, information on social networks spreads at an incredible speed. There is no more relevant and effective advertising than the recommendations of friends, acquaintances, or recognized experts in a particular field. There is another significant aspect – social media are not affected by crises or any other external factors. The only threat that may take place is a decrease in attendance. In this case, one can switch to a platform that is more demanded by users.
It should be noticed that I am an active user of social media and have been affected by marketing there several times. I use Instagram and Facebook to a great degree and search for accessories for my devices and sneakers a lot. Moreover, I have received many related offers from various companies via these platforms. Hence, it seems that corporations are fully capable of monitoring consumer preferences on the Internet; it is possible due to the following.
Today, social media provide marketers with the opportunity to obtain detailed reports regarding the extent of links’ usage, articles’ popularity, and the appropriacy of distribution of materials on a firm’s website. The company is able to monitor the significance of the created community among users. For instance, Google Webmaster Tools or Facebook Insights might be utilized to that end. With the help of these instruments, corporations can figure out which factors attract the target audience and which do not. However, the issue of privacy occurs – a person’s individual preferences start being public, which is not often desired. Then, cookies are another way of collecting data regarding consumer preferences, and it seems ethical when a company asks one to use them while visiting its website. Nevertheless, many platforms start to simply saturate a screen with advertisements in case of cookie rejection, forcing a visitor to enable them. Thus, it might be concluded that when it comes to social media marketing, the aspect of privacy seems to be neglected.
Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, C. (2018). Principles of marketing. Cengage.