In the past many years, social networking sites have extensively came up. The primary objective of social networking was to get linked with friends, family, associates and others. But now as the time passes, the scope of social media gets widen. It has opened a wide platform for communication between people from different geographical areas to share and exchange their views. Marketers have now made social media as an effective medium for communicating with their customers by providing information about their products and services. They are seeking new and innovative ways to maintain a constant and positive relationship with their consumers.
This essay studies the impact of Social Media on paid advertising, and the evolving area of Social Media Marketing. Considering Social Media’s emergence in global market, it is crucial to observe the importance of Social Media Marketing in the sensation of their businesses.
The purpose of this study is to fill the gaps in the discussion of the ways in which paid advertisement works with social media and share its information worldwide. This essay also studies the strategies of social media because of which social media is reaching at its peak. This essay argues that paid social media advertising is a fusion of the promotion mix because in a traditional sense it makes possible for companies to interact to their customers, while in a nontraditional sense it enables customers to interact directly to one another. Marketers are more and more selecting and using paid social media advertising as an integrated instrument.
KEYWORDS- social media, paid advertisements, social media marketing
“Those days of fairy land just vanished away,
When Digital Marketers had made their way.
The magic wand is replaced by just a click,
Thanks to social media for giving that flick.”
In the new era of e- commerce and marketing, it’s certainly very easy to connect with the people around. And the latest trend of social networking websites has facilitated many online advertising companies to promote their product and earned a lot through it. Social media not only connects people, but also assists these companies to expand their products as per different types of interests of the consumer.
The practice to promote a product in the market has been exercised from the traditional period onwards when, the vendors followed door-to-door service of promoting and selling their products, which was then replaced by newspaper and television advertisements and now is followed widely on social networking sites, where the target is large, offers and discounts are larger and even the amount earned is the largest.
“Advertising, or “paid” media has traditionally led marketing initiatives, both online and off, but advertising no longer works as effectively as it did unless bolstered by additional marketing channels.” Owned and earned media are essential to campaigns, helps to amplify and to spread the brand messages all over the world through complex paths that consumers follow across devices, screens, and media. “Earned and owned media have become so integral to successful marketing initiatives that they are now commingling with paid media to create new media hybrids.”
The main objective of advertisements is to provide products to the consumer according their needs, behaviour, new trends, ample amount of choice and a reasonable rate to buy it. For this social media plays a major role in changing the perception of people by focusing on consumer satisfaction more so that the flow of buying and selling continues to a longer extent than expected.
Choosing the appropriate platform, be it blogs, public or private social networks, videos or e-mail, becomes very critical when it comes to strategies to achieve great success in the social market. After, the appropriate platform, the efforts to implement effective advertising campaigns are taken into considerations. The main target is to be achieved by focusing on the consumer needs and feedback of the product. After the initial step is taken, it easily helps to build relationship and exchange ideas, rather than just promoting a product. There are various sites where a community can be created for different products, which not only include clothes, foot wears and accessories but also include home appliances, books, and electronic gadgets. Through these communities, people are updated with the latest information and the sellers can also get the insight to recreate a product according to users experience, problems and recommendations.
“Companies are now using social networking sites, such as Facebook, to enhance their brand communication and to promote and disseminate their product information among consumers. Such brands as Coca-Cola, Converse, and Starbucks reach millions of people through their social media communication; however, companies do not have complete control over this phenomenon. Consumers actively “like” brands, comment on posts, share information and share their opinions with other people on the Internet.”
According to Roderick J. Brodie (2013), ‘Social media channels offer both firms and customers new ways of engaging with each other. Companies hope to engage with loyal consumers and influence individuals’ perceptions about their products, spread information, and learn from and about their audience.’ According to Kaplan & Haenlein (2010),‘among traditional sources of communication, social media have been established as mass phenomena with a wide demographic appeal.’According to K. L. Keller (2009), ‘One of the reasons for such rapid popularity of social media among companies is the viral dissemination of information via the Internet. Social media currently have a far greater capacity for reaching the general public than do traditional media, such as television, radio, and magazines.’ Moreover,‘Internet users are turning away from traditional media and are increasingly using social media to search for information’, according to Mangold & Faulds (2009).
‘Social media provide opportunities for Internet users to create and share content’- said by Kaplan & Haenlein (2012). According to Berthon (2008), ‘the content created by Internet users involves different topics, including brands and products, making companies no longer the primary source of brand communication.’ In the view of Hennig-Thurau (2004), Karakaya &Barnes (2010) and Kietzmann (2011), ‘the consumers consider social media as more trustworthy sources of information than the traditional instruments of marketing communications used by companies.’ Thus, ‘marketing and brand managers may assume that brand communication will increase through user-generated social media communication,’ according to Smith (2012).
According to Briggs (2010), ‘Brands need to recognize that engaging in communications through Social Media attracts supporters and detractors. Social Media implicitly acts as a contract between a brand and its users, which recognizes a group’s affinity and encourages reciprocal communications and collective ownership of knowledge.’
There are several social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Bloggers and Youtube which have almost same function of advertising. Facebook has an option of creating a fan page for a company or for a product or for any service provided, while Twitter makes use of 140-character posts that users follow. Blogs are the online journals written by the users, which can be prominent in spreading news and information. YouTube is a depository for podcasts and video clips, with a viewership of millions around the globe. “Social bookmarking sites such as Delicious and Digg enable users to share links to information with friends and followers. Some sites offer display advertising options, but the majority are simply a method of sharing information with others.”
As the just-released Social Intelligence Report by Adobe Digital Index (ADI) for Q4 2013 clearly explains, “marketers who fail to advertise on social networks are missing a large audience for a relatively low cost. Marketers can get a lot of high-quality traffic and click-through rates (CTRs) from social ads, and can drive even more value when they analyze and optimize each campaign. The report, which analyzes paid, earned and owned social media trends, is based on a study of 240 billion Facebook ad impressions, 1.5 billion Facebook posts, a half a billion referred visits and 6.3 billion social engagements on Facebook. The key takeaway is that there is still a lot of untapped potential in social paid advertising. Most marketers are only beginning to experiment with it and optimize it, the report claims.”
“Further the new study conducted by Frost and Sullivan has revealed that more than 60% of internet users in urban India spend four hours and more a day browsing for various purposes such as entertainment, networking, business, academics, shopping, etc. while over 60 million are registered on Facebook and 20 million on LinkedIn.”
Frost & Sullivan study found that –“the consumers are increasingly relying on social media to make their purchases, either as informed choices, or through peer conditioning. The study found that in the age group of 18 to 35, 60 percent of the respondents indicated that they shopped online once a month and 40 percent of the respondents expected to increase their online shopping budgets over the next 12-15 months.”
“It was found that for over 30 percent of the survey respondents, friends or peer-reference influenced their online shopping; 17 percent were influenced by social media sites that included ads, product reviews, recommendations, product launch announcements, etc. The study further revealed that 40 percent of the respondents indicated that they purchased one or more items after seeing it on a social networking site and many of these purchases were routed through ads on these sites.”
Further revealed that- “the social media revolution has made it possible for business of all sizes to reach an infinitely expanding audience. With the right integration tools, it’s simple and easy to automate your social media activities directly with an ecommerce storefront and eliminate the intimidating time commitment that can accompany the move to a social marketing program.”
“Social media is giving us another way to help influence people’s propensity to search.”
- Barbara Basney
“Social media marketing is rich with potential branding opportunities and is famous for its engagement potential, due to this brands with many objectives can find social media marketing as an appropriate tool for building brand awareness, searching consumer opinions, identifying opinion leaders, driving traffic to brand web sites, spreading specific messages virally, developing customer database, in-stilling credibility and trust in a brand and enhancing a branding’s image, among others.”
“Consumers like to network with people who haveinterests and desires that are similar to their own. Organizations can leverage this desire by creatingcommunities of like-minded individuals. For example, Roadrunner Records’ website, www.roadrunnerrecords.com, includes a forum section to bring together fans of rockand metal music. The Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain 2008 presidential campaigns used their online presence to gather supporters together and provide information.”
STRATEGY OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKET-
“Social Media work like most areas of human endeavour, by bringing people with similar interests and characteristics together. A sound Social Media Marketing strategy creates desire for a brand in an individual who spreads the brand’s message to his social network, allowing marketers an opportunity to communicate with an expanded network of potential customers, in view of Provost (2009).”
In vibrant market environment, 3 D’s plays a very important role, Digital, Diversified and Distribution. Digital in a way that everything is available in an easy accessible through online mediums, Diversified can be said as different strategies a seller uses, and lastly the Distribution which is fast and acceptable to the targeted audience. Innovation in social networking media has revolutionized the world in 21st Century. And Social Networking sites give a perfect platform to execute the same by providing the opportunity to advertise the product and attract as many consumers as possible. Now analyzing each in detail,
Digital, as defined in the oxford dictionary means, “Involving or relating to the use of computer technology”. In other words if we can say we live in the world where computer or in that matter any techno-friendly cell phone is the most important gadget. And when it comes to more usage of the same, social media also plays an important role in that by contributing to the online buyers and sellers. And here comes a vital role of paid advertisements. Every person in the market needs promote his product and a quick access to a web portal makes it possible for implementing this idea, and for the same the social networking sites are paid heavily in return. Thus the inflow and outflow of money from the consumers to the contributors is continues.
In contrast to the global portal, which seeks to drive a high volume of traffic to one site, “PPC (Pay Per Click) implements the so-called affiliate model, which provides purchase opportunities wherever people may be surfing. It does this by offering financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant. Websites that utilize PPC ads will display an advertisement when a keyword query matches an advertiser’s keyword list, or when a content site displays relevant content. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to, above, or beneath organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.”
The growing trend of the internet advertisements have changed the way we shop and do business is now a well-established fact. And it is quite evident that approximately 70% of all small businesses now have an online business presence. Ecommerce is changing the way shoppers compare costs as well as search for products, goods, and services. Pay per click ads for websites offer a good return on investment when done properly.
Thus, “paid media is an easy business proposition for the sellers, buyers and even the website holders. And other than this paid media include banner ads, Pay Per Click (PPC) search ads, advertorials, sponsorships, sponsored links, and pay-per-post blogging. The common factor of all these channels is that they are a form of advertising for which a media buy is necessary.”
“Pay per click (PPC) (also called cost per click) is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It is defined simply as “the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked.”
“Create great content that appeals to your customers and you’ll profit.”
“While this is true, marketers often forget the importance of promoting their content – people don’t find content by mistake, or by accident. Every content plan needs a complementary promotion plan that combines paid, owned, and earned media.”
Many believe that owned media is free, specifically managing social media accounts. And while there is a sliver of truth to that, the time and labor investment is worth noting, it takes a lot of time to create content, build a thriving community and value to the customer conversation. You also have to consider working with customer support teams, building escalation models, and preparing for crisis communications as well. This takes a lot of time planning and collaborating with other team members; and time is money.
Our Social Media Strategy includes customer insights where every customers need is taken care of. Second is competitive analysis where it is examined as to the how the product is sold in the market and the appropriate rates for the same. The third one is campaign for social media strategies which mainly focuses on different ways of advertising the product. The fourth one is community development strategies where social networking plays a vital role as it helps in spreading the updates of the product. The fifth one is content optimization strategies where it is made sure that the product is recreated if needed and all the suggestions and recommendations are positively accepted and an optimum utilisation of the advertisement is done to promote the same.
“Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourage readers to share it with their social networks. The resulting electronic word of mouth (EWoM) refers to any statement consumers share via the Internet be it by website or any social networks, about an event, product, service, brand or company. when the under lying message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, this form of marketing results in ‘earned media’ rather than paid media.”
The Goal of the modern agency is to connect the dots and integrate all media for maximum results. All that a seller wants is people to become evangelists and talk about their products of their own volition than, again, it’s hard to get those eyeballs without making a big impression for which one has to pay big bucks.
“Whether one is more important than others comes down to what you’re trying to accomplish”
A media agency is driven by an objective, it needs to compel consumers to do something, whether it’s paying attention to a new product, buying something or going to a store. Just because the medium is Twitter instead of TV doesn’t mean much- media is media. what’s most important to the agency is how successful the campaign was at accomplishing the goals.
“You can determine your effectiveness at achieving a goal, whether it’s brand health, brand awareness, brand preference or intent to buy”
“Living in the “digital revolution” it was a journey from WoM to eWoM where,Word of Mouth (WoM), defined as ‘oral, person to person communication between a receiver and a communicator whom the receiver perceives as non-commercial, concerning a brand, a product or a service’ While EWoM refers to any statement based on positive, neutral, or negative experiences made by potential, actual, or former consumers about a product, service, brand, or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet. Thus, the distribution flows from the law of expectancy where need is given the preference and at last it leads to the want.”
MERITS AND PITFALLS-
Social media is the modern tool for those marketers who try every means to get communicate out to their target markets. This social media has many advantages and disadvantages, and the companies do effort to find the right way to use it.
Social-media advertising is tremendous way for businesses to broaden their exposure to the public at a much lower cost than that of traditional marketing. “Social Media Examiner recently released its 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which set out to uncover the ‘who, what, where, when, and why’ of social media marketing. More than 3,000 marketers were surveyed, and their responses provide valuable insights into the benefits of social media marketing.”
“Social media marketing is cheap, easy and available to anyone has never been more attractive. In fact, in this age of social media, it’s apparently the stuff of dreams of digital marketers.”
One of the main advantages of social media marketing is cost-related. The popular of social media sites are free to access, create a profile and the post information. The advantage of reaching social media’s targeted market for little or no cash investment is considerable, and the audience who wants the information voluntarily joins or follows. Pay-per-click advertisements on sites such as Facebook are “geo-targeted” according to definite criteria, to reach the correct audience. “The viral nature of social media means that each person whoever reads the posts has the potential to spread the news farther within his own network, so information can reach a large number of people in a very short time.”
Social media is capable of bringing people together, especially when it promotes global products or related ideas as it allows people from different geographical location to meet at a single point and express their views.
Social media could be the ignite you may be looking for to draw attention to your website, product or service. Social media marketing can be described as a fun and creative method of doing business.
Updating our social media’s account takes time and effort. The information on social media is only visible for a short time before newer posts replace it. In addition to it, “publishing obvious advertising copy is undesirable in the social media world, therefore you must present the information in the form of conversation or you will lose your followers.”
1. Bad Branding – The mistaken online brand strategy can trouble a company, and puts the company at a massive viral social disadvantage.
2. Commitment –If any company has started a blog, twitter or facebook page, then they should assign an individual to take care of that. If a company do not commit at least 6-8 hrs in a week on Social Media then they may not remain update with the choice of their customers. Social Media is a living breathing beast. If you feed the beast then the beast works for you, but you need to feed it frequently.
3. Time – to get engage with Social Media is very time consuming. As a company you will have to assign a person to persistently feed your pages and profile with the relevant and new content. This person also has to observe comments and respond to questions. For small companies this can be a serious trouble as they need all hands on deck to keep their company afloat. This is the reason why many small companies choose not to get involve in social media to boost their marketing efforts.
4. No short term Return On Investment – The truth is that the Social Media Marketing is a long term strategy. Seeing a revisit could take anywhere from a few months to a year before a company sees the benefits of increased customer faithfulness and its sales.
5. The risk of negative comments – There is always a possibility of negative comments from customers about the products or services provided. But the reality is when a company dealt with such problems, and admits their faults and fix them and then carry on, and sell their more products. The Customer wants that the company that bought the product from should fix any issues quickly and listen to them.
The 21st century is witnessing an explosion ofInternet-based messages transmitted through socialmedia. They have become a major factor in influencingvarious aspects of consumer behaviour includingawareness, information acquisition, opinions,attitudes, purchase behaviour, and post-purchasecommunication and evaluation. Unfortunately, thepopular business press and academic literature offersmarketing managers very little guidance forincorporating social media into their IMC strategies. Customers can use it to communicatewith one another. 
In his book The New Influencers,Gillin (2007) points out that “Conventional marketingwisdom has long held that a dis-satisfied customertells ten people. But that is out of date. In the newage of social media, he or she has the tools to tell 10million.” Consumers almost overnight. Gillinillustrates this- “potential power by recounting thestory of Vincent Ferrari, a blogger who posted anaudio recording of his encounter with an AOL customerservice representative. The representative’spersistent attempts to convince Ferrari not to cancelhis account offended listeners sensibilities tothe extent that approximately 300,000 of themrequested to download the audio file. The storywent ‘viral’ as it was picked up by thousands ofother bloggers and websites. It eventually drew theattention of such mainstream media as The NewYork Post, The New York Times, and NBC.”
Further “The Paid Social Media Advertising Report, 2013” and “Paid Social Media Advertising, Industry Update and Best practices 2013”, through their study presented the issues on how the marketers budgets are increasing and the impact of social media has affected the consumer behavior and the question of return on investment on marketers.
It basically states that: Advertisers increasingly view paid social media advertising as an integrated, cross-platform tactic and run it in conjunction with other online and offline media.Paid social media advertising is primarily used to support branding-related efforts. As a result, advertisers “would prefer to use the exact same metrics used in the offline medium, and additional metrics specific to the online medium” to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Very few media sellers, however, can actually provide such metrics.
Metrics such as pins, likes and click-through are often used to measure paid social media advertising return on investment, though advertisers and agencies think sales generated and brand lift are the most appropriate metrics to use to determine return on investment.
“Advertisers are doubtful or unconvinced about the effectiveness of paid social media advertising, indicating that the growth of the medium is being somewhat hampered by a lack of relevant, universally employed metrics.”
Paid Social Media Advertising is an Integrated, Mostly Branding-Focused Tactic:
“Paid social media advertising is increasingly being viewed as an integrated tactic – 66 percent of advertisers indicated that they use paid social media advertising in combination with other online advertising, and 51 percent of advertisers indicated that they run it in conjunction with offline advertising.”
“Advertisers said that the primary purpose of their paid social media ads was branding-related (45%), such as raising awareness and influencing brand opinions, whereas only 16 percent was primarily direct-response related, such as driving product trials or site visits.”
“Brand marketers are viewing paid social media advertising as a branding tool, and more often than not are running it in conjunction with other tactics across both online and offline platforms. Agencies and social media sellers should ensure they can offer brand-relevant metrics that are applicable to the online and offline spaces to increase their share of brand advertising dollars in the paid social medium. Paid social media advertising is not being treated as a stand-alone tactic, but being as part of a set of marketing tools to influence brand opinions.”
Marketers are more and more screening and using paid social media advertising as an integrated instrument. Social media is now no longer being viewed as its own distinct medium but instead used along with the other strategy to get an overall, usually branding related, objective. Nevertheless, there is a gap between how the marketers would like to use the medium and how in reality it is used.
A Social Media strategy assigns precise roles to the whole marketing organization, describes thebrand’s attributes, its users, and it also explains how Social Media Marketing can be used to hold thetargeted audience. Taking the social media marketing as a whole marketing strategy is vital toadvance a unified and clear message to the brand’s targeted audience.
Maintaining Social Media content new and entertainingsends users a signal that the brand is lively and wants them to return. Making users to feelspecial and gratifying contribution helps the brand to maintain them occupied and trustworthy.Promoting a cause that reimbursed the society helps brands gain user loyalty and show their targetaudience that the product is a good corporate citizen.
Social Media Marketing is exclusive in its lucidity and interactivity with its audience. And this is called as opportunity. The scene of social media can be one of the only things which is developing faster than population. In fact, for many people, social media communication is at its peak of their online experiences. This gives social media more than what they have expected, its more than their requirement, it needs to be the central component of digital marketing strategy, it often rooted within enterprise and market functions and media channels, but with real approach..
Paid social media is the very crucial. It can be said that, trusting a third party to fulfill our needs or for entertainment and here social media win our trust.
Just because company has made something impressive or good that doesn’t mean people will find out about it on their own. A plan should be developed to promote that product across paid, earned and owned media before company even create and it’s not just a best practice – it’s essential to be an efficient content marketer. And that’s possible when the emergence of Internet-based social media entered the market for one person to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of other people about products and the companies that provide them. Thus, social media is a link between every seller and buyer.
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 Supra note 29
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 Supra note 21
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