Social media has made it possible for one individual or a firm to communicate with thousands and even millions of other people about products and services the company provides. Over the past decade the impact of C2C communications has been greatly magnified in the marketplace. In essence the manager loses direct control of the communication taking place between the various stakeholders of the firm. Marketing researchers (Mangold and Faulds, 2009) posit that this is in contrast to the traditional integrated marketing communication paradigm whereby a high degree of control is present. They suggest social media be considered the new hybrid element of the promotion mix.
A recent research conducted by the Pew Research Center (2015) on social media provides some useful insights in the most recent trends observed in the United States. Their findings include:
Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site.
While its growth has slowed, the level of user engagement with the platform has increased. Other platforms like; Twitter , Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn saw significant increases over the past year in the proportion of online adults who now use their sites. The results in this report was based on the 81% of American adults who use the internet.
Other key findings:
Social Media users in the entire adult population:
Social media outlets are accessed free of cost. Hun (2010) points out that the development of target groups and issue-by-issue advertising and promotion are available at a lower cost. Due to its particularly cost reducing affects, it’s considered that it has become the most preferred marketing driver among business environment under economic turmoil. For this reason, firms have preferred to employ social media as the best way to reach their customers (Kirti and Karahan, 2011).
As seen in the table below a research looked for the impact of social media on purchasing behavior shows 70 percent of consumers have used social media websites and blogs as much as firm websites to take product or brand information. 60 percent of people stated that they are likely to use social media websites to deliver information. In addition, almost 60-70 percent of people said that recommendations from other people online are valuable, credible and honest (DEI Worldwide, 2008).
49 percent of the consumers made a purchase decision based on the information they found through media sites. DEI Worldwide also found that 60 percent of people in the same study said that they are likely to use social media sites to pass along information to others online; 45 percent of the respondents who searched for information via social media sites engaged in word of mouth compared to 36 percent who found the information on a company or a news site.
Managers must learn to shape consumer discussions in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s mission and performance goals. Methods by which this can be accomplished include providing consumers with networking platforms, and using blogs, social media tools, and promotional tools to engage customers.(Mangold and Faulds, 2009).
At Astute Horse Business and Marketing Solutions we research the facts and figures, we focus on our client’s target audience and develop the ideal social media campaign so that they can reap the benefits at minimum cost.
Hun L.D..(2010). “Growing popularity of social media and business strategy” www.seriquarterly.com (October):112-117.
Kirtis A.K. and F. B. Karahan (2011). “To Be or Not to Be in Social Media Arena as the Most CostEfficient Marketing Strategy after the Global Recession” Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 24
Mangold G.W. and D.J. Faulds (2009). “Social Media: The new Hybrid element of the Promotion Mix Business Horizons 52:4
DEI Worldwide, 2008
Pew Research 2015