Role of Social Media as a Tool of Social Communication

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2117 , Published on 18 February 2013
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Media is a tool of communication and social media is a tool of social communication. Social media simply means social interaction, a way to spread messages quickly among the masses using Internet or mobile-based applications. Various social media outlets are Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, Google+. Social media includes Social bookmarking, Social Networking sites, Social photo and video sharing. Social bookmarking means searching the sites, which are book marked by other people. But most prevalent are Social Networking sites like facebook, twitter and Social video and Photo sharing like You Tube.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Social media marketing was earlier considered as fad. But now Social media is gaining its importance in business or any market place. The best example is of “Why this Kolaveri di”, a song that instantly became famous. This song became viral and received “Recently Most popular” Gold medal by You Tube. This is how social media made Dhanush (singer of the song), a star within a week.

Now- a- days more and more colleges are offering degrees in social media marketing .In this students are to utilize the powerful marketing tools social media offers to increase the exposure of a brand and the sales of products.

Three majorly used social media outlets now a days are:

  • Facebook: It started as a simple networking site for college students. But know it is used as a marketing tool. Recently Godrej organized a competition Godrej Loud, tell your dream .It was marketed through facebook and to maximize this marketing they had a wild card entry for one having maximum likes. To exploit Facebook’s marketing what one needs to do is create a “page” for their company or competition, which Facebook users can read and follow. This page can be used to market new products, create new customers and engage existing ones.
  • Twitter: It is a social networking site that was earlier used to be in touch. But now it’s a marketing tool. It uses tweets that are short messages. These tweets appear in the homepage of users who “follow” the account that tweets. Businesses can use these to market their products and offers. By attaching a Hashtag to an idea/concept the users looking for that topic can be directed to one’s account. The best example of "twitter buzz" was during the Presidential Debates as well as the election.
  • LinkedIn: It is a social networking site for professionals. In this one can find jobs by uploading the resumes. Employers can also search for potential candidates in it. In business terms one can roll a poll and can get feedback about the product. Hence it’s looking at the needs of the existing clients and attracting the new ones. They also have that open source projects built by the group, which leads to knowledge sharing.

Also there’s a newcomer that is quickly gaining its importance. This newcomer is Google+. It has features that Twitter and Facebook do not have. Google+’s “Promote” option allows one to customize and market differently for different types of followers.

Importance of Social Media:

Social Media increases company’s knowledge about their Customers. It engages existing customers and attracts the new ones. Social media has its plus points in terms of larger user volume, higher user engagement and virality. It also act as an important tool in relation building especially in virtual teams where one knows another person more from a social networking site rather than knowing face to face. It also helps in building loyal customer base. It attracts the attention of youth and children, who are major customers of social media. More the likes and comments on social sites more is the number of viewers and more is the marketing. It helps in Promoting products, events, campaigns etc. Hence, one can promote its new product through social media. It masters the word of mouth. It’s a way to voice new product in the market .It personalizes the "brand" and helps one to spread the message in an easy manner. Also it’s an easy way to get feedback (positive/negative) from the users. Hence depending on customers or clients requirement one can enhance the product/service. One can use social media to provide an identity to who the products or services that one offers. Social media makes one "real" to customers. One can use social media to associate themselves with their peers and potential customers. This way one can assess what the customers want and can accordingly launch products. For new and small companies it’s a good way to advertise and create loyal consumer base. Hence it enhances the visibility of a company or product. On a whole it effectively manages the brand of a Company.

In the end, If social media is rightly used it can help in enhancing relations with existing clients and creating new relations with the new ones. One must integrate social media with other instruments of marketing. Social Media may create awareness but the results may or may not be produced immediately. Various barriers to communication should be closely looked upon. Moreover, there are no written "right" or "wrong" rules when it comes to social media, so one should determine what will work for one’s company. In nutshell, social media is so diversified that if used with proper plan of action its no less than a blessing.

This article has been authored by Vandana Somani from MDI Gurgaon.


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