Social media – the way of business interaction Essay
Social media – the way of business interaction, 487 words essay example
Robert Wollan, managing director of Accenture's CRM practice says, "companies that aren't at least monitoring social media, let alone participating, have a real blind spot as to what is really driving consumer purchase decisions" (Henschen, 2012, p. 17). "Customers want new and easy ways to interact with companies in a new business dynamic, including through social media," says Gene Alvarez, research VP at Gartner (Huber, 2011). This expectation makes it a necessity for companies to incorporate social media into their marketing strategies. According to Sousa (2012) "traditional market segmentation does not provide enough intelligence on the links between people and what they are likely to buy. The process of selling to customers by isolating them from their social groups ignores that people want the buying process to be a social process" (p.165). Christian Hernandez, head of international business development at Facebook says, "Purchasing decisions have always been influenced by friends' opinions, but the social web offers much greater opportunity for retailers to tap into this" (Smith, 2011, p. 21). According to Smith, (2011) product and service reviews in the social media space are of growing importance because audiences have the ability to engage and use these reviews as a key aspect to their purchasing decisions (p. 19). Nick Sharples, director of corporate communications, Sony Europe says, "Third-party endorsements are increasingly important because people like to see what other ordinary people have said about products" (Smith, 2011, 20). As consumers become increasingly happy to make purchasing decisions within the social arena, brands are given the opportunity to capitalize on the social media and e-commerce excitement. According to Huber (2011) by 2015, companies will make half of their online sales from social media and mobile applications.
Social media marketing is different than traditional methods of marketing therefore, it requires special attention and strategy building to achieve brand image and loyalty. Social media marketing is related to relationship marketing where the firms need to shift from trying to sell from making connections with the consumers (Gordhamer, 2009). Companies also nedd to keep away from big campaigns and stick with small acts since some small campaign can easily reach lots of people and accomplish the objectives in short period of time (Coon, 2010). Social media marketing is also more sincere in its communication with the consumers, trying to show what the brand is rather than trying to control its image. Today's customers are more powerful and busy so that companies should be reachable and available in every social media communication channel such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs (Gordhamer, 2009).
The aim of this paper is to focus on building brand loyalty through social media marketing that empowers individuals to promote their websites, products, or services through online social channels and tap into a much larger community that may not have been available via traditional channels. More specifically, the paper tries to identify the effect of social media marketing on brand loyalty of the consumers, given that the concept is receiving increasing attention from marketing academia and practitioners.