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Social Media Essay assignment instructions: Essay Topic: Social media is another platform through which firms may connect with consumers. Discuss how these platforms are changing the way firms promote their brands, as well as how consumers are thinking about and making purchase decisions

Social Media Essay assignment instructions: Essay Topic: Social media is another platform through which firms may connect with consumers. Discuss how these platforms are changing the way firms promote their brands, as well as how consumers are thinking about and making purchase decisions

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Celia Johnson. Originally submitted for Marketing Policy & Strategy at National University of Ireland Galway, with lecturer Dr Ann Torres in the category of Business & Economics
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Celia Johnson. Originally submitted for Marketing Policy & Strategy at National University of Ireland Galway, with lecturer Dr Ann Torres in the category of Business & Economics

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
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12/31/2013

 
 Social Media is another platform through which firms may connect with consumers. Discuss howthese platforms are changing the way firms promote their brands, as well as how consumers arethinking about and making purchase decisions.Bachelor of Commerce 3BC1MK312 Marketing Policy & Strategy
Word Count:
1,848 words.
 
 I have read the University’s code of practice on plagiarism. I hereby certify this material, which
submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the award of Bachelor of Commerce Business, is entirely my own work. It has not been taken from the work of others, except to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the text of my work.
 
1
INTRODUCTION
What is Social Media?
"While social media is not the silver bullet that some pundits claim it to be, it is an extremelyimportant and relatively low cost touch point that has a direct impact on sales and positive word of mouth" (Mendelsohn, 2010 as cited in Renfrow, 2010, p. 9).Social media has many platforms, drawing in customers into a virtual environment. Failing to securecustomers attention on such platforms leads to a failure in business opportunities for companies whopromote their products and services online. It is important that such social media platform(s) are usedin the right way as to create value for proposed customers. Social media is cost-effective.
CHANGING PLATFORMS
TV, radio, directories, and newspapers were the traditional form of media, however moving with thetimes SMS messages became popular, now with the astonishing increase in the use of the internet,social media has improved from strength to strength, which captures the attention of individuals in amore personal and interactive way.The way companies are marketing their brand awareness is changing, as companies are trying to adaptto the ever changing habits and attitudes of their market.T.V advertising revenues have decreased in recent years, (Goan, 2001
) describes that „we now face amajor shortfall of £7m in advertising revenue‟. The reasons for this decline are services such as T.V
player and Sky+ provided by services companies allowing customers to fast forward through theadverts. Therefore, companies must focus on where to capture
 people‟s
attention, which is now onsocial media platforms.Social media can have many platforms, creating new opportunities for consumers to purchase online,and allows companies to showcase their products and services in new forms. These can include videosharing websites like YouTube, social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo, and the newphenomenon Facebook. It can also take form as chat rooms, blogs and instant messengers. Word-of-mouth is also a platform of social media. Word-of-mouth is highly effective as people tend to rely onthe words of others, being family members, friends, or complete strangers they meet on the street, andcan also take place on line which will have great influence over their purchase decisions.With the advancements in technology today, more and more people are joining forces on the web toagree, disagree and discuss the features, benefits, value and the trust of products and services. Thiscould be beneficial or not so beneficial for businesses who are trying to retain their loyal customers orobtain new customers. Businesses are finding it difficult to pin-point exactly what it is that satisfiesand keeps their customers. Social media platforms such as Facebook, blogs, Twitter, MySpace andYouTube are all bases on which people from around the world splurge their thoughts andrecommendations. Businesses that wish to succeed are those that will let brands according to
Hipperson (2010, p.262) „become an integral part of those communities
while constantly listening,
learning, innovating & connecting‟.
For companies to become more effective they have to connect with their customers on a morepersonal level and interact with them, with the hope of leading to greater brand loyalty and awareness.Creating new, bold, individual, and creative forms of advertising and delivering them online can
increase the awareness of a company‟s product, generate bigger online communities and result in new
and existing customers purchasing your product or service.
 
2
CHANGING PLATFORMS Cntd
Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg a Harvard University student, is one of the most popular
social network sites on the planet. Users of Facebook can “like” and “become a fan” of thousands of 
companies. An individual on Facebook can have hundreds of friends, with a single click of the mousethe friends of this person can see that they have liked a company within seconds of doing so. Links
can be sent to “friends” walls in relation to companies and their products. The s
peed in whichinformation can be obtained on Facebook can be good or not so good for the company of interest. Yes
there is the “like” option, yet there is also “groups” that are pessimistic about such companies. On the
brands and companies of interest page, users of Facebook can discuss the pros and cons of productsand brands. Social platforms such as Facebook lead to the opportunity of companies and brands toelaborate on the benefits that they have to offer in a cost-effective way.
WHO IS USING SOCIAL MEDIA?
 Hotel Industries
In Lauren McKay's 'The Hospitality Suite', it is evident that social media is a way in which firms mayconnect with their customers. Having heard from her friend via the micro-blogging service, Twitter,about Southern food, McKay expressed her craving for Corn bread back to her friend again via
Twitter. In this „tweet‟ that she voiced from the Gaylord hotel in Washington, she doubted that the
Gaylord Hotels would be able to supply this. While visiting another Gaylord Hotel, this time inTennessee four months later, she received a knock on the door, it was server with Corn Bread.This emphasizes that the use of social media has become of utmost importance in business. McKayreceived this cornbread in two very different locations, both being Gaylord hotels proving that theyhave been successful in enterprise-wide collaboration.To show her satisfaction McKay made a blog post about the Hotel Company that can be accessed byeveryone.Gaylord hotels have promoted their bra
nds by meeting their customer‟s needs by following posts on
Twitter, and taking note of what their customers are looking for.McKay (2010, p.32) believes that other hotel companies should join the conversation, usesocial media feedback to fix problems, and tap into events that will not only delight customers butmake them loyal.
Celebrities:
Social media is a marketing tool that speeds up the process of brand recognition, which in turn maylead to consumer purchases. In the world of Celebrities, Twitter is one of the main services to gatherfollowers, and allow them to voice their opinions or daily happenings via a tweet. Demi Moore, anAmerican actress uses Twitter and according to Feitelberg (2009) tweeted a picture of herself wearinga feathered dressed designed by Gurung, some of her estimated 1.3 million Twitter followersimmediately wanted to know who she was wearing. In tweeting this on Twitter, Demi marketed onbehalf of Gurung, the young designer, this made people aware of the new upcoming designer, andbrand awareness was achieved by using this platform.
 

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