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Social Media

Social Media

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Fiona Toher. Originally submitted for Marketing Policy and 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 Fiona Toher. Originally submitted for Marketing Policy and 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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MK 312 Marketing Policy & Strategy2011
MK 312Marketing Policy &Strategy
Social Media
Name: Fiona ToherIdentification Number: 08461741Date: 08/03/11Word Count: 1,967
 I have read the
University’s code of practice on plagiarism. I 
hereby certify this material, which I submit for assessment onthe programme of study leading to the award of Bachelor of Commerce Business, is entirely my own work. It has not beentaken from the work of others, except to the extent that suchwork has been cited and acknowledged within the text of mywork.Student ID Number: 08461741 Name: Fiona Toher Signature: Fiona Toher  Date: 08/03/11
Fiona Toher3BC1MK 312 Marketing Policy & Strategy3/8/2011
MK 312 Marketing Policy & Strategy2011
What is Social Media
Social Media is the process where companies interact with their potential market through variouschannels. Ward (2010) defines this style of 
 platform as a way of “talking, participating,
networking and bookmarking online”
Social networks, social photo sharing and micro blogging areprime examples of the twenty three social sites available, according to On Blogging Well (2010).Facebook, YouTube and Twitter respectively, are examples of Social Media in which firmseffectively unite with consumers to gain a greater profit.
 Reasons why Customers choose Social Media
Customers use Social Media to disclose customer-service experiences with other individuals online.Furthermore, Social Media tends to be a powerful tool for customers to learn about the experiences of others through blogs, while it is also useful to secure trust for individuals who may be cautious of particular brands. It is quite clear from studies carried out, that an increasing number of people usesocial networks and micro blogs to gain additional knowledge about certain brands and to gatherinformation on brands they would otherwise never know about. Therefore, it is a vital technique forcreating brand awareness for consumers.Aho Williamson (2010) predicted that by the end of 2011, 80% of medium sized companies will haveadjusted to social media tools, which is nearly twice the amount from 2008. The study not onlyillustrates the attractiveness of Social Media within the last three years but enlightens the public thatcompanies are spending more on social media than in recent times. The increase of social interactionleads to the transformation that companies are participating in now.
 How it has changed over time
In the past, firms relied heavily on methods such as newspapers, TV and radio channels to advertisetheir brands to the public. Some companies focused on conducting phone calls to their customer`shouse numbers, in order to inform them about certain special offers that they were carrying out. Inaddition, postal and telephone interviews were extremely popular methods to gain insight into whatthe customer would prefer, thus altering their products to satisfy their target market. Often, customerswere asked if they c
ould “spare a moment” to complete a
survey, but this method was slow, timeconsuming and is not a very good method for collecting detailed information. However,
it wasn‟t long
until companies became aware of the faster, more efficient approach by means of online networks.
MK 312 Marketing Policy & Strategy2011
In a recent article, Leora Halpern Lenz, director of HVS Sales and Marketing services, makes aninteresting comparison on how marketing techniques have changed since the 1990`s .The author
“recalled” how her main responsibilit
y involved arranging advertising and public relations forSheraton Hotels of New York while she also needed to attend meetings. Now, as promotionaltechniques have changed, the author stresses the importance of connecting firms with customersthough Social Media.
“Social media channels are changing the way we do business and forever altering how we attract, engage and retain a loyal community base.”
(Halpern Lenz, 2010).Voting procedures have also been amended due to Social Media. The popular X-factor show is innegotiation on whether they should modify their voting method. Currently, viewers are given theopportunity to cast their vote by phone, which can be a drawback for individuals who are not willingto pay a premium rate for phone calls. With a noticeable increase of the shows population onFacebook, the firm is considering a much easier system that would allow the audience to vote viaFacebook. Along with this easy method, X factor believe that more people would interact with theshow online, which would create a larger target audience. Furthermore, those canvassing for elections,such as for SU President for NUIG, are advertising through Facebook, by means of posting commentson profile pages in order to vote for them. Candidates are also creating YouTube videos and sharingthese clips with their friends on Facebook, in order to publicize their message. This again is anotherexample of how platforms are changing promotional techniques.
More and more customers are becoming aware of the valuable information that is dispersedthroughout the Internet. Surveys show that individuals are more inclined to glance at reviews onlineand deem them to be true, rather than asking their peers for advice. A prime example of this trend iswith regards to finding hotel accommodation, which a recent author
 believes are “playing the socialmedia game”.
Terrero (2010).In the past, individuals may have chosen a hotel based on previousexperiences. However, it is believed that because blogs enable customers to share opinions andrecommendations on certain brands, customers are now examining such websites who provideadequate information about particular hotels, for example Tripadvisor.com. Based on the reviews,customers make their purchase decision. With this type of market, individuals want to be sure that
they receive the best value for money and that their room is “up to standard”.
Customers are at a hugeadvantage by using blogs such as these, as they can identify hotels that would be suitable and thosethat would not meet their needs. Individuals can assess hotels by means of blogs and from this, theywill determine whether they want to make a purchase or not.On November 2010, Victoria`s secret, a lingerie and clothing company in the U.S. introduced theirnew vintage style wings through Facebook. The idea behind this was to upload photos of theirproducts onto the social network which would in turn, allow viewers to unconsciously give their

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