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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. Please frame your discussion in the relevant academic literature as well as providing examples to illustrate your arguments. You may wish to limit your discussion to one form of social media as well as one brand.

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. Please frame your discussion in the relevant academic literature as well as providing examples to illustrate your arguments. You may wish to limit your discussion to one form of social media as well as one brand.

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

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/09/2014

 
 
MK312 Marketing Policy & Strategy Commerce 3BC1Presented to:
Dr Ann M. Torres
Name
: Sharon Kenny
 Student ID:
08628068
Date
: 8/3/2011
Word count: 1968 
Signed Statement 
 
 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.Student ID Number: 08628068  Name: Sharon KennySignature:
Sharon Kenny 
 Date: 8/3/2011
 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 howconsumers are thinking about and making purchase decisions. Please frame your discussion in therelevant academic literature as well as providing examples to illustrate your arguments. You maywish to limit your discussion to one form of social media as well as one brand.
 
I
n today’s environment, firms
are seeking cost effective and powerful methods to communicate theirmessage to potential consumers. The internet provides many opportunities and access to a vast base of consumers, it has changed the way that firms do business and the way consumers engage with brands.With new technologies always emerging, firms have realised that social media is not used just forsocialising but also used for connecting with customers.Social media has a place in the business world, it has never been easier to access and publishinformation. In the beginning, people used social networks for connecting with family and friends andshare information and opinions but
it wasn’t long until marketers became aware of how they could
use social network sites to their advantage.Marketing spends are moving online rather than spending on print media according to the MarketingInstitute of Ireland. Social media is all around us and for most people it is part of their daily routine. Itcan take the form of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Email and SMSmarketing. According to Nielson (2009) up to 2/3 of the worlds internet population visit a socialnetworking site on a weekly basis, people are spending more time on social networking sites. Associal media was once aimed at a younger audience, it is now aimed at all ages. It gives people theopportunity to access information 24/7 with no restrictions on time or location, which is why peopleare more receptive to social media messages than advertising.Many companies have always used social media as a platform to connect with customers such asYahoo, Apple, Starbucks and Microsoft, but it is only recently with the growth of social network sitesthat many more companies have started using social media to connect with customers.
Social media is changing the way firms promote their brands
Social media provides many benefits for firms, it allows firms to inform consumers about theirproducts and services and raise awareness more effectively because they can listen to
consumers’
opinions and feedback and build relationships via two way communications. Most importantly firmscan gather consumer information more quickly and accurately than ever before because social mediamethods allows for interaction.It allows them to engage with customers while also saving time and money for the firm. It also givesthem the opportunity to operate on a global level and reach out to customers that traditional methodswould not. They can attract new consumers and serve existing consumers better because they areconducting business based on personal engagement.It is the most powerful way to build brands, giving them greater online presence and increasedpopularity while at the same time there is no need for huge investments. Firms have the ability tocreate trust, respect and equity for their brands.
 
Social media provides many advantages to firms if used correctly, it is not adequate to just set up aFacebook or Twitter page to guarantee success, companies that put the right content will ensure thatthey drive traffic to their own websites, generate customer satisfaction and retention and increasetheir sales. Social media messages are smaller than traditional methods but are seen in more places. If the message is well received then the customer will distribute the message automatically. Results areseen quickly, if a firm has direct contact with consumers they can understand their needs and tap intohow they are thinking which can also determine their products success or failure. They can focus andrespond to new suggestions by consumers.Many businesses are using social media for all departments such as marketing, branding, advertisingand brand development. It is more constructive for companies to use social media because they cancreate messages easily, which are more personalized than methods such as TV or newspapers. Theyare also more flexible as they can be updated and changed regularly when information and priceschange. It gives the company a chance to establish connections with customers and influence sales. Italso allows firms to have a better after sales service because they can easily follow up with a text oremail which can be more personalized and is not time consuming. With the millions of people online,social media would be one of the primary ways a company would reach out to their target market andmake them aware of their brands.
Social media consumers are thinking about and making purchase decisions.
Social media has changed also how people behave and interact during their daily lives and howconsumers make purchase decisions and how they engage with products and services. It is now easierthan ever for consumers to be connected and informed 24/7 due to technological advances such asiPhones and smart phones. SMS and Email marketing mean that consumers are always receivingadvertisements and information even on the move.
Many are so caught up with ‘tweeting’ and‘blogging’ that they n
o longer read a newspaper or watch a TV advertisement. Consumers choosewhat information they receive and avoid. They can avail of up to date information and can benefitfrom promotions, coupons and competitions that firms use on their social network sites. Whenconsidering buying a product they will look for information online rather than be persuaded byadvertisements and traditional media such as TV, newspapers or radio. Firms have little influence onwhat consumers read or see.With the recent economic downturn, consumers have less spending power so they want to be wellinformed before they purchase and social media is the first thing they will use. According to Edelman(2010) it states that consumers are now under most influence at certain touch points and they use aconsumer decision journey to connect with brands and products in new ways. There are four stagesconsider, evaluate, buy, enjoy advocate and bond. Consumers will use social media at the evaluatestage to get information from friends family and reviews. They can share and learn about others

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