Social Media: A Platform to Connect
Dahlen, M., et al. (2010, p. 354) states that
Social Media has shaken up the way we communicateand send messages to each other; there have been almost 100 million videos on
; 200 millionblogs have been set up with 73% of active users having read a blog- 45% starting their own; fourmillion articles have been published on
; there are 1.5 million
residents; 39%subscribe to an RSS feed; 57% have joined a social network; 55% have uploaded photographs; and83% have watched video clips. Media has become the catch-all label for various activities thatintegrate technology, facilitate social interaction and provides channels to connect conversations toconsumers.
This summary highlights the vastness of social media, an arena which has been growing fast and iscontinuing to grow today. With hundreds of daily Twitter updates, Blogs, Facebook pages, LinkedInaccounts and YouTube clips being created the global connections available for firms with consumersare increasing rapidly, as is the creativity that needs to come with it. As one article from the businesspost entitled
“Get on the Social Ladder” (2009) states “for some companies, sites like Twitter and
LinkedIn are proving to be invaluable tools in their attempts to increase brand awareness, productivityand customer satisfaction. Effective social networking and marketing takes effort, as well as a little
However there are also negative aspects of social media on a company, in the word of Best Buys CEOBrian Dunn (2010 pp43-48)
“You can‟t just dabble in social media. You can‟t use them only whenthings are good. You have to deal with the rain as well as shine”
Using the Guinness Brand as anexample throughout, this article will evaluate the benefits and disadvantages social media can havewhen promoting a brand. It will analyse the changing uses of social media for promotion and discusshow customers react to these, specifically in regards to whether or not they evoke a reaction; that ispurchase.
Changing Brand Promotion
Before the digital age, promotion took the form of traditional media; communication of brand valuesto their customers was done through newspaper, radio, television, billboards etc. However all that haschanged and there now a vast and varied supply of media forms available to firms to communicatetheir message. It is common knowledge that when the internet first became available to the public, themain form of internet advertising took the form of banner ads. But how times have changed, and nowthe banner ad is so outdated that it is a topic for online discussion: Will advertisers finally sour on thead format that no one clicks on but everyone thinks is necessary? Clever brands are warming up to thesocial Web, and realizing that they can do more with less. It's what R&M calls "promotion," asopposed to traditional (and paid) "advertising." Kenneth Corbin blogs on internetnews.com (2008).