Role of Social Media in Contemporary Marketing
By Isman Tanuri
Social media is currently an evolving ‘phenomena’ in business marketing. Enlightenedmarketers are beginning to drive the use of social media as a component in their marketing strategy and campaigns to reach out to customers and fans. Among the sub-disciplines of marketing that may utilise social media include promotions, marketingintelligence, sentiments research, public relations, marketing communications andproduct and customer management. Appendix A provides statistical information of socialmedia adoption across networks and around the world.
New Media Channels
Social media is described as the “shift in how people discover, read and share news,information and content” (Solis, 2007a). People are doing so through the internet in theform of blogs, social networks (eg.
), news aggregators (eg.
), video and music portals (eg.
), socialbookmarking (eg.
), micro-blogging (eg.
), online forumsand reviews (eg.
) and other social communication channels(see Appendix B for overview of social media tools). This has been made possiblethrough converging technological evolutions on the internet, dubbed ‘
’, theinternet as a 2-way communication platform (O’Reilly, 2005). O’Reilly further explainsthis revolution as the era of participation and of harnessing the collective intelligence,also referred to as the ‘wisdom of crowds’This surge in consumer online activity and user-generated content is termed the‘groundswell’ by Forrester researchers, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (2008) in their book of the same title. As the groundswell began exhibiting collective influence throughsharing on the internet, businesses began to take notice and seek ways to participate inthe ‘conversations’. Enterprises, such as
, began building their owncommunity forums, and corporate blogs, including
’s, began appearing toreach out to customers (Li and Bernoff, 2008).In time, the marketing function also began integrating social media in campaigns. Theuse of Facebook and Twitter to market products and services are beginning to receiveattention from businesses in recent years. Primary to these widespread adoption are its