Social media has become the center of attention. People come to connect with friends and share their lives, while companies create accounts to promote, maintain relationships, and cultivate brand awareness. More specifically, they want to improve the customer’s experience, perception, knowledge, and probability of purchasing. In the article, Social media in marketing: A review and analysis of the existing literature, Duffett discussed that the efficiency of a social media campaign depends on how the consumer perceived the content, and the attitude that the content cultivated in the consumer. With this being said, it’s important for brands to promote in a way that influences their audience to make a positive opinion of them. Companies need to spread knowledge, inspiration, and value to their audience and potential customers.
Customer Relationship Management
A good first step to creating a positive reputation for a company is being consistent with customer relationship management (CRM). Companies that communicate well and maintain relationships will make their audience feel valued and important. In return, their reputation will be seen as caring and customer focused. Reputation can make or break a brand, so it’s essential to maintaining this practice. Thankfully, customer relationship management is easier than ever through online platforms where brands are able to get in touch with their audience at any time of day in a variety of ways.
Social media can be a great tool that allows a brand to create a deeper connection with its audience and target it’s ideal consumer. But to make it effective and beneficial, brands have to be able to choose the right platforms to use. To understand which platforms will perform best for a brand, the company needs to know who their target audience is and make themselves aware of their target market’s preference in social media platforms to receive the best outcome. This is an essential step because certain social media platforms can attract different demographics, therefore choosing the right platform will help a brand communicate the most efficiently. To put this in perspective, there is a very different demographic from Facebook users versus Tik Tok users. There have been various studies conducted through different social media platforms that examined demographic factors (like age and gender) and its effect on the customers’ orientation toward commercial activities. From these studies, it was concluded that women are more likely to have a favorable attitude toward an ad on Facebook. It was also understood that women used Facebook and Twitter as their main source of information in regards to their purchasing behavior. Additionally, younger people, whose ages range between 19 to 24 years old, are more likely to have positive attitudes toward social media ads.
Branding and Reputation
As previously mentioned, a company’s reputation is extremely important to their success. The impression that a brand leaves on its audience affects their potential customers’ trust which, in turn, reflects on the customers’ brand loyalty. So again, sharing those brand values and genuine stories will bring a positive impact upon potential customers because they get to see the human side to a business. People want to support people with good values, and customers want to feel valued in return. But, branding isn’t only done with words, but visuals as well. De Vries conducted a study that analyzed 355 posts shared by eleven separate brands that produced six different types of products. In this study, it was concluded that the post’s vividness, position, and interactivity had a large influence on the consumer’s opinion of the product and brand. With that said, social media posts should be consistent with a similar look. This can be achieved by using the same colors, fonts, and photo editing. Aesthetics are the first thing that people notice about a post, especially on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, so they need to be eye capturing and interesting at first glance.
Lastly, social media is a multi-billion dollar business for advertising. Since there is so much competition with social media advertising, companies really need to be careful and strategic with their execution. Essentially, more advertising will bring in higher sales numbers but there’s also a downside that may come along with that. When companies decide to advertise, they create ads that interrupt the consumer’s social media time and experience. When this happens, potential customers may create a negative association with the brand. So, with excessive advertising,companies may get more immediate sales but receive a negative brand perception in return. To avoid this, brands need to make sure that they are marketing in a way that the consumers don’t feel like they are watching an ad, or like they are being pressured to buy a product. Companies should be promoting their products in a way that makes potential customers feel like they need that product. Additionally, companies need to be reaching out to the correct target market. For example, Bannister conducted a study that considered USA students’ attitudes to Facebook’s advertising. It was concluded that perceptions were primarily negative because the advertisements were not closely related to the customers’ requirements and information. From that, we learned that students are more likely to ignore advertisements because their purchasing decisions are not reflected by the Facebook advertisements. To conclude, this study reaffirms the fact that social media can be a great tool, but it has to be used correctly for it to be beneficial to a company.
Alalwan, A. Et al. (2017, May 25). Social media in marketing: A review and analysis of the existing literature. Retrieved September 14, 2020, fromhttps://www-sciencedirect-com.liblink.uncw.edu/science/article/pii/S0736585317301077
Written by Carmen Reynolds. You can learn more about Carmen and our other blogwriters by clicking the “Our Team” banner at the top!