SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: DEFINITION, ADVANTAGES AND STRATEGY
DEFINITION OF SOCIAL MEDIA
The social media are internet platforms that allows individual to share and create ideas and information as well as multimedia files majorly pictures and videos. With the penetration of the Internet into every country of the world and even rural communities, a lot of social media platforms have been able to spring up and continue to grow. Social media platforms are classified into forums, online communities, social networks and social gaming amongst others. Some examples of social media platforms include facebook, twitter, whatsapp, blogspot and wordpress amongst others.
DEFINITION OF MARKETING
Marketing basically entails taking your goods to prospective buyers and trying to sell to them. To achieve this however, you first of all need to know where the people are (especially the people who would be interested in the particular product you want to sell). The next step would then be trying to persuade them by giving them reasons why your product is good for them as well as why your particular product is better than that of the other competitors.
WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE CURRENTLY
In recent times, a lot of individuals spend most of their time on the Internet. Most of them also spend a lot of their time on social networks. For instance, Facebook has about 1.44 monthly active users as at March 2015. Other major social media platforms also have such followership.
Having the ability to broadcast your products to a wide range of people allows more prospective buyers to have knowledge of your products and how they can buy it. The major way of reaching a wide population of people before the advent of the Internet and the social media was through the mass media. While digital media is also a part of mass media which includes the Internet and mobile mass communication, mass media in this article is limited to other forms of mass media apart from the digital media. These include television stations, radio stations, magazines, books, movies, music and newspaper. However, the numbers of people you can reach on social media platforms are much than the numbers of people you can reach through any other platform in the world.
ADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS OVER OTHER MARKETING PLATFORMS
Marketing your products on social media platforms has some advantages over using other marketing platforms such as mass media,
- You can reach out to a lot more people with your products on social media than other mass media platforms and other marketing means such as one on one advertisement and crowdsourcing amongst others.
- Marketing on social media platforms is cheaper than marketing on other platforms. Advertising your products in a radio or television station which for example is another type of strategy would require you to first of all pay for the production of the jingles or clips which would be played. Furthermore, you have to pay for airtime which is expensive depending on the popularity of the radio or television station. Most social media platforms are free to use. This implies that you could post about your products and services for free. Most of the social media platforms however also have paid advertisements which allow you to reach out to a wider range of people. The amount you would however pay for this is much cheaper than what you would pay on other marketing platforms.
- It is easier for feedback and response. It would cost prospective buyers just their internet subscription which in most cases would be less than 100kb to send you a message about their interest in your product and their questions. It would also be cheap for you to reply and conclude the deal. In other forms of advertising however, either you are there physically with the person who might have incurred transportation costs, or the person would have to call you on phone. It is thus easier to receive feedback and to respond to them on social media platform marketing than other platforms.
ADVERTISING ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
It is possible to market on social media platforms for free or by paying a little fee.
To market your products on social media networks for free, all you would need to do is to write a good quality article about your product and paste on popular social media networks. You could also appeal to your friends to like the article so that their friends can also see it. With just 5 initial likes on your article on facebook, about 5,000 people would already be seeing it, depending on the number of friends your 5 friends have. Now imagine if about 100 of the other 5,000 people decides to also like the article on your friends page. You would already be reaching out to 100s of thousands of people out of which some others would still like and you are already reaching millions of people. You could also put a link back to your website or blog for more information and feedback.
Paying for online marketing however could be as cheap as less than a dollar to thousands of dollars depending on how much you are willing to spend on the advertisements. For less than 10 dollars however, you can reach out to millions of people with information about your product. No other form of marketing can offer you that type of reach at even 100 dollars.
The social media marketing platform is therefore one that you could benefit from as it is very easy to reach over 500 million people with information about your products for free. It would only require