The last twenty years inaugurated by the World Wide Web have been extremely productive and effective in terms of economic and promotional development. The market has seen introduction of a huge number of new promotional tools and practices applied on the Internet with the help of social media. With the further development and improvement of IT technologies, it becomes essential to consider the role and impacts of social media on the marketing and promotions. Nowadays, companies have almost limitless capacities and possibilities to promote their businesses with the help of social media. This paper is going to discuss the importance of social media in the marketing strategies, analyze the ways of its implementation in the commercial purposes, and identify the advantages of this kind of promotion.
The conventional promotional practices presupposed communication between companies and customers without any feedback and discussions. Moreover, it lacked the interactive element and close cooperation with the clients. Social media provides a new vision on the promotion of products, as it allows customers communicating with each other and sending their requests directly to the business companies (Hannaa, Rohma, & Crittenden, 2011). From this standpoint, social media marketing acquires an interactive and alive character, which allows quick reaction to changes and new tendencies (Mangolda & Fauldsb, 2009). Thus, the first advantage of social media is its support of communication and interaction between businesses and consumers. Companies can easily find out preferences, interests, and demands of the audience without significant time and cost expenditures.
Additionally, social media is a perfect environment for placing ads and commercial campaigns. Companies can use social networks to post different images or videos of their products and services. The appearance of bright and colorful advertisements assists in attracting consumers’ attention and increases the firm’s reputation. As a result, this technique will help to increase the target audience and attract new clients for further collaboration. Moreover, very often, companies can post videos and images in social media without harming their budgets, since this option is free of charge (Sweeney, 2010).
Social media can be also used as a source of information about the potential customers and their tastes. This aspect is beneficial for both clients and companies. Consumers receive information about products and services while the businesses can learn about the tastes, needs and demands of potential clients quite easily. Not surprisingly, many companies and organizations use the Internet and social media as means of advertisement. The message can be spread easily and quickly among millions of people. Thus, the possibility of reaching the target audience and save time is another benefit of social media as a promotional tool (Hannaa, Rohma, & Crittenden, 2011).
Furthermore, social media represents high level of credibility and reliability. The consumers can share their personal opinions and experience in relations to different products and services, presented by business companies. It means that clients can get unbiased and objective information about various items from the ordinary consumers and users. This fact forces companies to take more responsibility and care of the quality of their products, as any drawbacks can quickly spoil their reputation and image. Social media presents great capacities for the truthful and valid promotion and reliable marketing campaigns. As a result, the companies can be sure the audience will receive their message (Smith & Zook, 2011).
Not only does social media promote the existed products and services, but it also helps to shape the marketing behavior and awareness of the clients considerably. Any innovations, popular trends, and tendencies find their reflections in the social networks quickly and change consumers’ imaginations and expectations about certain goods and services. Correspondingly, companies can form behavioral intentions and marketing preferences of numerous clients by using relevant promoting tools on the Internet.
In fact, the placement of ads in social media is helpful and useful for companies in all cases. Even if the message does not bring quick responses and results, the very presence of online ads will help to increase the brand’s recognition and popularity. Numerous studies signify that any type of visual ads and promotional materials assists in making a brand famous and demanded on the market. With the help of social media, it is easy to achieve this result by adding graphic and animated advertisements in social networks and on popular websites.
Moreover, the usage of social media in marketing activities provides many opportunities for the virtual interaction and cooperation with clients. On the Internet, the products and goods can act and present them as individuals, as they may have their blogs, discussions, and images (Ojeda-Zapata, 2008). This issue appeals to the consumers’ psychology strongly, since people like to collaborate with other people and not with abstract companies or businesses in general. Moreover, such an approach offers capacities for the mutual feedback and discussion in a convenient and efficient way.
Social media also presents a high level of converting and spreading promotional messages. Once a message is posted, it can be easily followed or shared by other users. Obviously, new shares mean the increase of customers’ base and lead to the raise of brand’s popularity and public recognition. Moreover, this possibility will increase the position of a target product or service in the search engines and make it well known in different circles of users (Zarrella, 2009).
Promotions through social media lead to the positive results not limited to final profits and income. For instance, posting advertisements on the social networks does not necessarily guarantee the increase of clients. However, this step will definitely lead to the improved brand loyalty. In other words, customers will be used to the name of a brand and will be more likely to purchase this very product or service in the future. From this standpoint, it becomes obvious that social media is a powerful tool of installing positive brand image and make it familiar for thousands of users (Zarrella, 2009).
Finally, a company’s presence on the social media does not demand huge financial expenditures. The creation of a blog or personal page in social networks does not harm a company’s budget but it brings significant outcomes and results. The same is true in relation to time spending. Overall, social media marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways of promotion. Obviously, this explains its growing popularity and importance on the modern market (Ojeda-Zapata, 2008).
To sum up, social media plays an important role in the contemporary marketing and commercial strategies. They offer not only a place for fun and entertainment, but also a possibility to launch an effective promotional campaign. Many companies have already used them to advertise their products and services as well as involve professional and qualified personnel. Social media provides many benefits for businesses, as they help them to reach a multi-million audience and spread messages in the most effective and reliable way.
In fact, social media strongly facilitates the process of communication and interaction between the companies and clients. It gives a free place for advertisements, provides access to the profiles of thousands of users and allows posting videos and images, advertising goods and services. Moreover, social media guarantees access to the global audience and enables the companies to enter the global market as well. Al these aspects allow assuming that social media will become a main resource of marketing and promotional campaigns in the near future.