The presence of social media has revolutionized over the last few years the way people communicate and share information. Studies suggest that while a year ago Facebook accounted for only 7 percent of the time spent online, now the figure stands at 12 percent. This simple statistic implies not only the widespread use of social media but also give us the authority to infer that people spend ‘valuable’ time in online social networking.
Mass addiction to the social media, in fact, reflects a new trend as companies are struggling to create strategies that inform their business needs. More specifically speaking, companies are desperate to take their public relation to the next level by exploiting social media, using it as a means for social media marketing. They use it as a platform to ‘communicate with, and hear from consumers’ and stay connected to the wider audience.
Get closer to the target audience: Today companies no longer enjoy the advantageous position and therefore cannot shower information on them. Such a scenario has been occasioned by the democratization of the social media and transformation in the usual commerce pattern. Now what the audience appreciates is a two-way communication. Social media marketing through sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn enables a business enterprise get real-time feedback. Chances are that through social media marketing a company can get useful information which in turn allows it to refine and improve the product or service. Live interaction via social media means closer relation with the target audience because they listen and reply in real time.
Info sharing: With the unimaginable speed in information sharing in the virtual world, PR professionals are unhesitatingly banking on content project. They seek to help the audience in getting information that helps them. A company can easily connect with the audience by creating keyword based search on Twitter. Such presence via social media allows PR professionals to explore new avenues leading to a potential business relationship. The content sourcing pattern in the PR/Journalist sector has also changed in tandem. In times of crisis when no information is available through the news sites, the social, media helps one get access to information for covering stories. While some reporters maintain their own blogs, others have presence in Twitter. Thus gathering information has become easy not only for the PR professionals, but also the common people.
Personalized service: Another influence of the social medial on marketing is its ability to give a lift to a business as well as endanger the same. Social media becomes a tool for ensuring that consumers are not subject to mass information. Through social media you are at an immediate connection with the audience. This makes you equipped to address a problem or need most quickly and personally. In similar way, your business is at stake if a consumer chooses to send your brand in sleeping mode by a single post. Social media has “expanded both the base of potential complaints and the public visibility”. When your company is 24X7 alive in the virtual world, it gives you time to address on-call issues with greater competence.
In view of the above discussion, one can fathom the changes in the dynamics of business. Social media marketing has immensely reduced the barriers that lie between the service provider and the receiver. That is why the opportunities have expanded as much as the concerns have increased.