Nowadays, using social media for marketing gives great opportunities for small businesses. It is a perfect way to attract customers as searching the Internet is a common leisure activity for people around the world. Everything that is necessary for grasping customers’ interest is a well-prepared social media marketing plan. If the strategies and approaches were chosen correctly, this way of promotion would bring incredible success to one’s business.
Social media marketing (Hyatt, 2012) is a method of the Internet promotion that employs numerous social media networks with the intention of realizing interaction with clients and advertising the brand. Usually, promotion via social media marketing involves social sharing of videos, photos, and other content for advertising objectives.
To bring results, any social media campaign (Greenleigh, 2013) should have a particular and definite purpose that can be gained through certain strategies. First, one should approve the goals. For doing that, Berkley and Walter (2013) advise to answer a number of questions: What are you expecting to get using social media marketing? What are the gender and the age of the target audience? What can be done to involve the target audience? What ideas do you want to present to potential customers? After answering these questions, one is ready to define the goal. Actually, social media promotion can serve in reaching various aims. David Meerman Scotts (2013) highlights three most important ones. The first one is brand awareness. It implies making the brand name so well-known that it could replace all the other labels from this group of products. For example, when a person needs a tissue, he/she usually asks a shop-assistant for a Kleenex. When someone comes to a fast food restaurant, he/she orders a glass of Coke, not cola. The second goal is forming positive associations connected with the brand. It means that the product should inspire trust. The third objective is interaction and collaboration with the target customers. In attaining this goal, social media platform has more benefits than the other ways of marketing All the three goals are interconnected and require to be accomplished together.
After the goals and strategies were defined, it is high time to find a suitable platform for mass media marketing. Each mass media source requires diverse techniques and methods to interact with the Internet environment. According to Carr, Block, and Hayzlett (2013), the most popular social platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook is the spot where people chat with their friends, find their distant relatives or classmates. It means that the tone of the campaign should be light and friendly. Social media marketing should start with creating a business fan page. It is important to design a perfect page, because the graphic constituent is a crucial aspect of Facebook interaction. Further advertising would be done via providing the key audience with product-related articles, photos, and videos. YouTube is a perfect platform for generating video content. On the one hand, it is an exceptionally marketing instrument, but on the other hand, it does not give an opportunity to diversify promotion strategies. Thus, very often, YouTube requires additional social sites. The common mistake of novices is creating viral videos aimed at spreading throughout the Internet. It is much better to create a professional, useful, and instructive video. Such informative videos are often found through the search engines. Google+ is the analog of Facebook. It implies entertaining and relaxed mood. The advertising campaign is based on videos, articles, images, and photos. The strong point of this social net is in Google+ circles. These are defined groups of followers that are chosen for providing some specific information. For instance, it can be used for providing discounts or special offers for patrons. Twitter is a social media marketing platform that allows to show updates through the Internet. The advice here is to follow tweeters related to the key industry. It would bring a number of constant followers in response. Again, it is better to combine official messages about special offers, discounts, and company news with some entertaining and peculiar posts. Using Twitter as a social advertising platform brings new aspects of communication with the key audience. That implies answering all the questions or retweeting a customer’s positive impressions of the brand. LinkedIn can be called the most qualified marketing site. This platform provides an opportunity to share professional ideas and advice among people of similar businesses. LinkedIn page can be used to share opinions on the brand between customers. Their recommendations and positive feedback would create trustworthy and reliable reputation. It would attract more new customers.
All of the aforementioned media sites can not only promote brand (Scotts, 2013) but also be sources of making extra money. For example, the posts on Facebook that persuade people to follow some external links to the other sites bring money to the writer. Another example is when a large number of followers on Twitter gives an opportunity to post sponsored tweets or simply advertisements.
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In my opinion, the given information is still not enough for using social media for effectively advertising the brand. To define the best strategies for promoting, one should mention the three aspects of persuasion, which are ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is a way of convincing people by imposing the credibility of a persuader. For instance, if a person starts selling vegetarian food online, he/she should have experience of being a vegetarian for some period of time. If someone wants to sell clothes, it requires a perfect look from the founder at least or even designer educational background. Pathos is used to appeal to emotions. It implies persuading the target audience to give an expressive response. For example, it can be done via introducing some short-termed specials or recommendations of credible sources, such as the other customers, who would attract a large audience. Besides, social media sites give an excellent opportunity of interacting with clients. People always enjoy being heard and understood. Logos is the way of convincing by providing logical and reasonable assumptions.