MARKETING Through SOCIAL MEDIA:
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
The absence of Internet-based social media has made it possible for one person to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of people around the world. Social media has exploded as a category of online discussion where people create content, share it, bookmark it and network at vast rate. All types of social media provide an opportunity to present oneself and one‟s products to dynamic communities and individuals that may be interested (Roberts & Kraynak 2008). Social media includes a variety of applications that, using technical terms, allow consumers to „„post,‟‟ „„tag,‟‟ „„digg,‟‟ „„blog,‟‟ and etc. This content created by social media is a type of newly generated resource for online information that is created, spread, and used by consumers desiring to educate each other about products, brands, services, and problems (Xiang & Gretzel 2010). Examples include Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Due to its ease way of use, speed and reach, social media became the trendsetter in topics that range from environment, politics, and technology to entertainment industry. Social media are essentially self-promoting in that users spread. The viral quality of social media makes it an appealing tool for businesses to market products and services (Xiang & Gretzel 2010). Furthermore, users of social media now are highly motivated web consumers. As exposed by Nielsen‟s (2011), State of the Media: Social Media reports that 70% of social media users are engaged in online shopping (Nielsen, 2011). Consumers easily get what they want just by sitting in front of computer screen and accessing online websites. Though social media marketing has huge benefits on consumers and marketers, at the same time it has negative impacts on both of them. Due to its easy way of getting access to information, lack of monitoring and control, undoubtedly it favors many risks and cyber crimes. In the coming chapters we will be discussing about advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing in further detail. 2. Advantages
According to Watson et al. (2002) cited by Sheth and Sharma (2005) with the popularity of digital marketing on the rise, many businesses are investigating how social media can help them promote their products and services to potential and existing customers. To understand better about the advantages of social media marketing, there are five main advantages to succeed in this field: I. Cost-related
According to Weinberg (2009), The main advantage of social media marketing is cost-related. The financial barriers to social media marketing are quite low compared to others. The majority of social media sites are free to access, create profile and post information. Whereas traditional marketing campaigns can cost millions of dollars, many social media tools are free even for business use. Businesses can run highly successful social media marketing campaigns on a limited budget. The advantage of reaching your targeted market for little or no cash investment is substantial, and the audience wanting your information voluntarily joins or follows you. Pay-per-click advertisements on sites such as Facebook are "geo-targeted" according to specific criteria, to reach the correct audience. The viral nature of social media means that each person who reads your posts has the capability to spread the news farther within his own network, so information can reach a large number of people in a short time (Weinberg, 2009). II. Social Interaction
One of the most notable phenomena of new media is how it has increased and created new forms of social interaction. People spend more than a quarter of their time online involved in communication activities (e.g., emails, IM chat, and social networks), which is equivalent to the total time spent online for general leisure and entertainment (Riegner, 2007) cited by (Hill & Moran, 2011). Social networking...
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http://www.researchgate.net/publication/256296291_Social_Media_Marketing_SOCIAL_MEDIA_MARKETING_ADVANTAGES_AND_DISADVANTAGES. Accessed on (20/09/2014)
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