Social Media as a Marketing Tool

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Social media represents many social networking platforms, blogs, etc., where consumers create, change and share content (Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy & Silvestre, 2011). The content within these platforms is created and moderated by users, which also can be shared with other users (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009). People feel the need of being socially connected and belonging to a community and social media fulfils that need (Laroche, Habibi, Richard, & Sankaranarayanan, 2012).

The concepts of Web 2.0 and User Generated Content together explain social media. Web 2.0 is a platform for social media development, where the content is created and shared not only by individuals, but which is endlessly moderated by all the World Wide Web users. While Web 2.0 is viewed as a platform for technical and conceptual support for social media, user generated content can be viewed as methods by which social media is used. It is referred to the content created by users and available to large audience (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). From this information social media can be defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010, p. 61).

Social media is much more powerful tool in nowadays marketing than traditional marketing, as it is a platform which allows faster information creation, sharing and modification (Kohli, Suri, & Kapoor, 2015). Companies nowadays pay a lot of attention on social media activities, because it can affect their brand image and firm performance (Kietzmann et al., 2011). Users get access to different types of information concerning the products/services of the firm as well as the reviews of other customers who have used the products/services before (Chen, Fay, & Wang, 2011).

Social media is very popular for sharing experiences with brands, products, etc. This shared information, reviews, negative assessments and so on might influence other consumers’ attitude and buying behavior (Balaji, Khong, & Chong, 2016). The world of advertising and promotion has changed significantly since social media emergence, such as Facebook, YouTube and many others. It is no longer just an informative platform, but also a special influencing platform. As social media can reach large number of consumers, companies feel the urge for using social media in their marketing strategies (Hanna, Rohm, & Crittenden, 2011).

Taking all this into account traditional marketing was forced to change and adapt to the new tool. Marketing is no longer one way oriented: from marketing to customers. It is now a two-way process. The communication now is going from one side to another (between consumers, as well as between consumers and brands). Consumers play a bigger role than before of changing the communication flow. Also, the increase of interaction between different consumers became a very important factor for marketers (Kohli et al., 2015). Social media platforms allow consumers to detect new product, new options of buying, etc, which is affecting their purchasing behavior.

The information about products, offerings, consumption methods and so on is shared not only by companies, but also by other consumers (Zhang, Trusov, Stephen, & Jamal, 2017a). Consumers use social media to communicate with large number of other consumers about various products, services, brands and so on. Companies do not have full control of the communication between consumers on social media; however, they can direct the communication for the sake of the company objectives and goals. Several strategies were separated in order to achieve this, such as providing consumers with social networking platforms, using blogs and promotional activities to engage consumers, being unique, providing information, etc. (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).

Kietzmann et al. (2011) developed a framework of seven constructive units for social media. Different firms can build their social media strategies by concentrating on various units depending on their objectives. It is not necessary for social media platform to have all the units or having one or two units doesn’t mean the others cannot exist (Kietzmann et al., 2011).

The units which social media consists of within this framework are the followings:

  1. Identity – the level of how much users share their personal information on social media. That information can include age, education, gender and so on. One example can be Facebook, where when creating a profile, one can fill out the personal information.
  2. Conversation – shows the interaction between users on social media. Users can have various objectives when communicating with others, for instance, finding friends with the same level of interest in certain topics.
  3. Sharing – the aspect of consumers’ inclinations towards sharing, spreading, and receiving content on social media. Users can have different goals when sharing information, for instance, they can share content in order to find a job on Linkedin.
  4. Presence – shows users’ accessibility on social media. They can be identified if they are online at a certain moment or not.
  5. Relationship – shows the format of the connections between users. The reason why certain users connect on social media, whether they are friends, family or just a colleague, etc. Depending on the type of connection the communication between them is different.
  6. Reputation – shows the position of a user and her/his social media profile. Different social media platforms have different measurements for the reliability of the profile. For instance, on Linkedin the skill endorsements users get from other users show whether it is reasonable to trust this user or not and on Facebook the indication can be likes under the posts.
  7. Groups – the level of creating and joining various groups and communities based on users’ interests and preferences. Users can create groups by themselves including in the group friends, followers, etc. or they can join already existing groups, which can be closed for certain people or open to everyone and so on. An example is Facebook groups, where even some of the groups you need to join after the approval of the administrator of the group (Kietzmann et al., 2011).

Cite this paper

Social Media as a Marketing Tool. (2021, Feb 05). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/social-media-as-a-marketing-tool/



How can social media be used as marketing tool?
Social media can be used as a marketing tool by creating a strong online presence, engaging with customers through interactions and promotions, and utilizing targeted advertising to reach specific demographics.
Is social media a digital marketing tool?
Yes, social media is a digital marketing tool. It allows businesses to connect with customers and create relationships.
What are the 5 benefits of social media marketing?
There are many benefits to social media marketing, including increased brand awareness, more leads, and higher conversion rates. Additionally, social media provides a platform for building relationships with customers and creating a community around your brand.
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