Social media and its implications for viral marketing

Social media can offer interesting opportunities for new forms of communication and commerce between marketers and consumers. As advertisers often want to find a way to reach their target audience, they get many new media opportunities. However, we are still the pioneers of social media. While the boom in social marketing seems attractive, with about 70% of consumers visiting a social networking site for information, another study indicates that 90% of WOM conversations are still in person or over the phone and only 7% online.

Marketing professionals and social services communications companies are inundated with new ideas and technologies that are promising but not over the top. At a time when the media is fragmented and advertisers are critical of the cost and effectiveness of older media, especially among young people and men, the data indicates an increase in advertisers’ use of social media. For example, Nielsen estimates that 142.1 million Americans, 46.6 million Japanese, and 31 million Brazilian consumers only had access to social networks and blogs in December 2009 (WARC 2010a). In Australia, the Internet reaches a potential audience of more than 11 million users, more than 70% of whom use a social network; Facebook has more than 6 million registered users and Twitter has 800,000 registered followers (Comscore 2009). In addition, the McCann tracker study (2008) found that active users reading blogs increased by two to 54% -77%. The number of bloggers has increased from 28% to 45% and the number of people who mainly watch online videos has increased from 32% in 2006 to 83% in 2008 Smith,2009 Kaplan (2001) suggests that the transition from social media to a major mode of marketing communication is the result of a combination of; technological drivers, such as bandwidth; economic factors, such as user access to various tools for developing user-generated content (UGC); and social motivators, such as generating young people with IT experience, have recently become consumers with high purchasing power. (Kaplan, 2010).

However, social media is no longer the domain of Generation Y; older generations are major social networks with the largest demographics on Facebook, now women 55 and older (Angel & Sexsmith 2009, p. 2). Since the maximum amount advertisers will ultimately follow the audience to apply to, the appeal of social media for a large, hard-to-reach audience must somehow translate into business success for social media providers and marketing personnel.

Translate ยป