Social media has turned the world of communication upside down in the last decades; with radical changes that affects how impressions are made and how people interact with each other. It has become crucial for companies to enter in this new world of technology, renewing their marketing strategies to continue reaching and satisfying their customers. Though most organizations still struggle in understanding how social media might be used to engage and sell, it is imperative for them to change and most of it is because “there will be even more changes in the coming years, because social media marketing continues to extend from the marketing department to nearly every aspect of a company’s business” (Hendricks). But what is this so-called thing known as social media? “Social media is a based application that are available and allow developing, consuming, and sharing user generated content” (Vinerean). Society has change on an enormous level; nowadays, it is no longer important to have self-approval, but the new source of power and fame is the community approval to each action and decision that is made. Every individual of the new generation is craving acceptance and recognition; they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. That is exactly what social media has to offer; the opportunity of sharing yourself with the world, and leting them have an opinion about you. Because of the increasing importance of social media in our daily life, marketing has to push itself into it. This essay will highlight different sources about how Marketing in social media is engaging consumers and companies in a unique way that not only helps them to sell more, but get feedback and advertising for free; and also, will discuss the perfect marketing technique to engage your audience.
It has been a radical change between the marketing strategies of the 90s and the ones right now. Back then ,corporations were chasing kids, taking their own culture and selling it back to them. Now kids do not need to be chased; they throw themselves to the corporations offering information about what they like and how firms have to present their products and services in order for them to buy it. The audience in social media is characterized as engaged, expressive, and collaborative. People want companies to know what they really like. What is in one hand making marketers job a lot easier than it was, and on the other hand, is giving marketers’ and researchers’ a new job. That new job is to create a safe space where consumers can express themselves. Companies have come up with a new environment in which consumers feel comfortable, and they can show themselves in their own way. As the book Social Media: Usage and Impact says, “consumers are more likely to talk about companies and products when they feel that they know a lot about them” (363). Industries are now working very hard on making that happen; they need to create a world where users feel part of an exclusive network. The situation is as simple as that, consumers would give firms whatever they want as long as they create a secure space for them — one where they can be opinionated, and be talked about, too.
As some kind of retribution for the creation of their safe environment, users will be willing to give feedback which, as a result, would increase customers’ engagement and create a sense of community. It is a matter of major importance for companies, the opportunity of having consumers feedback, because it is a way of gathering information about products, services, and will give valuable data about current or future purchases. It also provides corporations the opportunity to communicate, interact, and better understand their targeted group of customers.
Along with the numerous advantages that social media supplied marketers; it is also the fact that consumers have become proactively involved in the co-creation of their own experience with the sellers. Advertising is no longer a one-way work; but it is now both a marketer and consumer combined effort. Although firms make the first move to spread the word about some new product or service, it is the same customers who make everything possible. There is a new way of engagement in which companies offer rewards, sometimes tangibles and sometimes just recognition, that makes each consumer enthusiastic about spreading the word of a new product among their friends and make it massive with the power of just one click. This relation creates not only a paying customer but a free advertiser whom finds more wiling customers for the company, and just for the simple cost of recognition or a little discount. It is the perfect relationship that gives, receives, and engages with each other in an ideal sense of peace and co-growth.
As we have previously discussed, social media offers a lot of opportunities for both consumers and companies. On the one hand, with the use of social media consumers have a opportunity to develop new ways to interact with corporations, make their opinions and experiences heard, and also get help when it comes to searching, evaluating, choosing, and buying a particular good or service. On the other hand, companies have the opportunity to invest in their media presence and develop more targeted campaigns, communicate with their buyers, direct their sales, gain insights about how their potential consumers want the product to work and approach to them, as well as a lifetime of loyal participants of their market. But what is the perfect strategy to approach and gain that so-called population of loyal buyers? Along with all the marketing strategies that have been created to conquer this new market of social media generation, we have also discovered the perfect magic show, and it is called Stealth Marketing. Also known as Buzz Marketing, it is any strategy that advertises a product or service without the target knowing that they are being marketed to, just like when you are being part of a magic trick, and you are ignorant of your own participation on it. As I said, it is the perfect trick. The main purpose of this type of marketing is not to have immediate sales, but to create an excitement and an irremediable interest of the customer that will make them more receptive to further advertisement. As the article "Stealth Marketing: What is Stealth Marketing" states:
"One of the most notable cases of stealth marketing by a small business was fashion entrepreneur Dymond John’s first campaign for the FUBU clothing line.
John had almost no operating budget and no access to traditional advertising, so he asked hip hop stars Run DMC and LL Cool J to wear FUBU, a massive audience without John having to spend any money buying advertising space. The campaign was successful and FUBU became a major clothing label."
As simple as that, a relatable small company became such an emporium. engaging their targeted consumers with their own culture and making them part of a major advertising game without them knowing.
Social media users are now the main characters of today’s marketing and advertising master show, in ways that makes marketers’ only job to make them feel like owners of the game. Consumers are changing and with them marketing strategies are adjusting to satisfy their desires in exchange of information, purchases, and free advertising. This new way of interaction is making the market a more refined and complex structure in where nothing is what is seems to be, and everyone is being manipulated without them even noticing.