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Is Social Media Really The Solution To All Marketing Problems?

1128 words - 5 pages

“Social media has become the marketing tool for the 21st century and companies should exploit it fully if they are to survive.”  Is social media really the solution to all marketing problems?  Discuss.

“Social media’, also referred to as consumer-generated media, is web-based software and services that contain anything which can be displayed electronically, allowing users from different parts of the world to exchange, discuss, communicate and participate in any form of social interaction online (Ryan and Jones, 2012). Marketing is also developing as a conversation more than other forms. Using social media as a marketing strategy is easy and convenient. In addition, it is a powerful tool ...view middle of the document...

Communicating with people who have already have a good impression of your product or service consistently can turn them into enthusiasts, who will support the company willing and positively online.

Last but not least, all the costumer participating in social media can get information equally. As a result, any positive comment can spread fast to every corner of the world, rocketing the companies’ reputation.

Though social media is beneficial to companies, it also has limitations. As mentioned above, word that goes fast and widely can help the company shape a good image, but on the other hand, it can ruin a company as well. It was long held that a disappointed customer would tell ten people, but with the popularity of social media, over 10 million people will see the complaints nowadays (Mangold and Faulds, 2009 cited in Gillin, 2007). A typical example is from MacDonald’s. It plans to encourage people to post stories about their good experience at MacDonald’s on twitter, and thus set up a trending with the tag, #McDstories (Tuten and Angermeier, 2013 cited in Hill, 2012). Against their expectation, increasing number of people told the poor experiences they had at MacDonald’s instead.

Besides costumer, employees should also be considered in social media marketing. What they do and how they express themselves has a great impact on the companies’ reputation (Tuten and Angermeier, 2013). Once they behave improperly, it can contribute to a decline in popularity.
Another challenge that companies need to take into account is the effect that social media has on pricing (Nuyts, 2012). It is hard to increase prices, because customers, who are object to the price increases, can easily get together on social platforms and stand against the change of price. Netflix, for instance, lost 1 million customers more than expected and witnessed a decrease in stocks after they publish a new policy on pricing (Ibid).

Social media includes a wide range of online forums such as blogs, company sponsored discussion boards and chat rooms, consumer-to-consumer e-mail, review and rating websites and forums, forums discussion boards, micro blogs, and social networking websites (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). Ryan and Jones (2012) suggest that a well-designed plan should be made for marketers to take part in social media marketing. The aim is to get a better knowledge about the costumer, so the marketers must act on the premise that they have already had some...

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