Advertising Through Social Networking Websites Marketing Essay

2261 words (9 pages) Essay in Marketing

5/12/16 Marketing Reference this

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The purpose of this paper to study the effectiveness of advertisements through SNS amongst Post Graduate Students in Indore City. This paper studies factors which make advertisements attractive & also identifies whether the advertisements are only till viewing or does it leads to purchase also.

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Design/methodology/approach- The survey was conducted in Post Graduate College of Indore City, MP. This research can be considered as the basis for a more extensive research, covering other geographical areas, which will produce results allowing more specific and accurate predictions regarding the effectiveness of advertising through Social Networking Websites.

Implications- The findings reveal a number of issues that are important for companies eager to explore the potential of promotions through Social Networking Websites. Also the study will help the organizations understand the consumer behavior of evolving commercial cities like Indore.

Humans in all cultures at all times form complex social networks; the term social network here means ongoing relations among people that matter to those engaged in the group, either for specific reasons (like blood donation camps, fashion communities) or for more general expressions of mutual solidarity (like families, friends etc). Social networks among individuals who may not be related can be validated & maintained by agreement on objectives, social values, or even by choice of entertainment.

Social Media presents potentially seductive opportunities for new forms of communication & commerce between marketers & consumers. As advertisers typically want to find some way to follow their target audiences, many new media opportunities are presented to advertisers. (Miller, Lammas). Advertisers are always in search of new ideas & technologies that often promise great potential. In this century, when the media is fragmenting & advertisers are skeptical about the cost & effectiveness of ubiquitous media, particularly among young demographics, the facts present a strong platform as to why Social Media can become a life saver.

Social Networking – a place where people can use networks of online friends & group memberships to keep in touch with current friends, reconnect with old friends or create real-life friendships through similar interests or groups & share their social experiences. Social network advertising is a term that is used to describe a form of Online Advertising that focuses on social networking sites.

Some responses showed light to this direction with a different perspective. Indeed social media’s influence promises some sort of marketing communications revolution: for instance, global brand Pepsi will not be advertising during the Super Bowl, instead opting for a digital social media campaign they say will “help their customers better understand what pepsi stands for”(WARC, 2010b). Consumers searching online for information about a product, or brands, not only gain access to corporate marketing materials, they now also have access to product reviews, opinions & commentary from other consumers (Smith, 2010).

It was observed that a majority of consumers surveyed relied on various types of social media websites as much as company websites for product & brand information & that nearly half of those made a purchase decision based on what they gathered. However, although social media applications are controlled by users, trend data is not yet conclusive with respect to who is generating, and accessing information (Thackerey et. al. 2008, p. 341).

The interaction of the consumers with SNS has also become a very crucial aspect. One stream of research suggests the existence of a “loyalty ladder” in social networking communities that splits users into categories such as: “lurkers” (those who are reticent to contribute to sites); “tourists” (those post comments but demonstrate no commitment to a network); “minglers” (those who post with no regularity of frequency); & “evangilists/insiders” (those who are enthusiastic, expert & regular & their contributions)(Harridge-March & Quinton 2009, p. 176). Other researchers split users into slightly different categories, for example: “social clickers” (users who communicate with friends & create content on message boards & review sites); “online insiders” (avid online shoppers who vocalize product preferences); and “content kings” (young men addicted to online entertainment) (Riegner 2007, pp.439-440). These bifurcations show the complexity & lack of uniform measurements for marketers targeting social media users.

1.1 Social Networking Sites (SNSs)

Social Networking Sites can be defined as web based services that allow individuals to construct a public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, & view & traverse their list of connections & those made by others within the systems. Some networking can also help members find a job or establish business contacts. SNS include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Orkut & so on. Most SNS also offer additional features. In addition to blogs & forums, members can express themselves by designing their profile page to reflect their personality. The most poplar extra features include music & video sections.

While SNSs are often designed to be widely accessible, many attract homogeneous populations initially, so it is very common to find groups using sites to segregate themselves by nationality, age, education or other factors that typically segment society.

1.2 Advertising on Social Networking Sites

Social Networking advertising can be used to describe a form of online advertising that focuses on social networking sites. The advantage this advertising has is the benefit of the user’s demographic information & target their advertisements appropriately. It continues to add variety on a continuous basis. Organizations can also utilize this feature to make it up to the target audience in diverse ways. SNS are changing the way advertisers reach consumers, & that these changes are transforming online advertising all together (Gangadharbatla). Few instances can be taken into consideration like in Facebook, when users log on, they get “News feed”, where they can easily access all the ads & videos they like.

The study has taken into account the fact that knowledge of the network is limited. The success of social networks marks a dynamic shift in how are using net.

1.3 Things to be kept in mind

From various researches it has been experienced that marketers have now become risk adverse & is reluctant towards consumer- generated media due to their inability to control message. In one instance, pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson released an online marketing campaign via an online video about pain relief for women who carry their babies in a sling. Within hours, Twitter exploded with negative commentary about the video’s perceived deprecation of motherhood. To air it further, the online discussions would also be communicated off-line & sometimes reach tradition media. Thus, over a single weekend, the volume & sentiment of the consumer-generated media brought down a well planned advertising campaign (Baker 2009, p.2).

Another obstacle for marketers is that viewers will consider information if it is both useful & believable, but will react badly to sales-push messages that are violating social networking’s intrinsic qualities of socialization & trust (Angel & Sexsmith 2009, p.4).

Making social networking sites entirely commercial is risky, as users might turn away from the site if they feel their interests are being subjugated to those of advertisers; a warning issued by analysts to News Corp when it acquired MySpace, shifting it to a mass market advertising platform giving brands the opportunities to both advertise & interact with the web users (Carter 2008, p.16).

Creating fake blog entries is another example of how the misuse of social media can irritate consumers & harm brands. The now infamous “Walmarting across America” fake blog (or “flog” as it became known), came under severe criticism online after the ethical breach was exposed (Burns 2008, p.16).

Also poor execution of the ads or poor display sometimes irritates the users which lead to poor results and negative remarks.

One of the major criteria can be the size of online communities as well. It becomes a major factor which limits in generating a massive Word of Mouth. For online groups to be effective, there needs to be a finite size to each community (Phillips 2008, p.82). For social media campaigns to be effective, the new commercial imperative dictates marketers needs to belong to a large number of groups or communities, rather than merely rely on broadcasts to an online group with a large number of members.This becomes the evidence for the fat that both the cultural & emotional relationships are paramount (Phillips 2008, p.84), reflecting the surge to simultaneously monitor than to only be the users.

1.4 Need for using Social Media

To generate a sense of group mind-set & shared interests, online “brand communities” should include a wide range of interests that have a direct, but nonintrusive, connection with the brand (Brown, Broderick & Lee 2007, p.15).

Conceptual models have been developed to guide the process of “cocreation” with online consumers. One example is the DART model which comprises: “dialogue” (fostering something tangible to the online consumer), “Access” (providing a company’s customers access to each other), “risk return relationship” (offering something tangible to the online consumer) & “transparency” (creating an environment to share valuable information) (Ramaswamy, 2008, p.3).

Real dialogue with consumers led to Unilever’s ground breaking online viral campaign ‘Dove Campaign for Real Beauty’. Unilever was able to send the most relevant messages to consumers based on precisely what they were seeking &/or conversing about.

Another area of opportunity for social marketing is “brand building” – connecting enthusiastic online brand advocates with the company’s product development cycle (Ferguson 2008, p.181).

1.5 Effectiveness of Social Marketing

Many marketers feel the need to “tick” the social media box & demonstrate how cutting edge they are, while the primary drivers of their campaign remain embedded in traditional media.

There is a need to effect a paradigm shift from a traditional “more is better” approach. While many social marketers fixate on volume metrics (website traffic, hit rates, click-through, time spent on-line, postings etc), successful social marketing often depends more on qualitative metrics for desirable signs of tone, quality & customer benefit of the interaction (Angel, Sexsmith & Sexsmith 2009, p.6). These may include: unique visitors, interaction rates, relevant actions taken, conversation size, conversation density, author credibility, content freshness & relevance, audience profiles, unique user reach & so on (Fisher 2009, p.191). Such metrics not only measure whether people are engaged, but how they are engaging. However, such metrics often need to be customized for individual campaigns & need to be considered in the pre launch phase, ideally incorporated in message testing.

OBJECTIVE

The study aims to fulfill the following objectives:

To know whether social network advertising is effective in sales or not

To know the most preferred Social Network advertising approach

To know the level of exposure a customer gets when he is being approaches on SNS

To study the effectiveness of advertising through Social Networking Websites in Post Graduate Students with special reference to Indore City

DATA ANALYSIS:

Following factors were considered for preparing questionnaire:

Contact {Number of times, durations}

Intention

Customizability

Experience

FINDINGS

40 percent of the social networking comes from high school & secondary school students & 40 percent tarrif generators are the graduate & post graduate students.

The highest number of active users is from 19-25 age groups but LinkedIn & Twitter has a different age group of active users i.e. 25-40 age groups.

Facebook delivery service is to about 75 percent of the users.

60 percent of the post graduate students who are looking for jobs have their profiles in LinkedIn.

Only 30 percent of the population said that they purchase any product after searching or viewing it on website.

15 percent of the population accepted that they look the pop ups or click on the ads whereas 75 percent said they ignore the ads.

Out of five SNS given in choice viz Facebook, Orkut, LinkedIn, G- plus & Twitter; 60 percent said Facebook is the most used site by them. 20 percent said they used LinkedIn the most.

30 percent of the population said that they don’t have any qualms regarding the quality of the product they see online.

46 percent confirmed that they would like to filter the ads from their profile page whereas 38 percent said they don’t have any troubles by the placement of ads on their profile page.

78 percent confirmed that they are attached to Twitter because of the glamour quotient; 14 percent said they like twitter as a networking site; rest logged on for otherwise reasons.

82 percent of the respondents agreed that advertising through websites is a better medium whereas 18 percent said it has no effect on target audience.

CONCLUSION & SUGGESTIONS

Any organization will not be able to make profits if its product introduction doesn’t attracts the audience or if it does not reach to them. As the time has increased its momentum the consumers now-a-days do not consider anything worth watching if it is not of value tom them as far as traditional ads are considered. So to reach these kinds of targets Websites can become a very effective tool. If following points kept in mind, the advertisers can succeed in gaining interest of the audiences:

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Trust must be established & subsequently reinforced in order to overcome any reluctance on the part of the would-be consumer. This means moving beyond “old school” approaches to website advertising to embrace the principles of relationship marketing- building virtual environments in which customers can connect with each other to share insights & relevant information.

Social media marketers can influence a brand community & potentially influence consumer behavior.

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