Advertisement and promotion Essay Example
Social media is a collection of online communication tools always dedicated to the community based input, content-sharing, mutual interaction and collaboration. Social media programs have widely been used in creating content which attracts readers’ attention who eventually shares it on their social networks. It is therefore an important aspect of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). However, there exists widespread proof that shows adverse effects of embracing social media into integrated marketing.
This paper presents a decisive view in the employment of social media as IMC tool. The paper further gives a critical analysis as to why firms should exercise caution while utilising social media in their marketing campaigns.
The great stride made in terms of technological advancement as well as emergence of internet has led to evolvement of social media phenomenon. Different forms of social media have been widely used. This includes social networking sites such as face book and twitter, work sharing sites such as YouTube, blogs and business-networking sites. The key point regarding the achievement of social media in marketing has been illuminated by successful interconnection of people who interact widely through the online software (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).
Presently, social media trend has brought a significant change on how firms communicate with their customers. With the non-modern marketing communications, the overall content, the frequency, timing as well as media had been controlled by the firm. However, social media has made companies lose control. Thus, individuals can give divergent views about the company, the products as well as their taste and preferences at anytime. This fact has magnified consumer-to-consumer and consumer-company interaction within the market segment (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). In the traditional times, consumers would use their verbal stance to influence close friends and family members. However, the modern times where social media acts as the main communication tool enable consumers reach thousands and million others within a short period duration. In such a case, issues regarding products features, existence of new products, and launch of advanced brand as well as positive news are shared within a short span hence boosting companies’ popularity (Castronovo & Huang, 2012).
The fact that social media enables marketers reach millions of consumers makes it a tool to be wary of. This means that there are inherent risks associated with the use of social media which should prompt companies exercise extra caution. Negative and faulty campaigns consume substantial resources to resolve. Moreover, it is always probable that misconstrued brand identities may take time or may never be repaired (Zafarani, Abbasi & Liu, 2014). Brand marketers should understand that users of social media never view the content holistically but rather weigh their decisions regarding a particular brand based on own individualised parts of content. In this context, majority of social media users never have time or inclination in consideration of the origin of a brand behind the campaign. Rather, their consumption of the digital content is just skin deep. In their effort to run successful campaigns, marketers should therefore not only reflect on the inherent opportunities but also on the potential threats (Zafarani, Abbasi & Liu, 2014).
The use of social media as a tool of IMC causes serious security breach if not handled professionally. The internet is considered as the information superhighway and significant numbers of hackers are prevalent on the ‘highway’. Such hackers take the opportunity to browse thousands of sites while searching for companies’ information. The most sought information by hackers revolves around financial data. Successful access to companies’ databases and accounts leaves the firm in a more precarious position. Moreover, hackers take and extra mile by spamming companies’ consumers. Thus, online marketers should exercise caution while marketing their products. This is especially when sensitive data such as emails are left of the sites (Lange-Faria & Elliot, 2012).
It is always risky for a company if it gets submerged in public relation crisis. Public relation crisis may prevail in a number of masks. However, the main issue surrounding PR crisis regards the magnitude and speed in which simple PR problem can end up to be an enormous brand-crippling viral catastrophe. For example, if it is discovered that company’s marketers have used false information regarding a particular product, it is always probable that negative feedback will be obtained. The matter is exacerbated when social media is used as the main campaign tool. This emanates from the fact that the situation ends up going viral and eventually out of control (Lange-Faria & Elliot, 2012). The perceived dishonesty perpetrated by company marketers may end up on a number of social media sites and hence reflecting the company in bad light.
The success of a company is measured by how it is able to permeate the market. In addition, a firm gain considerable reputation by how it is able to provide unique products or services as per the needs of consumers. This fact makes companies employ different and unique tactics to reach out millions of consumers. Such tactics are concealed by firms and are used as confidential information (Manovich, 2011). While operating online, the firm get susceptible to competition which means that vital information will ooze out of the firm’s confines. The company’s brands will therefore find way to inspire others who will end up emulating the unique tactics. The competitors find it easy to use the same promotions, posts and materials that exactly mirror company’s activities. This therefore leads to low firm’s productivity.
The improper use of social media as a campaign tool attracts serious legal implications. This means that companies may be engrossed in legal suit if proper conduct within social media circles is done. The materials used on the platforms may be used as evidence in the litigation process. Therefore, operating within social media boundaries is inevitable for the firms that aspire to leap the benefits of it (Winer, 2009).
Social media plays an important role as an IMC tool. Through the different social media platforms, companies are able to reach significant number of potential consumers. This fact has gained success through the advancement of both technology and the internet. However, sales promotion via social media has got a share of adverse implications. This includes loss of control of the campaigns, security breach, public relation crisis, competition and legal implications. This therefore calls for marketers to exercise caution while using social media as an integrated marketing and communication tool.
Mangold, W.G. and Faulds, D.J., 2009. Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business horizons, 52(4), pp.357-365.
Castronovo, C. and Huang, L., 2012. Social media in an alternative marketing communication model. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6(1), p.117.
Zafarani, R., Abbasi, M.A. and Liu, H., 2014. Social media mining: an introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Lange-Faria, W. and Elliot, S., 2012. Understanding the role of social media in destination marketing. Tourismos, 7(1).
Winer, R.S., 2009. New communications approaches in marketing: Issues and research directions. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 23(2), pp.108-117.
Manovich, L., 2011. Trending: The promises and the challenges of big social data. Debates in the digital humanities, 2, pp.460-475.
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