The prospect of connecting people to their friends and all of the things they are interested in is so intriguing that there are an increasing number of people joining the social networks, such as Facebook, Renren, Tencent, Sina, etc. At the same time, social media provide a platform for social marketing. Advertising through social media can really bring some benefits. Firstly, social media lend some credence to the direct access to the target customers for the companies. John Wanamaker, US department store merchant, once said, “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
” Advertising through social media is a good solution to this problem. The social networks harvest data from users. Based on personal preferences, advertisers aim ads at the corresponding user group. Take Facebook as an example. If you tell each other you will be engaged recently through Facebook, you will see ads from the local jewelers. In addition, Facebook gives feedback about the click rate and the user group structure to the companies. It is difficult for the traditional media to achieve these things. Secondly, social media can generate the interaction between the companies and customers and the interaction among the customers.
In the Renren many companies open the fan page, where the companies communicate with their customers. The user can get access to the latest information about the products and service. And the companies can improve their products depending on the customers’ comments on the products. It is the interaction that enriches the way of advertising. Some advertising required the user to take action. I still remembered the successful social marketing of the film Love is not blind, which have got 300 million at box office.
Before releasing, this film has been already very hot in the Renren and Sina Weibo, for it held an activity for people to share their romance stories through Renren or Weibo. The vast majority of users would ignore the ad itself and be concerned about the content of the film. In the Singles Day, almost every friend around me asked me whether I watch this film or not. Thirdly, social marketing enhances the credibility of marketing. People read ads through traditional media to receive information about product or service they want to buy. However, some businesses use high-quality advertising to sell low-quality products.
In contrast, the social media appeals to public praise value. The recommendation from friends is more reliable. The false or misleading ads may be discovered rapidly, decreasing the damage to the customers including financial losses. Fourthly, displaying ads is beneficial for the development of the social networks. Social networks make a large proportion of money by displaying ads. In the third quarter last year, 83. 6 percent of Facebook’s total revenue came from advertising revenue, and 57. 3 percent of Renren’s total revenue came from advertising revenue.
The social sites must sell advertising space to justify maintenance costs. Only when these social media have enough money can they provide better experience for all users. Since the click rate may play a significant role on the revenue of advertising, the social media may also help the companies to attract the customers in order to get more revenue. However, I should concede that despite the merits of advertising through social media mentioned above, there still exist some disadvantages. To begin with, not all the products are suitable for social marketing. The majority of users, nowadays, are young people.
The ads of products that are not needed by the young people may go unanswered. They may also feel bothered by these ads, and finally turn to other network. And the spread of the ads heavily rely on the generation of the interaction. The topic of the ads must catch the eyes of the people or few people would transmit the ads. Additionally, social media may be less effective than search engine in the aspect of building an advertising business. Visiting the social network, our main purpose is to keep touch with our friends. When we want to buy something, we usually look for the things through search engine.
Finally, to some extent, advertising through social media exist some risks. If the method for marketing was not appropriate, ads may be counterproductive. Just as an old saying goes, “good deeds are never heard outside the door, but bad deeds are proclaimed for thousand miles. ” The dissatisfaction of one user may affect plenty of other users. From the analyses made above, I believe that the social media really provide a powerful platform for advertising. The advertisers should evaluate whether their products or services are suitable for this kind of advertising, search for the target customers and have appealing advertising ideas.
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