How to Achieve and Measure Success in Social Media Marketing

How to Achieve and Measure Success in Social Media Marketing

İbrahim Sarper Karakadilar (Nişantaşı University, Turkey), Ç. Gizem Göğüş (Bilkent University, Turkey) and H. Erkan Ozkaya (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch141
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Introduction

By the beginning of the 21st century, the new generation of web technology fueled the social commerce phenomenon and significantly affected online business models. In today’s business world the use of the Internet and social media has become a part of many marketing strategies. Therefore, companies have adapted their marketing strategies as a result of this new e-commerce medium. Web 2.0 is a powerful medium to locate key consumers and brand advocates in this online community. Social media has become a new marketing channel to effectively interact with customers. Furthermore, companies can use social media as one of the most profitable tools to attract a target audience. Specifically, social media allows the diversification of the brands' marketing messages through viral advertisement applications. This is one of the main advantages of Internet-based marketing tools.

The emergence of social media as a communication tool in marketing operations has established it as an important part of e-commerce practices in this era of new technology. In the context of social media, e-commerce companies should establish specific brand communities, listen to the desires of these communities, and create special promotional programs according to customers’ requests or expectations based on community feedback. Overall, Internet use has empowered promotional activities that have led to the development of direct marketing, mass customization, and interactive communication with both current and prospective customers. Consequently, interactive marketing endeavors should be included in traditional promotional strategies. However, it is important to make the right decisions in terms of social media marketing strategies. Social media marketing involves viral consumer-to-consumer communication, maintaining public relations activities, and conducting marketing research on social networking sites (Pentina, Koh, & Le, 2012). This new marketing concept raises a critical question for e-commerce companies: how can a company promote its products in a more controllable and cost effective way to support the purchasing behavior of customers via social media?

In this new channel of interaction via the Internet and social media, customers search for product-related information, and access product reviews from experienced consumers, as well as industry experts. The inherently uncontrollable nature of social media makes it more difficult for marketing managers to harness customer feedback via these channels. Participation in social media is no longer enough. Instead, in this information rich environment, companies aim to increase the amount of positive customer comments via social media. Generally, companies attempt to create positive customer responses using corporate marketing activities in a social media environment.

In this dynamic environment, companies should clearly measure their social media marketing efforts and revisit them regularly. Companies should explicitly decide their social media objectives from the outset. For e-commerce companies, it is a crucial mistake to utilize a social media medium without defining performance objectives and measurement criteria. These objectives contain different social media-related marketing efforts such as:

  • Measuring the effectiveness of:

    • o

      Reaching a target audience;

    • o

      Engagement on social media;

    • o

      Social influencers in the brand community.

  • Defining metrics for advertising campaign success, which is conducted through social media channels;

  • Measuring the contribution of social media marketing efforts on sales revenue and return-on-investment (ROI).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Integrated Marketing Communication: An attempt to coordinate and control various elements of the promotional mix -advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion- to produce a unified customer focused message and, therefore, to achieve various organizational objectives.

Social Media Channel: It allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content via newspaper/magazine free access websites, internet forum-weblogs, microblogging-social network sites, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. Discussion and rating portals of e-retailing web pages beside official web pages of companies can also be defined as social media channels.

E-Word of Mouth (E-WOM): It involves platforms such as online conversation within customer communities. Social media provides platforms for consumers to share experiences in their social networking sites, and to evaluate businesses through websites featuring reviews and recommendations of products and services.

Engagement Performance Metrics: The measurement of customer density in social media activities-by using the volume criteria such as number of visits; time spent; number of updates; website traffic; number of participants; number of messages; amount of reciprocity.

Sentiment Performance Metrics: It includes criteria about qualitative-content of conversation with customers. These performance metrics evaluate message of companies on social media, language style and conversation depth of interactions with customers.

social networking sites: These sites can be described as web platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and so forth, which allow users to communicate, share knowledge about similar interests, and discuss about favorite topics.

Social Media Marketing: A new marketing approach, involving indirect promotion through communication with customers via internet web-sites by posting or sharing comments, videos and pictures.

Web 2.0: The second generation internet based application, which allocates users to be in charge of producing and distributing information such as sharing, linking, collaborating, and dispersing user generated content.

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