Social Media Branding Strategy: Social Media Marketing Approach

Social Media Branding Strategy: Social Media Marketing Approach

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5143-0.ch004
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Social media have changed the way brands and consumers interact with each other. This revolution has forced many companies to utilize social media platforms in their marketing plans, but they also tend to forget that these new tools require the companies to change and modify their marketing efforts to better suit social media. In this chapter, social media marketing strategies and frameworks that should be adopted by brand managers and marketers are explored briefly and social media platforms are categorized into different groups so that managers can get a better picture of the practices that each group require in order to produce the best results for the brands.
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Social media has created unlimited opportunities for people to communicate and share their feelings with each other. People have adopted social media platforms, so companies use them more increasingly in their marketing activities but many of these firms don’t know how to take advantage of social media (Dickey & Lewis, 2010; Gallaugher & Ransbotham, 2010; Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).

Social media can improve the marketers’ reach considerably (Thackeray et al., 2008), as they can share information and stories using digital media. Customers can use social media to get in touch with each other as well (Hlavinka & Sullivan, 2011; Lipsman et al., 2012; Mangold & Faulds, 2009). In fact, nowadays social media are being heralded as the best way to build relationships with customers but still companies are at a loos as to how they should implement them in their marketing strategies (Bartlett, 2010; Hackworth & Kunz, 2010; Monseau, 2009; Selina & Milz, 2009). Most of the studies done in this field focus on the effects of social media on communication, with some of them pointing their attention towards the benefits of social media for marketing activities (Berinato, 2010; Dholakia & Durham, 2010; Kozinets et al., 2010; Trusov et al., 2009; Dong-Hun, 2010).

Social media marketing can be more effective if the firm’s focus is on satisfying users’ needs. Unsatisfied needs lead to a motivation for people to satisfy those needs (Deci & Ryan, 2000). This satisfaction is the driver behind consumption. This definition of marketing as the satisfaction of needs has been used by many researchers (Kotler & Levy, 1969; Levitt, 1960). Satisfying the needs of the consumers can be achieved by taking the users’ needs into account when designing the goal and content of social media marketing (Kietzmann, Hermkens, McCarthy, & Silvestre, 2011). Studies also suggest that consistency between the content of the website and advertisement will improve the reactions of users toward the advertisement (Choi & Rifon, 2002; Edwards, Li, & Lee, 2002; Newman, Stem, & Sprott, 2004).

Managers should try to understand why people use social media if they are to enhance their market appeal. By doing so, they are able to target their audiences with more customized messages on social media platforms. These reasons behind consumers’ involvement with social media are still not completely known, but some studies suggest that people use social media mostly to connect with their friends, search for information, find the latest trends, follow celebrities and to get entertained (Gallup, 2014; Nielsen, 2012). There are many different social media platforms which vary across different dimensions such as user interactions (Mangold & Faulds, 2009; Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011) and as such, it is not easy to find a common reason for users’ engagement with these platforms.

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