Monday, October 18, 2010

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES.....NOT JUST FUN..!!

Social networking sites on the Internet are now regarded as one of the most important tools of communication. People have recognized social networking as the fastest and most trusted means of spreading news and making people aware of the facts and information. People have begun joining networking groups even as a status symbol. Being on a networking site is now considered as one of the best ways to get recognized. Being part of an online social network helps people to stay connected with their friends and families, and also to develop business links.

Companies recognized the marketing opportunity offered by social networking sites, and saw a huge potential for creating brand awareness, promoting their products, buying and selling products/services and also for developing business networks. A new marketing concept-Viral Marketing- has provided momentum for creating awareness about brands and products.

Many companies have embraced social media formats as part of their integrated marketing and communication strategies. This involves creating an online message that is entertaining and interesting enough to pass it on to others, thereby spreading the message across web like virus, at no incremental cost to advertiser. Viral marketing basically creates a word-of-mouth referral by using existing customers and contacts. The message is passed around and passed around repeatedly creating an exponential reach for the Company. People like to talk about their involvement with products and services for a variety of reasons. These include prestige and status that may arise through ownership, or an inclination to share their purchase experiences in order to help others. Viral promotions may take the form of Video Clips, interactive flash games, e-books, brand-able software, images or even text messages.

Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall multiplier effect would be quite phenomenal and also the message would travel very quickly. This means that each person one reaches, one is also reaching a group of his /her friends as well. Then those friends tell other friends, leading to rapid increase in reaching down the line, which is in some way similar to what happens in many network marketing companies.

Few Examples:-

In 2007, Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate launched a viral marketing campaign, which was much popularized on YouTube. During same year, World Wrestling Entertainment promoted the return of wrestler, Chris Jericho, with 15 a viral marketing campaign using 15-second cryptic binary video.

Recently Pepsi astonished the advertising industry by its move to ignore Super Bowl football matches and instead focus on Social Media. Pepsi, in an effort to leverage on social media, opted for the “Pepsi Refresh Project” which was rolled out in January 2010, to fund refreshing ideas that could change the world. Numerous individuals and organization visit the “Refresh Project” website via several social media platforms, and submit ideas for projects that could refresh their community. The next process involves public voting. The amount of money ($20 mn) saved by not advertising through Super Bowl is being diverted to supporting various selected projects every month ranging from $5000 to $250000 per project. Apart from serving as a promotional tool, social networking sites can also provide a platform to conduct product surveys, undertake research, build the brand, manage one’s online reputation, engage employees t know each other better, and recruit potential candidates for the company.

Contributed by

Manpreet Singh Nagi

FT 2010-2012 Section C

1 comment:

G.S. said...

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