Approaches to Incorporate Social Media Tools into the Marketing Strategy

Although, there exists risks noted of using social media for marketing purposes, developing appropriate strategies could help entities reap the benefits of such media marketing while reducing the challenges. Mangold & Faulds (2009), for instance, argues for the inclusion of social media marketing through a number of ways that an entity can use to shape the communications that customers have with other customers (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Firstly, creating communities that are comprised of like minded people is key on the effectiveness of marketing activities in the social media (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Such communities for instance allows members to share interests and values thus creating a more strong and long-term bond (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). The advantage of some of the social media tools is that such groups are already in existence thus marketers only need to target their messages in a way that will create an interest thus lead to the sharing of the message through word-of-mouth (Wright et al., 2010).

Secondly, such interactions need to be engaging, providing ways for customers to respond to what the entity has posted (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Using such an approach, Starbucks has for instance been able to reinvent its customer experience that had become lost as the entity embarked on unmeasured expansion (Wetpaint & Altimeter 2009). Such feedback could for instance be solicited through a poll section where readers are allowed to offer their responses to questions that administrators have posed (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Thirdly, social media marketing activities are bettered when one provides exclusivity to the members of the communities in which one engages (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Gladwell (2000), for instance notes that to motivate the mavens group into promoting ones brand, one needs to provide them with information that allows them to feel they are valued. Exemplifying such a situation, Mangold and Faulds (2009) observe how Roadrunner Records allows participants to listen to new songs before their public release. Other strategies that are critical for implementing social media marketing include supporting causes that customers identify with, using stories to establish a memorable effect on the customer and providing adequate information for the customers develop the perception of having adequate knowledge of the entity (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).

Finally, implementation of social media marketing needs one to evaluate the risks associated with such marketing beforehand. By evaluating such risks one could institute measures to safeguard against aspects that have the potential of aggravating the entity’s reputation following its online engagement. This will compare the use of two social media – Facebook and Twitter – as marketing tools by small businesses in the United States. Go to part 6 here.

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