Stay Idle, Or Go Viral

Viral marketing; a marketing technique in which brand awareness is increased through the network effect of the internet. Viral campaigns have become very popular in recent times, greatly due to the increase of internet activity. Thanks to the large number of internet users, as well as the large number of networking and sharing websites, popular campaigns will be known worldwide in just a couple of days.

This ability for users to share and connect with people offers a great marketing tool that  can significantly boost awareness of a brand, as well as product sales. Viral campaigns are targeted at individuals with high social networking potential, as these people have a higher probability to spread and share in a short period of time. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube are great sharing tools for users and popular content can easily reach millions of people, and that means reaching millions of potential consumers.

Although, viral campaigns are not always successful and so it is not in anyone’s best interest to attempt to produce a viral campaign, it would be better to produce an advertisement and hope it goes viral. Even though viral campaigns can sometimes be hit or miss, there are many examples of very successful advertising campaigns that have gone viral and become very popular. One of the best and most recent examples of this is the Old Spice commercials. These were HUGELY successful and increased brand awareness significantly. In the sporting world, Sporting Portugal, a Portugese football club, had an interesting advertising campaign in which they created an interactive ad where the viewer entered their name and phone number and the manager in the ad would ring them up and request they buy a season ticket (all in time with the video). This a very interesting approach and proved to be quite successful.

Viral marketing shows just how great social medias are for promoting brand awareness and product purchase. With this new connection between everyone in the world, businesses are able to reach every corner of the globe. Social medias are certainly the future for marketing and advertisement.

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Social Medias for Communication

A key element of a good business is it’s communication, whether it be between the employees, between the board and the CEO, or even between the company and it’s stakeholders. Without communication, every business would be doomed to failure. The introduction of email changed the way that businesses communicate, and now social medias look to do the same.

Social medias change all aspects of communication within a business, with many different types of social medias, and many different people to communicate with, it has made communication a much simpler task. Employees are now able to talk to each other through emails, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and all of this is now accessible on the move. This offers businesses to be able to keep up with everything that is going on, even while on site, or even in a whole other country.

The best offering from the new social media communications, in my opinion, is the ability for better communication between a business and it’s stakeholders (e.g. a sport club and it’s fans). This communication allows the business to know what it’s stakeholders think of how they are doing and where they are going wrong, as well as what could be improved. The most important thing a business can do is keep it’s current customers and stakeholders happy so that they can continue to retain them.

However, even with all these new communication opportunities businesses need to be careful with what they communicate and how. Important confidential information should not be shared through the likes of Facebook and Twitter, and account safety is important in preventing any chance of this information leaking out to the public.

Overall, the new medias are fantastic for businesses, but as always with anything on the internet, safety is key.

Why Should Businesses Use Social Media?

It doesn’t matter whether your business is local, regional, nationwide, or global, it doesn’t even matter if you are currently selling anything online, if you don’t take advantage of the online market, many of your prospects and customers will not be able to find you or hear about you, and then they will not buy from you. 97% of consumers use the internet to research products or services in their local area, and 90% of them use search engines. By using any sort of social media, whether it is social networking, wikis, or even blogs, you are exposed to a very large group of potential customers.

There are 5 key reasons to utilise social media for a business:

1. Increase overall brand awareness.

This is one of the most common reasons for using social media in a business and is also the easiest to evaluate. This is usually achieved through increasing website or blog traffic, increasing the number of fans on a Facebook page, increasing the number of followers on Twitter, and increasing the number of video views on YouTube. Therefore exposing the brand to more people.

2. Using social media to generate leads.

This is achieved through offering downloadable content, hosting webinars (online seminars), speaking at events and offering them for on-demand viewing later, and utilizing email and newsletter subscriptions.

3. Using social media for customer retention.

In my opinion, this is the most important thing any business can do. Holding onto your current customers is just as important as gaining new ones. Your biggest revenue generator might be your existing customer base and it is important that you are aware of this and utilise it.

4. Using social media to increase sales conversions.

A successful social media campaign has to be able to show how the social media program actually relates to money being made. Social media can be used as a commerce tool and products can be advertised directly, but even an increase in awareness of the product through social media can lead to revenue.

5. Using social media to measure and monitor effectiveness.

Social media is a great way to receive customer feedback on every aspect of your business, from the actual product being sold, to the quality of service. Communication between the consumer and the business is important to keep up a good quality product/service and therefore retain customers.

Social media, when used correctly, is a great tool for all different types of businesses. It doesn’t matter whether you are a new business, or an old business, a small business, or a big business, social media is a great opportunity.

Last of all, I leave you with this short YouTube video. This video shows exactly the sort of opportunities that social media creates. Please feel free to leave a comment on your opinion or let me know what you think!