It would be imprudent if one asked how a social network can make more money. This is because one would be only be interested in monetizing the whole concept of social network and why they were set up. They were set up to link up friends worldwide, that is, as a means of communicating to friends throughout the world. It is also a means of meeting new people worldwide. It is this concept that one should come up with ideas of how to use its marketing opportunities worldwide to harness your business success and the social network concepts (Barabasi, 2002).
The success of this type of marketing marks the dynamic shift of approach people have over the internet. People have evolved from just searching information through the traditional means of search engines to actually participating in forums and socializing in the internet. It is this participation that is making social network marketing possible through the social network sites. Social network makes viral marketing and word of mouth marketing much easier than before.
The best “utilization of the social network is not only to make money directly off them but also to harness their marketing strategies in promoting your business as well” (Gladwell, 2000). Online social networks present a well organized medium for marketers to spread their business information. One advantage the social network marketing has over the traditional search engine marketing is that, the search engine marketing targets the over trafficking on their websites by using the art of choosing key words and best links on the search engines.
However, social network marketing offers a better way of bringing tons of visitors to your site (Adler, 2002). One positive thing about social networks is that they provide multiple connection points for millions of people around the world. This provides the opportunity to share, track and enjoy anything that arouses their interest. In order to get a glimpse of the social network as it will be used in future marketing or how it is being currently used in marketing, you need to fully understand the mechanism that is employed in its working.
The mechanism was initially used for people to interact and linking with people from all over the world. However, with the need in marketing technology advancement, marketers were not to be left out by the new technology that would allow people to interact with the other people, not withstanding where one is, only that he has internet connection (Cross, 2005). Once you understand the mechanism you will appreciate the ideology behind social network marketing. It is also fun to work with and you also stand the chance of learning more through these networks.
Some of the most recognized social networks are My Space, Facebook among many others. Legal Pitfalls The use of social network marketing is growing very fast and it is also important to note that it is a relatively new phenomena. Even though it has very few if any legal binding in its practice, it is imperative that there will be some legal technicalities introduced by relevant authorities. We can only try to point out the most likely legal pitfalls that can be introduced in regards to the social network marketing.
Many of the laws will be incorporated from the existing laws but now will be subjected to various internet and online marketing services. Since most of the marketing services online require a lot of publishing, broadcast and conveying a lot of written material, the traditional media laws will have to be incorporated into the social network marketing frontier (Barabasi, 2002). Because many online marketing services involve a lot of writing and written materials, and these marketing services include the social network marketing, there will have to be introduced the copyright law.
There are in existence services to check whether the contents of the website have been used before, or if you like to check plagiarism. However, it is only be able to check contents on the web, but it will not check those in file or archived files. Hence, there must be a protective law to protect the original writers of materials that would later be used in online marketing services (Brown, 2000). Another problematic area is that of disclosure and confidentiality. People engaged in social network marketing need to be careful about what they say about themselves, their competitors and also their businesses.
It will be assumed that if you do a transaction with a client, the transaction will be held confidentially by you, so that means that you should have secure means of conducting your business online. Leakage of client information could be very dangerous and could land you in very tricky situations not mentioning the loss of customer faith in you. When writing things to be posted in the web, it is also very important to be very sure of what you are writing. Defamation and libel charges should be avoided as much when writing about other people or businesses.
Social Network Marketing Strategies In social marketing the strategy should be based on answering five questions. Who, What, How, Where and Why? You need to ask yourself why involve in social network marketing. What are the objectives, goals and targets are you wish to hit by marketing in the social network? You also need to ask yourself who is the target customer and how is the customer best approached? How will the customer be approached and how will he/she gauge the campaign? You also need to ask yourself what technologies will be used and where the campaign should be run (Gladwell, 2000).
In order to have successful social network marketing, the first strategy is to plan. There must be a detailed research about the targets needs and wants. This is because the social network marketing like all other marketing is customer oriented and his needs and wants should be addressed. This is done so as to capture his attention (Cross, 2002). A strategy is also to consult with an internet marketing company because the information you will get will help you in understanding how different approaches work in producing the desired results in the company.
Another strategy is to create a forum in your website where people can come together from different places and discuss various issues. The secret here is to create discussion forums for your target audience, who are your target customers. It is also advantageous because many people who buy from the interned do a lot of research and by creating these forums for discussion, the customers researching are most likely to fall into your website and enquire from your customers who have already tried and have been satisfied by your products. Another strategy is to set up a blog with various posts of the products and services you offer.
The information you offer will reach a lot of people and it will be appreciated and they will want to share it with other people. This is a strategy of making many people know about your products and services without the necessity of being overly involved in the marketing yourself. It is also important to keep the blogs and forums with the links to your products and services updated so that you they are felt by the people visiting them to be fascinating and interesting. This ensures that many people will keep flooding your sites and this signals more sales (Barabasi, 2002).
Another strategy is to keep your websites linked to other websites and blog spots. This ensures that the traffic to your website is heavy because many people who will be willing to visit other sites will also feel the desire to visit your site. However, it must be an enticing link so that people would feel compelled to click on your websites link (Lin, 2001). Characteristics of successful social network marketing Successful social network marketing meets a business objective. Regardless of the tools used in any marketing strategy, the marketing campaign should uphold the entire business objective.
Most objectives are the improved sales and company performance. If a social network is upholding the business objective of increasing the sales, then it is a successful social network marketing (Brown, 2000). Every social network marketing campaign should support the community goals. Most communities have different goals for example supporting products, to be entertained among others. A successful social network marketing campaign should focus on supporting the community goals. Communities are different from other communities and their goals and targets may vary from one aspect to another.
Your campaign should also be able to cope with various community goals and targets. A social network campaign must involve the audience. One characteristic of a successful social network marketing is the ability to involve members in its various aspects of operation. It should encourage member interaction (Lin, 2001). A successful social network marketing campaign has the attribute of its information quickly being transferred from one member to another member of the social network. Since information is supposed to flow very fast, the companies that use methods of quickly transmitting information are more successful.
For information to be transmitted quickly, it is necessary for information velocity, viralness and spread to be in the company’s social network (Barabasi, 2002). Successful media campaigns also utilize media. For possible clients to be responsive, it is sometimes necessary to offer them media things like music, video and demonstration. This ensures that the company will get more responses especially when the already existing clients tell new clients about your social network site offering media and demonstrations (Brown, 2000). It is important to note that members of social networks like to share and self-express to each other.
A successful social network marketing campaign should offer adequate tools to deal with this. It should offer state of the art tools to let the people interact with each other to even personal issues. The issue of security and privacy should also be overlooked by the company. The company should also offer satisfying user experience. This means that the language should be as expected by the user. Every item and the navigation tools should be where they are expected to be and also the site should offer other services that would make them be distinguished from other companies.
This is also a characteristic of a successful social network marketing campaign. The campaign should also offer long-term value. One characteristic of an unsuccessful social network campaign is the company offering short-term disposable services. They add value to the customers because they don’t act as a limited offer of entertainment but act as a useful application to the customers (Cross, 2002). The company should also enhance its value for members to be involved in a community. The company is at task to ensure that its members feel like they belong to a community that they can fully relate to.
Its discussion forums should encourage members to be fully involved in the campaign so that the members can feel like they serve a purpose in the promotion. The site should involve its members in such things as games, voting and contests. This distinguishes a successful social network marketing campaign from other campaigns (Borgatti, 2003). The social network marketing campaign should also incorporate other mediums of marketing. Just like the traditional marketing campaigns use different medium of advertising, so should also the social network marketing campaign.
They should integrate other forms of internet media as corporate websites and blogs. This also ensures that the social network marketing campaign is a success. The social network marketing campaign should also maintain agility in their endeavors to marketing. Since the network community is made up of people, it should have capabilities of responding to the queries brought forward by the members. The community should be perceived as a breathing mechanism that needs to be catered for by the administration (Borgatti, 2003).
The company should also participate in the discussions and forums to maximize their level of success. Companies that are involved in the community’s discussion have high levels of successes than those that leave the discussions to the members of the companies. This is also another attribute of a successful social network marketing campaign (Barabasi, 2002). The company should also exercise some social corporate responsibility. This is because traditional means of marketing involved social corporate responsibility and this enhanced their success.
Although this is a new marketing strategy, it should also incorporate this aspect to enhance its success. Members of the community would be made happier if they came to know that the company is involving itself in social corporate responsibility (Lin, 2001). Advantages of social network marketing The company will get large numbers of primary and secondary traffics. Primary traffic is the number of people who will come to your website from other social media websites. Secondary traffic are the people who will come to your website as a result of other websites that have your link.
This ultimately means more exposure of the company to potential customers which translate to more sales (Brown, 2000). Becoming popular in the social networks, ultimately leads to your links being on many websites. This means more secondary traffic to your site. Some of these links are very important because they increase the company’s credibility. Furthermore, some of the links the company gets could be very costly if it assumed that it would pay for their links to be in the website (Borgatti, 2003). Many links also means that you will get better search engines rankings.
This is very important because once people who need the products or services you offer go searching in the search engines; they are most likely to stumble upon your website. This ultimately translates to more customers and increased sales (Adler, 2002). Social network marketing also leads to the build up of a community based on your site. More links to the other websites will also come to your community build up which will mean that you have more supporters. This also translates to more clients and finally to more and increased sales volumes of your company’s products and services.
Other benefits of the social network marketing is that people will have the chance to communicate to the company about some new ideas and what is necessary to change so that the company can improve its outlook. It is important to note that the discussion forum offer a wide range of information that the company can use to improve on its outlook (Cross, 2005). It also avails the opportunity to mind-sharing and brand creation. This means that even if you have already had a brand, mind-sharing will help in promoting the brand to levels that you could not have reached by yourself.
The community can help in strengthening your brand. Social networks also offer the brand interaction experience when the members of the social network communicate with other people about the brand. It is important to note that the bottom-line of any campaign especially commercial campaigns is to increase the sales volume. Social network marketing campaign offer the best chances of your products and services being recognized globally and hence increasing the sales of the company.
When a company portrays its products and services in a good and creative way through the social networks, it is imperative that the product will get global recognition, and the end result of this is increased sales volumes (Brown, 2000). There is also a lot benefits to be leaped from interacting with your customers through the social media. These include improving your products and services and establishing trust. This entails the company creating the allusion of being the authority and creating evangelists to represent you in the chat-rooms. Conclusion
It is important for companies to involve themselves in new marketing frontiers and social network marketing campaigns are one of those frontiers. The company stands to leap a lot of benefits from these sites and hence increased sales volumes. As the importance of social network marketing trend becomes more and more popular, it will prove to be one of the most beneficial to both the customers and companies as well. This means that it is a force to reckon in the days to come (Lin, 2001). The success of this type of marketing marks the dynamic shift of approach people have over the internet.
People have evolved from just searching information through the traditional means of search engines to actually participating in forums and socializing in the internet. It is this participation that is making social network marketing possible through the social network sites. Online social networks present a well organized medium for marketers to spread their business information. One advantage the social network marketing has over the traditional search engine marketing is that, the search engine marketing targets the over trafficking on their websites by using the art of choosingCross, key words and best links on the search engines.
However, social network marketing offers a better way of bringing tons of visitors to your site. This will be beneficial to both the companies and customers because little or no effort will be used in making connections with the goods and services market, because people will easily access them online. It will also avail the opportunity for immediate feedback when it is required (Cross, 2005). It will revolutionize the commercial markets because as it has proved already in its early stages, it will continue making impact to the commodity market.
It should be seen as a positive mark in today’s market. It has plenty of advantages and benefits for both the consumer and the supplier of goods and services (Adler, 2002). It will also incorporate entertainment as a marketing strategy and those sites that will be able to avail various forms of Medias and entertainment will be the ones to leap the maximum benefits. Everybody is happy if a little entertainment is afforded to him especially free.
This means that the companies will have to be very competitive in terms of the entertainment that will be offered to their visitors and also the quality of discussions taking place in their forums. The better equipped site with the necessary tools to make this a reality will be the overall winners (Brown, 2000). However, with its popularity, it is bound to be abused by some people who might feel that they can exploit the system and mechanisms to have their own. It is in this respect that the authorities should come in and put regulations that if broken, the culprits stands to be charged in a court of law (Barabasi, 2002).