Social Media is a term that refers to Internet-based platforms that enhance information sharing (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Social media increases communication amongst users of Internet by allowing the sharing of information, messages, videos, and even audio. Social Media has significance for both business and regular consumer of the Internet.
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There are six types of social media and they include: Social Networking sites comprise MySpace and Facebook (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). These platforms enable users to create personal profiles, invite friends and even colleges to send emails, messages and any other information. These sites allow people to invite their friends and share information.
The other type of social media is Virtual game world. This is the type of social media that provides virtual setting in which consumers of media content interact with each other. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) offer the highest degree of media richness and social presence. Examples include EverQuest and the cod-medieval.
Another social media is Virtual social world. This is the type of social media that allows users to interact in a virtual life that is comparable to real life. Examples of virtual social world include the Second Life application (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). This platform offers an opportunity for organizations in marketing.
Another type of social media used in social marketing is micro-blogging. Blogs are social platforms that focus on short updates. People who are connected to these sites are able to send an update about certain things including news (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
The management of blogs is usually under one person, although they offer the likelihood of interaction with other people via commentaries or opinions. Examples of blogs are Justin.tv and Twitter.
An example of social media is content communities. These are social platforms that allow users to share media content or information. Content communities allow users to share media content in different forms, such as videos on YouTube and photos on Flickr.
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Finally, Collaborative projects are other types of social media that enable users to create media content not only in a joint, but also simultaneously with numerous end-users (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). It allows users to add and even remove the media content with ease. These platforms contribute to the process of social media marketing.
Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to gain attention or website traffic from potential customers (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
The content used on social media serves to attract the end user’s attention as well as to encourage consumers to share it with people of comparable interests, such as colleagues or friends. Normally, a company’s message that emanates from thirty parties appeals to potential buyers as they seem more trusted than when it comes from the company directly.
The content that is posted on the social media is called brand posts. The popularity of brand is affected by the following factors. First, the position of the brand post on brand fan page. The place where an ad is placed on a brand fan page has a lot of effects as it may or my not increase attention paid to it.
Adverts placed on top of the fan page usually generate more traffic (De-Vries, Gensler, & Leeflang, 2012). Since, the position of the brand post on top of a website increases the chances of being seen, the number of the days the post is sustained increases the popularity of the brand and the company as many people are likely to see it.
Another aspect affecting the popularity of brand post is the content. The content of brand post means the information about the product or brand featured on brand fan page.
This affects the popularity of the brand or firm in that, on social media, people are easily attracted to informative ads (De-Vries, Gensler, & Leeflang, 2012). Brand posts or adverts that contain highly informative messages attract more potential clients or brand fans resulting in increased brand or firm popularity.
Another factor affecting the popularity of brand posts is interactivity. This is how parties exchange communication through a selected social media. It is a two-way process between concerned parties, such as organizations and their clients.
Since clients usually click on links, the brand post must contain the information that highly motivates people to react or to click on it (De-Vries, Gensler, & Leeflang, 2012). A higher level of interactivity generates more comments and likes. As such, it increases the popularity of the brand and firm.
Time factor is another factor affecting the popularity of brand posts. Time factor means the day of the week the brand post is put on the brand fan page. According to De-Vries, Gensler and Leeflang (2012), people use the Internet more on weekdays than weekends. Therefore, during the weekdays, the brand post is likely to attract more traffic thereby increasing the popularity of the brand and the firm.
Type of comments or opinions of brand fans affect the popularity of brand posts. Comments are simply the views aired by brand fans about a brand post. It may be neutral, negative or positive (De-Vries, Gensler, & Leeflang, 2012). The positive comments increase brand value thereby enhancing the appeal of a brand post to many readers.
The popularity of the brand post increases the number of people who want to know more about the brand or buy products hence increasing company’s sales.
Social media effect on customer value equity and purchase intention. According to Kim and Ko (2012), value equity is the comprehensive evaluation of the brand utility by the end user, based on perceptions of the value derived from it. Value equity is influenced by social media in terms of convenience, price, and quality of the product.
Value equity influences directly brands and performance of firms by helping to build images that make clients identify that brand or company from others. It generates traffic as it increases brand awareness, company’s ethics and positive attitude toward the brand. This increases company’s sales leading to increased profits.
According to Kim and Ko (2012), purchase intention is the interest of consumers in certain product and the likelihood of purchasing that product. It is the attitude of consumers towards a certain brand.
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Purchase intention is influenced by social media and affects directly brands and performance of firms. In case the attitude of consumers towards certain brands is positive, then they are likely to buy the product leading to the increase in company’s sales and returns.
In conclusion, social media marketing is the best method of positioning company’s offerings today. Through social media, the company is able to generate traffic that can easily be converted into sales and eventual profits as long as brand posts are saleable.
De-Vries, L., Gensler, S., & Leeflang, P. (2012). Popularity of Brand Posts on Brand Fan Pages: An Investigation of the Effects of Social Media Marketing. Journal of Interactive marketing, 26, 83-91.
Kaplan, A., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53, 59—68.
Kim, A., & Ko, E. (2012). Do social media marketing activities enhance customer equity? An empirical study of luxury fashion brand. Journal of Business Research, 65, 1480–1486.