Clients are the biggest asset of social networking sites, thus, efforts should be made not only to acquire new ones, but also to maintain the existing ones by ensuring client satisfaction. Social networking sites ensure that their users stay on board by reassuring them that they are in the best site that is capable of connecting them with people across the world faster than any other site (Grewal & Levy, 2011). They also achieve this feat by attracting companies from whose profile pages consumers get information concerning products, upcoming events, and promotions. This in turn attracts users leading to heightened popularity of the social networking sites.
Human beings are social in every aspect and always want to connect with others. However, the number of people one can interact with directly is always limited to space, time, and finances. Therefore, social networking sites give people the ability to connect with others across the globe. Their users are able to meet new friends and connect with old ones, thus, they can build a huge circle of virtual friends just by the click of a button (Grewal & Levy, 2011). The gratification that ensues is overwhelming. A major challenge is, however, how to attract friends or build strong fan bases in social networking sites. Evidence suggests that this ability is determined by popularity since individuals that are more popular tend to have more fans than their less popular counterparts (Grewal & Levy, 2011). For example, President Barack Obama and actor Vin Diesel have some of the most popular fan pages in Facebook (Grewal & Levy, 2011).
Companies for their part, use several points of appeal to attract people and retain them in their fan pages. They often use display advertising where a niche market is targeted based on the profile information, browsing history, and other factors related to the tastes and preferences of the niche. This approach creates awareness about the existence of the companies and arouses curiosity. Secondly, companies develop profile pages where they post information regarding products, event news, and promotions. Since these pages are only accessible by their fans, they in turn invite their friends to get onboard. As a result, the advertisement campaigns often turn viral, thus, reaching a huge number of people (Grewal & Levy, 2011).
This trend is motivated by the idea that a satisfied customer not only makes repeat purchases, but also spreads the news about the product or service. Additionally, the continual interaction between companies and their fans sprouts a lasting relationship that facilitates the retention of fans. The direct link between fans and their companies of choice enables them to post their post-purchase feedback and the adjustments they desire. Lastly, companies run contests and promotions on their fan pages and reward the winners. Such events also facilitate client attraction and retention in the social network sites. Therefore, while individuals attract fans based on their popularity, companies do the same through advertisements, frequent updates on product development, and promotions.
To evaluate the value of the social network site advertisements, there is a need to investigate the level of interaction between fans and companies on their fan pages. Frequent interactions imply that the adverts are recognized and clients are in need of additional information. Further evaluation can be done by comparing the sales reports before and after the social network advertisement campaigns. Should the volume of sales after the campaign be higher than before it, then it can be inferred that the campaign was effective. A SWOT analysis coupled with a MOST analysis can be extremely effective in evaluating social network advertisements.
The former would outline the achievements of the advertisement campaigns, what should be improved, the untapped opportunities and the challenges hampering the achievement of the set objectives while the latter would help to relate the mission and the objectives of the campaign with the strategies and tactics to that were used run it. If social network advertising enables a company to achieve its goals, then it can be deemed effective.
Grewal, D., & Levy, M. (2011). Marketing (3rd ed). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Web.