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With the changing times, it has become imperative for every company to have a presence on the Internet. Whether it is a small or medium enterprise or a large corporate every brand has a Facebook and twitter page. One of the biggest benefits of social media is that it enables everyone from the small business owner to the corporate executive to the convenience store clerk to make themselves heard. Everybody has the power to express their views and influence their consumers directly. One of the most powerful things about social media in particular is that it allows an organization to establish a direct discourse with its customers. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn. There are so many options available, but the question is which among these give maximum ROI and ensure more footfalls.
This was the big debate we had in our Marketing class last week. Our professor Bill Belew, the king of social media strongly argued that blogging is the most effective form of social media, while most of us felt that a strong social media strategy has to include various forms of social media. Just blogging is not enough. With Facebook becoming the most popular networking forum everybody has a Facebook account. It’s more like having a state ID. Also, unlike some other forms of social media, which are more serious Facebook is fun. Most people make it a point to log on to their Facebook accounts at least once a day while they search for a blog only when they are looking for something in particular. If I had to market my venture, I would definitely not miss out on this powerful social forum. This social media slowly nudges users in the direction of our premium content without seeming too pushy. It creates an interest for a product/service among users who are probably not even considering buying the product at that time.
An example of a good Facebook strategy is that of Vamplets. It is a small business based in Florida that makes baby vampire dolls. They introduced Facebook ads as a new channel for driving revenue. Despite a fairly small Facebook ad budget of $250 per month, they’re generating an additional $1,000 in revenue, directly tracked to the ads themselves. This gives them a ROI of 300% and proves how cost-effective Facebook ads can be, particularly when you’re going out to a more unique or targeted audience. This brand is trying to leverage the benefits of all these forms of social media. I was just going through their blog. Just like we have been taught in our class, they update their blogs regularly with relevant content, pictures with captions, nice articles of 250 words or more. But another interesting thing that I noticed in their latest post was that they were promoting their Facebook page through the blog post. In this post titled Nibble, Nibble, Nibble vamplets was giving users a chance to win a free rabbit by visiting their Facebook page and liking the current post.
Again, they were trying to direct all traffic towards their Facebook page and create more likes. So that, all these people who like their page can get updates, messages on the product. The number of followers that Vamplets has on twitter is just 703 vis-a-vis 97,207 likes on Facebook. There is something on Facebook which is definitely working for this company. As a consumer myself, I realize that every brand has a Facebook page, but I do not go and like all the pages. I only go and like pages of the brands I love to purchase or products that interests me because I would like to know about all the latest offers that the company is offering. I am sure if not all at least 97,000 likes are by consumers who are either interested in the product or are interested in winning the freebies.
On the other hand, I think blog is something we chance upon if we do not know about the company. If one is generally reading up on something or searching for a particular product they might chance upon a blog of the product. Like other forms of social media a blog directs new users to the product too, but as seen above, Facebook is a medium through which current and prospective consumers can maintain a direct touch with their favorite products.
Similar to Vamplets, if used simultaneously, blogging along with other forms of social media can create bombastic results for any company. While Facebook can catch a young, social audience, linked in targets the more evolved working class. While most of us like reading there might be others who are not interested in reading at all. Just blogging can isolate this entire group of people. I think a good social media strategy has to include the popular forms of social media. It cannot afford to isolate one group of individuals if they fit into the target audience.
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