The importance of the Internet since its very beginning is impossible to overestimate. Most of the people in the current generation take the Internet for granted. It gives people access to the daily happenings of different parts of the world. It also serves as a source of information and forms a platform for various means of communication. Internet access is not only for computers, desktops, and laptops. It has however been integrated into phones, allowing Internet connectivity regardless of one’s geographical location. Its integration into the devices used daily has enhanced the speed and convenience of communication. Since the incorporation of social media into our lives, it has become irreplaceable in our everyday routine, business, education (Nadaraja and Yazdanifard, n.d.)
The Social Media has simplified access to information about the current economic and political events happening in the society both locally and globally. In the 21st century, with just one tweet, the people get to know of every single happening. A single post reaches thousand retweets, and in just a minute the whole world gets any urgent news from any part of the globe. Furthermore, people can also access real-time news and updates with one hashtag – (Contact 2013).
Marketers have also advanced their skills to the level required to keep up with the current generation. Exploiting the Social Media is among the strategies implemented to ensure effective marketing that translates to increased sales. This paper reviews digital media, especially social media, and how to exploit it for successful marketing. The marketers of the Mercedes-Benz shall be formed basing on the case study with emphasis on the means they used to achieve success (Tsakas, n.d.).
Reasons for Using Social Media for Marketing
In the current age, social media is the quickest means of information exchange. It has a wide following given the current statistics regarding users of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn among others. A social forum arises where one can meet and communicate with prospective clients and marketers. Marketers, therefore, have a lot of ground to advertise their brand. Social media marketing appears to be preferable from the finance point of view, for example, online marketing is free making it more accessible as compared to offline. Social media bridges the gap of the age difference. Users tend to share the new things they come across with their friends increasing the potential target market this and other pros and cons of Social Media were described in those essays on social media.
Since it allows two-way communication, social media is favorable for marketing given that customers have a platform for feedback, and the marketers have a chance to respond. It also allows marketers to update customers about each new development and gives an opportunity for customer reviews as previously indicated. Finally, social media has been integrated into the day to day devices that people use, ensuring that marketers can reach customers regardless of their geographical location (Tsakas, n.d.)
Strategies Employed in Social Media Marketing
Offline campaigns aim at attracting customers to the physical store as active clients. The primary objective of online campaigns is to direct web users to a specified site. It is vital to distribute links to the website with the aim of linking potential clients. For customers to be sent to the corporation’s website, creating the website alone is not enough. Facebook pages, Twitter handles and Integra pages are all created with links to the primary site. These links, attract followers and redirect them to the company’s website as potential clients.
In Mercedes-Benz case, there was an individual page at www.mercedes-benz.com/sls-amg dedicated as the main marketing page. There were also three editions of an online magazine, which provided extensive information on the performance of this car. Also, the company launched a reporter’s blog at www.sls-amg-reporter.de, where car enthusiast Matthew K. posted reports, pictures and video clips of his travels. The campaign was also active on Twitter (http://twitter.com/slsamg) and a Facebook official fan page on the Facebook social media community at www.facebook.com/MercedesBenz. Though, there is even more fantastic channel – iPhone app called “SLS AMG,” which was meant to give the users an all angle real-time experience of the car (Tsakas, n.d.).
Measurable Success Factors
The social media marketing campaign finally increased 10% sales, according to the annual report of Mercedes-Benz (Tsakas, n.d.). The means used in conducting the campaign ensured this success. The factors below outline the basis of a successful social media campaign.
- Content quality
It is a fact that multiple followers on social media are not a sign of the popularity of the followed item or brand. In the past, marketing was done by ensuring that the adverts for their brands surrounded prospective clients everywhere. It has, however, evolved into a two-way means of communication. Marketers who make quality goods to solve problems for customers get positive reviews. These reviews serve as a confidence building factor to potential clients. The trust relationships that translate to increased sales, depending on the quality of the products marketed (Barutcu& Tomas, 2013).
The level of participation of marketers using social media campaigns is a vital factor determining its level of success. Involvement, in this sense, is the contribution in the questions asked about their products, contributing to discussions related to the same and also ensuring the presentation of new ideas that promote the brand. The amount of information to be released should be engaging to capture customer’s attention to passing the message (Barutcu& Tomas, 2013).
iii) Integration with other platforms
It is vital to ensure integration with other social media platforms for effective marketing. Each platform should be presented in its unique way so that the viewer has the chance to check the brand from a different perspective (Barutcu& Tomas, 2013).
Although social media began as an entertainment tool, it has quickly developed to a vital marketing tool. It is competitive, as contrasted with offline media marketing, in terms of fast audience reach, time advantage and with marketing costs. Costs incurred during distribution, such as in offline media are foregone since social media platforms are free to access. On social media, it is easy to classify and reach the target group. It is also easier to build relations with customers through feedbacks and FAQ’s which help both potential and present customers ensuring market stability.
To conclude, the total success depends on the quality of the adverts, the time the commercial take to follow up and interact customers, and finally the will to integrate multiple platforms for total success. It is important to combine offline and social media campaigns for optimal success rates. The success of the Mercedes-Benz case depended largely on social media though the marketers used offline media to gain social media followers.