Social media has undoubtedly transformed the manner in which businesses conduct their marketing activities. People today have developed an inclination of spending more time on social media platforms performing activities such as; chatting with family and friends, viewing other people’ s profiles, and playing games, as opposed to meeting people physically. The changing dynamics taking place in social relationships have also redefined the regulations of relationship marketing. Based on the fact that marketing has the objective of providing information to the target market, social media has become a useful platform for attaining this objective.
Consequently, many organizations today have integrated social media marketing as part of their marketing communications plans. For contemporary businesses, social media has become their major web presence, surpassing their email programs and company web sites. Some of the most popular sites include social networking sites such as; Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedln, video sharing sites such as YouTube, Wiki-like Wikipedia, photo sharing sites such as Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram and News Aggregation sites such as Reddit and Digg. It can be stated that social media marketing has developed a niche within the business environment.
This paper seeks to provide a review of literature on the trends of marketing within social media. The scope of the paper will also be grounded in examining the existing debates on social media marketing. The concept of Social media marketing The concept of social media marketing is a relatively new field, nevertheless many have attempted to provide a definition for social media marketing (Barker et al, 2012). According to Barker et al, (2012) the most popular definition has been the notion that social media marketing involves the use of online communication, social networks, wiki, and blogs for the purposes of sales, public relations, consumer services, and marketing.
Neti, (2011) defines social media marketing as a term that is derived from the concept of ‘ social media’ . The term social media constitutes two words media, which generally refers to communication and advertising of information or ideas through channels/ publications. The second word social on the other hand refers to the interaction of people within a community or group. Social media marketing, therefore, refers to an effort to utilize social media in order to influence consumers that the services or products of one company are better than that of another company (Neti, 2011). Erdoğmuş and Ç iç ek, (2012) assert that social media marketing is basically different from the traditional approaches of marketing.
It, therefore, needs strategy building and attention. In most cases, social media marketing can be linked to relationship marketing whereby companies shift their efforts from trying to sell to make a connection with their clients. Social media marketing also implies that companies keep away from big campaigns and focus on small acts.
This is because as argued by Erdoğmuş and Ç iç ek, (2012) small campaigns on social media can actually reach a big number of people while attaining the intended objective in a short period of time. Erdoğmuş and Ç iç ek, (2012) also argue that marketing through the social media is more genuine in its approach of communicating to the customers essentially in trying to demonstrate what the brand is, as opposed to trying to control the image of the products as depicted by other types of marketing.
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