Social network sites (SNSs) provide a place for people to exchange information in networks and communities, which is constantly changing people’s lifestyle. Some sites attract users based on religious, racial, hobbies and sexual, while others based on diverse audience.In addition, users could connect with their favorite brands though social media platform and to grasp the newest trend of the brand. Marketers use social media platforms to promote and publicize their brand culture. To some extent, social media brings new opportunities and challenges for business.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing has become a popular way for brand promotion around the world; it not only can attract the attention of potential consumers, also can improve the visibility of the brand. To a certain extent, social media is an effective way to solve the crisis management. This is because the real-time social media is more efficient than the traditional media to reach target audiences and spread information. There is a lot of social media marketing case can share with you. It is worth mentioning that Nike did a successful social media marketing during the London Olympic Games in 2012. Nike is using guerrilla marketing strategies to attract people’s attention by conducting a series of social campaign and bought up billboards around the city, rather than the usual celebrity endorsements and celebrate the winning athletes in the campaign. As the result, according to Socialbakers’ CheerMeter there were more than16,100 tweets associating Nike during the Olympic games compared nearly 9300 for Adidas. Furthermore, Nike attracted more than 166,800 Facebook fans versus 80,770 for Adidas. At the same time, Nike achieves a 78% boost in engagement on its Facebook page compared to 60% for Adidas. According to personal experience, the diverse forms of social media marketing are the key success factors; companies can add pictures, video, audio, link to their official websites and get feedback in time, which may improve the customer satisfaction and increase page views.
However, it is difficult to manage the user generate content due to the lack of related laws to regulate the media supervision and to restrict minor registers. Consequently, the spread of pornographic violence can lead to rising crime rates, and this is the challenge for the social media networks in the future. Furthermore, today’s social media platforms are not limited to traditional online use. SNSs continues to take advantage of location-based services, timely dialogue function and mobile devices, which probably cause more privacy concerns. In fact, it will expose some personal information, such as home, location and contact information, which creates conditions to reconstruct the online user’s security password. Pew found that more than 60% of online teens have profiles, 44% of whom allow their profile is visible to all online users. Thus, social media websites should constantly strengthen the privacy legislation, so that users can undoubtedly enjoy using some services and they may leave themselves exposed to privacy issues. If well managed, these functions could create new opportunities for social media interactivity. However, if mismanagement and used inappropriately, the results could be a privacy security nightmare.
The challenges of Social Network Sites
There are many social networks constantly emerging like MySpace, QQ, Facebook and Bebo, these tools changed people’s lifestyle. Yet, we should always understand the challenges of the new media, because there are many difficulties to overcome. Importantly, it is difficult to monetize, why? This is due to the use case is totally different. Even the Google company expressed it is hard to realize the social media sites into economic value. Users are not searching for commercial reasons, but to communicate with each other and to express their views. Marketing data shows that as few as 5 in 10,000 people who view their ads on social media sites. Thus, advertising revenue is not significant. In addition, organizations, government agencies, individuals and companies are concerned about the time wasted in updating social media profiles and reduce the working efficiency. In some cases, companies use Firewalls to prohibit employees accessing into Facebook. Another challenge is that some users submit false information on their profile; therefore, marketing efforts cannot pinpoint potential customers.
Boyd, DM & Ellison, NB 2007, ‘Social network sites: definition, history, and scholarship’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol.13, no. 1, pp. 210-230.
Moth, D(2012), ‘10 of the best social media campaigns from 2012’, online available: http://econsultancy.com/au/blog/11244-10-of-the-best-social-media-campaigns-from-2012)