Use of Social Networking Websites as Marketing Tool: A Study of Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
Change brings opportunities, and the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance. The firms have understood that the transformation of traditional media to the new internet-based social media has provided new directions through which marketing is being strategized. The new era customers are the same persons whom the firms used to target using traditional media like newspapers, television and billboards. Even the traditional media like newspapers are available online. It is much easier now for people to search for particular news as sifting through huge content has become much easier. In fact, nowadays almost all print media companies have created their presence on social networking sites. The only difference is that their behavior as ‘individuals’ and as ‘customers’ have changed because of their increasing presence on the new ‘virtual market spaces’ like social networking sites such as facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. These are the ‘places’ where they interact resulting in new expectations, new rules, new topics that drives them to be actively present on these platforms. To go ‘social’ is becoming a significant marketing tactic. Marketing through social networking sites is becoming a significant tool of engaging the customers into the interactions that revolve around a product, a brand, an organization or any person/activity. Social networking sites continue to grow in strength because they provide a platform to people to connect quickly with their society and with the choice of whom to connect, what to share, etc. On the other hand, these ‘connecting’ networks provide solutions to the businesses on how to market their brands and it is the ‘people who provide them solutions. Social networking sites offer the medium to the firms to learn about the preferences of their customers and also get feedback on whether and in what manner their products are viewed in the market. Social networking sites are providing the ways for the brand managers to connect with their audiences in a faster and economical way.