Social media has in the contemporary society taken the business platform like a storm. Many companies have been using the social media sites to make known their products to the public. Through these sites, companies have been able to reach out to many potential clients, and advertise their products to the public. Through the social media, a company/organisation is able to create, share as well as exchange information and ideas through virtue networks.
By definition, social media can be defined as a range of Internet based applications that rely on the technological and ideological platforms of the web to create a user generated content (Wilson 12). The social media also relies on mobile technologies to generate an interactive platform through which individuals can share, co-create, modify, or discuss contents that have been engendered (Kurtz 21). In relation to the traditional means of communication, the social media differs from them in that it provides quality communication, it is flexible, able to reach many people, can deliver message fast, and is user defined. New Nordic company being a natural supplement company can take advantage of the prevailing green and natural awareness campaigns to market its product. There has been an urge by various stakeholders to embark on the natural supplement programs since they are healthy and have minimal toxicity. Therefore, informing the public, especially through the social media platforms can help greatly improve the public knowhow of the product including its sales. This does not mean that there are no disadvantages of using the social platforms, but by using the social media, a large population can be served both locally and internationally. This report will therefore address the various social media platforms, but put emphasis on the three top most platforms that New Nordic Canada can employ to promote awareness of its product.
There are many social media sites/platforms that can be used to pass organisation’s business products to the end users. Different social platforms serve different purposes. Being able to derive the best that the company can produce and deliver requires a careful evaluation of the available Medias to deduce the benefits and demerits of each in relation to the business. Despite the demerit of any given site, of importance to consider is the frequency of the users visiting the social platform. Some of these platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn among others (Lipschultz and Jeremy 70).
Facebook platform is owned by Facebook Inc. and was established and became operational in 2004. It currently has active users in excess of one billion people (Smith and Tom 71). The users are able to create personal profiles after which they can add their friends to their profiles. To access the site, one must register or log in. It is open to all people since age lying allows even the minors to access it. Despite this fact, the recommended age to use the site as per the company policy is 13years. The presence of Facebook has a holistic impact in the lives of individuals. To the media, it allows them to run their application via Facebook. Socially, it helps people to share information and keep in touch wherever they are. This can be a good platform to communicate globally. In terms of health, it can be used to educate the peers on the dangers associated with the consumption of drugs and alcohol. It can also be used to change the consumption capability of the fans through lobbying. Politically, it can be used to know the position taken by various demographics. This is therefore vital to any organization, including New Nordic Company as many people can be reached effectively
Unlike Facebook, which do not limit the amount of words read and sent, Twitter allows one to broadcast only a 140 words text, usually called tweets by users. To the registered users, they can send and receive posts while the non-registered only have the options of reading such posts. Statistics shows that its users are in excess of 100 million users (Smith and Tom 72). One advantage of this platform is that it can reach to the entire world in real time basis. At the same time, allowing people to like the product through this platform can track comments made by the end users and use them to make better products. Its frequency usage shows an increasing trend as indicated by appendix 1.
This platform is business oriented and is used mainly for professional networking. 2013 survey indicated that since its inception in2002, it had acquired over 20 million users. This platform allows the users to create connections and profiles in a real world professional relationship format. Using this platform can help in the introduction of a user to another one (referencing), and in this, one can find investment/promotion opportunity using the platform in other companies. It provides enhanced applications that secure its products from hackers.
One of the advantages of the social media sites is that they allow an interactive avenue to be created between the business and the end user, thereby suggesting possible improvements on the product or their views on the product. This is important as it can help the business owners to be able to device /improve on the product to suit the recommendations of the social site users. The recommendations can also be used by the business to make decision on the products.
In situations where the company has a web page where the clients and customers can comment, it is more likely that if the products is liked by many user, or the comments by the repeat users is positive, the company is likely to rank high in terms of reputation and integrity. This means that with much following of a product through the social media sites, the company will be able to tap in new segment of customers who will like to taste the products and have the experience as indicated by the followers. This however may act against the company could it compromise on the quality or if the product does not meet the specifications of the followers who in turn will write negative things about the product.
Most of the social sites, including Facebook, OLX, and Twitter do not have a subscription fee nor are they paid for. This therefore makes it a good place for organizations to showcase products. Without advertisement costs, a company can be able to display the products available freely to the end users. The low cost therefore acts as an advantage to the business as compared to the traditional advertising, promotion, and marketing methods. This therefore increases the business return on investment.
Researches that have been done in the past indicate that though the young people are the most users of the social sites, the average age of Facebook users is approximately 38 years while that of the Twitter being 39 years. This being the case, the social sites serve an important virtual link to meet majority of users of a company’s product, who actually use and are capable of buying the product. At the same time, a company can add the “buy now” button on the media sites, thus making easier for the company to cut down on manpower as well as the operational Costs.
Social media has created a new avenue in terms of how people interact. This being the case, people spend more than a quarter of their productive time online in communication activities, including charting, social networks or emails among others. This time on these sites equals the leisure time spent, and this makes the social sites the most pervasive and popular internet destination. This has affected the way people communicate online as it has changed the behaviour in terms of communication. This being the case then, people, as a result of the interaction, share the new products ideas. New Nordic Canada in this case could benefit greatly with this interactivity since people from across the globe could share ideas and the positive impact of the product. Feedback from some few customers can be put on the site to help those who have not tried the product to have the zeal of trying. This interaction could improve the product familiarization within the various social cycles. At the same time, it could be strategically placed on the sites such that as one chats, pop ups reminding the potential clients of the importance of the product, and the need to try one. It therefore follows that the large pool of people chatting over the social sites would engage each other as they debate on the importance or drawbacks of the product. This would help promote the product to a global front and may trigger increased sales from the company.
Unlike other forms of marketing which are capital intensive, social media platforms are cheap in that they are easy to create, access as well as easy to obtain post information. Creating awareness using the traditional marketing method of posters, TV ads, and radio streaming may cost millions to get the message across the board, especially where international advertising is required. New Nordic Canada, in this could use this amount to improve on the product, or cater for other needs related to the products. It may also employ the services of other internet sites that are not social related to put “pop ups”. The social media has the competency of getting to multiple numbers of users faster and conveniently. One can also adjust, change, or implement the information contained on the social; media. This can be done with immediacy, unlike other traditional means that requires a protocol to be followed. The organization could therefore benefit from increased market reach.
Though the online environment has many benefits for both the user and client, it also has implications and challenges. Its availability and visibility to all users’ calls for consistency in its planning, designing, implementation as well as control. Some of these advantages are highlighted below.
The social media platforms act as a marketing and advertising tool, where the consumer can create a positive or a negative picture of the product. This being the case, the product may receive wither of the comment. Assuming that it receives a negative feedback, this may be an opportunity for the company to change the features or the promotion means of the product. At the same time, encouraging the users to be real in their comment may to a great extent help in maintaining a positive image of the product. It would also be important for the company to use strategies including “money back guarantee” if the product does not meet the indicated specification. This would make the unhappy customer advertise the company as a “caring one, due to the experience that they would receive. To the extreme, if the customers or the competitors are tarnishing the company’s name, extreme measures including selective filtering could be used to check the content being loaded on the site. This may take some times but may be helpful in reducing the number of persons complaining. This therefore calls for the management of the social media sites efficiently in order to respond and neutralize the effect of negative publicity.
This refers to the ability of the user to share information, opinions as well as thoughts through the internet. This brings in new forms of content, new communication and new collaborations. The ability of a user to make photos, videos and other materials and then sharing them on the social platforms may in certain situations tarnish the mane of the company. This can be true especially when one user makes viral of a photo or a video of the company’s product in a negative way. Employing another perspective, the company may target a particular person or a group of individuals since having such king of approach instils a high degree of credibility in the user’s perception. This being the case, having user-generated materials may lead to legal actions against the company by a person who is included in the video or photo. The New Nordic Canada company in regard to this drawback brought in by the generation of user generated content can take up measures to minimise the risks involved including using their employees, asking for permission prior to involving unknowing people in their marketing ads and promotions.
The social media is an open platform that is free and open to anyone who would like to engage in social conversations. This being the case, it can lead to the infringement of trust, data security privacy concerns of the customers and the company. Trust enables the satisfied clients to be loyal to the company. The fear of many customers that their credit card details will be leaked to the public, hacked, fraud has led to multiple potential customers losing trust on online buying, thus shying away from such sites. Though the social media sites have their own privacy policies that govern how consumer data is used, security issues and privacy concerns may emerge now and then. The New Nordic Canada can try and embrace practices that may not led to the violation of the social media policies, since such policies are designed to ensure that the privacy as well as the security issues of the clients have been addressed. Enhancing such measures would increase the customer/end-users confidence level, thus increasing their trust.
Without the verification of the real identity of the person on the social platform is disadvantageous to the company, since it could be targeting the wrong person. Many people using the social media sites including Facebook and twitter often lie about their ages, place of stay, gender among other aspects. This in turn would be problematic if the company focused on a given population using the social media platforms if they lied on basic facts. The contemporary products are made with the end user in mind and this being the case, misrepresentation may affect the company in a negative way. This being the case, to overcome the disadvantages associated with fake profiling, the members of the company in the marketing and advertising department can be given the role of doing a survey on the consumer preferences of the product. This would give a better, more accurate information of the clients gender, age, resident, which are vital in the promotion and designing of product.
According to Duggan and Joanna, the demographics of social media users in 2012, indicated that young adults were more likely to use the major social media sites (2). In particular, of the interviewed population, 67% of them indicated that the used Facebook, 16% used twitter while 15 and 13% used Pinterest and Instagram respectively (2). From the study, more women preferred to use the Facebook to communicate with peers, friends, and families (2), with the black non-Hispanic taking the lion share of usage. Twitter which had 16% usage had more men than women using it with black non-Hispanic taking 26% usage rate while the white, non-Hispanic taking 14% (3). Age wise, the group range between 18 and 29 years here he most users followed closely by 30 to 49 years. All in all, Facebook remains to be the most dominant social network, that majority of users check in daily for updates (Duggan and Aaron 1). In the same investigation, Duggan and Aaron indicated that social media users had multiple social networking platforms that they used to access within the day (2). This being the case, placing products on the social media sites can be very beneficial in that majority of the potential population do access the sites and upon seeing the “pop ups” may desire to look at the product, thus promoting the product. In terms of frequency, Facebook users followed by Instagram users visits the social sites frequently (5). Though the statistics shows some variation between 2012 and 2013, there is a general view that there is an increasing trend on the usage of the social medial sites by people of all ages. This being the case, business should decide on the best media to use or a variety of platforms that categorizes the whole population.
Social media has played a key role in business expansion. In particular, it has been fundamental in expanding the business agenda through advertisement. This being the case, when properly articulated can function towards the good of the company when promoting its products. New Nordic Canada can take advantage of the large population using the social media sites and place its product for sale. The advantages that could be deduced from using the social media site includes real time reach, wider reach, cost effective and wholesome approach. The disadvantages that include privacy and security issues, fake profiling, user generated content, and negative publicity could be overcome if the organisation too corrective measures to address the issues. Therefore, large global companies have been using social media as a tool of creating awareness and it could be advisable for New Nordic Company to engage the social media as quicker feedbacks can be generated, thereby giving the company an opportunity to improve.
Duggan, Maeve, and Aaron Smith. “Social media update 2013.” Pew Internet and American Life Project (2013).
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