Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Explain how companies use popular social media channels for marketing
- Identify ways that companies can integrate social media into their marketing campaigns
- Describe the most popular social media channels used for business purposes
Module Reading and Resources
Textbook: Marketing: An Introduction, Chapter 14
This chapter will provide an overview of how companies use online, social, and mobile marketing.
Access this resource by going to the MyMarketingLab area under the course Table of Contents menu.
Presentation: Marketing Concept Glossary VI
Module-related marketing concepts and terms are presented. Visit the glossary for a quick review of the key terms from this week. You can also look up words in the glossary found along the left-hand navigation bar.
Assignment Calendar Module Six
Social media is still referred to as a new or untraditional marketing activity; however, it has not just exhibited staying power but significant growth. It has earned its place as an important and unavoidable piece of a marketing strategy. Many companies that cannot afford to advertise on national TV or to run expensive ads in glossy print magazines can have a “free” Facebook page, a Twitter account, or LinkedIn page.
Social media has brought new questions to companies and marketers alike. Some have to do with the growing pains of a new and instantaneous communications format:
- How should companies use social media?
- How is the return on investment (ROI) of a social media campaign determined?
- What about paid promotions on social media?
- Some questions are specific to the company:
- What sites are the right fit for the company?
- How much of an investment (time or money) should go into social media?
- Is the company prepared (e.g., with staff, time, and other resources) to respond to customers who reach out via social media?
- How does social media fit into the larger marketing strategy?
Similar to traditional advertising, social media needs to be informed by strategy. A company needs to evaluate what its marketing strategy is and what its objectives are. The company then needs to decide whether social media aligns with those objectives. Social media is dynamic, so it is not enough for a company to simply have a Facebook page or Instagram account. If those sites are not nurtured and updated, they can be more harmful to a company’s brand than if the company had no social media presence.
The list of social networking sites is growing; when examined in terms of usage and longevity, there are clear leaders (Table 6.1):
Table 6.1: Social Media Standings ( see attachment )
The module video, Social Media, provides examples of how companies use social media to present and communicate about their products.
Now, take a minute to review this week’s glossary.
Kaushik, N. M. (2014) Social media in 2014: Facts, figures and findings. Business 2 Community. Retrieved from http://www.business2community.com/infographics/social-media-2014-facts-figures-findings-01054299#tJlUVOA8O0oBuMIw.99
Complete the assignment as follows:
For your discussion post this week, select one of your favorite companies and research how it uses social media. In your post, identify the social media networks the company uses (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.) and discuss the marketing strategies used. Is the company a frequent poster? Does it run contests or giveaways? Identify at least one way the company could improve its strategies.
In your response to your classmates, compare how the company you chose uses social media with the ways your classmate’s chosen company uses social media. What strategies do they share? How are their strategies different?
For more information, view the following documents:
For your response posts (2), you must do the following:
- Reply to at least two different classmates outside of your own initial post thread.
- Demonstrate more depth and thought than simply stating that “I agree” or “You are wrong.” Guidance is provided for you in each discussion prompt.
classmates Post #1:
I have chosen the same company I used in my last discussion post, GoPro. I have been interested in this company since the release of their first camera, I own several of their cameras and follow them on all forms of social media that I am part of. GoPro makes action cameras, 3d cameras, 360 cameras and even tried to get into the drone market. GoPro has a Facebook following of over 10.7 million and post several times a day. Their Instagram has a following of over 15.7 million with almost 5k posts, in addition to their main account they have Instagram accounts for other countries like India, Brazil, Mexico and more. Their Twitter account has over 2.2 million followers and they post 1-2 times a day. Their YouTube channel has over 7.1 million subscribers with over 2.04 billion views. On their main YouTube channel, they have several playlists that include GoPro Awards, Staff picks, TV Commercials and several others separated by sport. Their YouTube is by far the one that they must spend the most time on, after all they are a company that started for the reason of sharing videos. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are where they announce most of their special deals and contests. I remember a few years ago they had a large contest called “everything we make daily give away”. All their social media accounts would link you back to their website where you made a quick entry into the contest then were sent back to their main sales site. I entered almost every day but never won. They also have contests where you can be showcased as their video or photo of the day. Their marketing strategy is user generated content, many of their videos and photos are from average users like myself. They also use sponsorship of professional racecar drivers, motorcyclists, skydiver and other extreme athletes to promote their hardware. They have a very thorough social media presence. It could be improved on by expanding their tutorial page on YouTube. They have a great camera tutorial page but expanding into their free editing software would help users create better videos and expend their presence within the channels and pages of users.
classmates Post #2:
One of my favorite companies is Target! Target is not solely based of selling a ton of product, but to produce customer loyalty and love for the brand itself. Target focuses on engaging their customers. One of the platforms that Target uses to promote their products in a friendly and less baring way is on Pinterest. They share various products through different themes and topics to get people talking about what they have to offer. I feel that Pinterest helps people who shop at target, get ideas on how to design and create.. which helps target sell more of their products in a way that is less “forceful”.
Target also has an online magazine called “A Bullseye View”. This magazine targets people who want to focus on building their own empires. The products this magazine promotes are ones that relate to someone’s fitness, recipes to cook in the house, and home improvement products. I believe that Target engages others by relating to people’s every day lives. The magazine also gives insight on behind the scenes events and partnerships that others may not know about if they do not view this online magazine. Along with the use of Pinterest and an online magazine, Target uses platforms like snapchat and even Vine. Vine is an interesting platform to use because it is a fun and creative challenge to promote something in about 6 seconds. One quick video can effect someone in a multitude of ways! (motivation, inspiration, etc) Lastly, Target executed influencer campaigns through the use of instagram. Many of these campaigns include different targets including small family vloggers, celebrities, and plus sized models. They use the use of their instagram famous dog too to reel consumers in! (Who doesn’t love animals??) Target promotes body positivity with certain hashtags and trends as well. I did not find anything on specific contests, so if I could give advice for target to improve their social media marketing, it would be to have a contest with a tropical island getaway. For example, buy something and post it to potentially win, or travel to multiple different locations and post them in a scavenger hunt type of contest (those are always fun and exciting!).