Introduction to Social Media: Social media is the platform the facilitates the communication through internet. Through social media one can conversate with others, share any kind of data or information. There exist various kinds of social media platforms. Social media services can be accessed through web-based technology. Users can create their sites, applications, blogs or YouTube channels to interact with public. This facilitates the interaction between users at large through a network. This platform can also be used for interaction at local level as well.
Growth of social media can be seen at rapid rate. There are around 112.3 million blogs over the various social media platforms and around 100 million videos are viewed on daily basis.
Various social media platforms are Facebook, WeChat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest and many more.
Social Media Marketing for Businesses: Social Media Marketing is to make use of various social media platforms so as to communicate and connect with the audience of the company. It is a way through which the businesses can reach out their customers. Using the social media platforms enables the company to build the brand image, increase its sales and increasing website traffic.
Brand Image: Brand image is basically the name of brand, through which the customers identify the products of different companies. It is basically the beliefs, impressions and ideas that a consumer presumes about the brand. Higher the brand image, better will be the status of company in industry. Brand image can be different for different customers. Some customers may like the products others may not.
Importance of Brand Image: Every company wants a strong brand image because, it leads to more profits to the company.
Company can introduce new products with same brand, and it may need less promotions because the brand already has the name among customers.
This will help to maintain good relationship with customers.
As it can be seen that various companies have the good brand image in industry like Coca Cola, Reebok, Adidas, Woodland and many more.
Impact of Social Media on Brand Image: In this era, media is not only confined to radios, televisions, newspapers etc. Social media is playing the great role in creating the brand image of the companies. This change in the business sector, has both positive and the negative impacts as well, that are discussed as follows:
- Disseminating information faster: Social media has reduced the headache of companies of waiting for the newspapers and magazines to advertise their products resulting in delay of communicating the information to customers. Now, businesses, can easily promote their newly launched products over the social media platforms like the entrepreneur can start his page on Instagram or Facebook in order to make customers aware about their products or else they can even launch their apps or start their websites.
- Instant understanding of needs: If the customer did not like any product of the company, he can instantly communicate his views regarding it to the company and hence, company will be getting the instant feedback of the customer. Customers can also ask for modifications that he wants in the product.
- Beat competition: As, all the information regarding any company and its products is present on the social media which will also include the strategies of company like- providing discounts or any other kind of offers. This information will help rival companies to know about what other brands are offering to their customers.
The graph below, further shows that how the social media impact the brand.
- Negative Information: All the information shown on the social media regarding the products may not be true. Misleading and fake information can be provided by the company in order to enhance the sale of the company. To illustrate it can be said that, any clothing brand may provide any wrong information about the material used in manufacturing. Customer may get attracted to the product and buy the product from their website, but ultimately when product reaches the customer it may not match the information provided by the company.
- Confidential Information: Social media is prone to risk. Just a click can ruin whole business, there is possibility that any company can accidently share any kind of confidential information on social media leading to fall down of business.
- Hacking: Hacking is the major issue prevalent over social platforms. Website of any company can be hacked by its competitors. This will again result to destroying the brand image in the market.
Industries benefitted by Social Media: Some of the industries where social is being used are discussed as follows:
- Entertainment: Social media plays important role in entertainment industry now a days. All the new released movies are promoted through social media. Various apps are being introduced for telecasting various shows and web series. Hotstar, Voot, Netflix these are some apps that are used in entertainment sector. These apps have shown the incredible growth in this sector.
- Real Estate: Brokers, Agents, Property Dealers all of them use social media for advertising their properties and making customers aware about them. Facebook is great platform for dealers for marketing the rental properties.
- Marketing: Video marketing is quickly spreading all over the businesses. 57 per cent marketers are accessing the social media and 72 per cent are trying to implement this concept in their business in future.
- Hospitality: Use of social media in this sector is at evolving stage. It can be seen various apps are introduced for online bookings of hotels. Online payments are encouraged at various restaurants and hotels.
- Fashion: Social media is widely used in fashion industry. Pinterest app is the example to illustrate the use of social media in Fashion industry. Designers can share new designs with customers within fraction of seconds.
Hence, the use of social media in various sectors is useful for both the customers and also the companies as the customers can keep themselves updated with the latest products of companies, on the other hand, companies can attract customers by advertising their products over the social media platform. This is helping the companies to generate revenue and create image in the market and also be in the competition.