Social Media: The challenges and opportunities
Social media is a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content (Kaplan, 2010). It helps sellers to build strong interactive platforms in the web space and to open the new opportunities for selling their products all over the world. Frankly, internet space has no borders. In the modern society, this is the best way to promote products and to capture a wide variety of the audience without any geographical restrictions.
The principle of social media is its acceptance by the people with the use of mobile devices and we-based machines. Any kind of information can be in the network, so that anytime users are looking for information in the internet they meet with advertising that proposes different options of products.
Social media is the best way to create interactions between organizations and individuals. According to Nielsen, internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than with any other type of site. At the same time, the total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PC and mobile devices increased by 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 88 billion minutes in July 2011 (Nielsen, 2012).
With the development of the internet and penetrating into informational era, we observe that this source of interaction captures all spheres of lives of people. This type of media differs greatly from the traditional ones, due to its reach, easiness of use, frequency, informative character, and permanence.
For social media plan to be effective I determined some of the issues to be applied: determination of goals and objectives, conducting more broad researches, creating a digital data of contacts and content, joining the conversation to develop relationships, strengthening relationships, measuring results, analyzing, adapting, and improving.
1. Our goal is to capture the wide variety of customers all over the world. These goals and objectives are the basis for our plan. We have to decide what amount of books we want to sell, what regions will be easy to send the books in, and what services we will use in order to deliver the books to people in the short period.
2. On the stage of research, we have to create the list of the audience, who will be the customers; or, in other words, to define our target market. We should first differentiate the audience and decide where to place information regarding our product. We should search in the internet and decide where we want to place our information in order to get the best CTR. We should decide how many people we should hire in order to lead the blog and to update information on the site on the regular basis.
The books are rare and exotic and due to the 20 years of experience, we are aware of the audience of readers. So we are to place information in the online libraries and the sites of the universities. Some of the proposed sites are the following: http://www.amazon.com, http://www.archive.org, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, http://www.nybooks.com/.
It is important to be aware of the other companies that propose relevant products. This is important in order to make a decision what should we do in order to create something new and interesting. This kind of research should take place on all stages of existence of the company.
3. We should create full data of contacts. When we create the stable platform for the product, we are to create the stable database that will be our first step for building of the wide network of contacts. Besides, on the sites we will place the form of registration for those, who want to receive information as for the new periodicals and books that we will place for sale. By means of such registration, we will collect the database of the people, who are interested in collaborating with our business.
We will place the system of discounts and bonuses for those, who will promote our resource in the internet among the friends. This will be conducted by means of creating of the corresponding groups in the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Blogs, Yelp, YouTube etc. People will obtain various bonuses after promoting the information about the books to their friends.
4. When all the research is correctly performed this is time to start doing things. We should register in the different groups with the similar interests, ask questions in various blogs, and find out the spheres, where it will be very useful to propose the products. It is important to know the point of view of every user. You never know, who will become your customer and maybe your good partner, in creating stable contacts in the internet.
5. Another step towards the successful development of the business is strengthening of relationships with the new consumers. Advertising in the internet is a very powerful tool for successful business; however, you should not forget to visit specialized exhibitions in order to obtain the new clients and partners by means of life contacts. Life contact with the support of the internet ads creates ties that are more powerful, because people see you and understand what kind of person you are. Besides, these events will create a great image of your company, due to such events the consumers and opponents will have information about your desire to develop your company and find fresh ideas in your sphere.
It is very important for the customer to understand who you really are and what you propose. You should pay attention to the information at YouTube. This is a great resource for customers, if they try to collect the full picture of your company. Besides, nowadays most of the companies create the videos about them and even put them on their web-sites, if it will not hinder the work of the site. The alternative to the video (if you have no opportunity to create the video in a good quality) is to create a slide show in Power Point. Remember, all information in the internet is the face of your company. It is not a big deal that people do not know you personally if they are able to from their opinion based on the information they have found. So, please, create your advertisement in a perfect quality. Join different communities that have the same specifics as yours. You can search in the internet and find them; the most famous are Tumbir, Pinterest, and Google Plus. You should place your information on the sites that your potential customers may visit. It is a big mistake to lose your time and efforts for placing ads at the sites that are not visited by your audience.
6. When the system of the social media is built in a right way, some time after the implementation has to pass; after that you are to measure all pros and cons of the system. At this stage, you are to take into account the following criteria: brand presence across social channels, assessment of the difference between positive and negative sentiment about your brand, developed relationships for future partnership opportunities, and traffic within your website. Of course, there will be some problems that will be connected with the implementation of the new social program for the first time.
The presence of the brand in the social channels is measured according to the number of followers and fans in the social networks. Another criterion of success is a high amount of times the brand is mentioned in the different articles, blogs, and forums throughout the World Wide Web. If the number of positive sentiments is higher than that of the negative ones, then it can be concluded that the brand is successful.
Very important on this stage is to keep all the contacts that you have collected before. You should keep in your data all the contacts of all people, who you have ever met in your professional life. It does not matter whether you met the person in the seminar or he had been interested in your product at some point of time; you should understand that today he is just interested, and tomorrow he will be your client or partner. You should always research your social media resources and make conclusions that will help you to improve your resources in future.
7. The most important and the final level of our plan is to analyze, adapt, and improve repeatedly. You should always be in trend and be aware of all the new ways of promotion in the internet, investigate and analyze the forces that you gave to the product and the outcomes that you have received. Improving and moving forward is the best way to reach success in your business.
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