What the Pros Have to Say About it
Most if not all professionals agree that social media is the new age of Marketing. By researching many sites on Google Scholar, I have come up with two that state the benefits of marketing this way:
1. “Social media marketing allows commercial interests to communicate with potential consumers at a very personable and individual level on a mass-communication scale. Marketing in these channels allow for a message to be propagated at an exponential rate, with consumers themselves leading the way. At every step, data is generated that allow marketers to monitor trends, expand conversion opportunities, as well as effectively addressing actionable customer insights. At its very heart, social media marketing is direct audience involvement in the targeting of messages. Already, these efforts have proven to be very successful, albeit underdeveloped. With time and innovation, an entirely new marketing paradigm will immerge that interconnects consumers and producers to a degree never before seen. If accomplished ethically and logically, this paradigm represents a mutually-beneficial relationship that will revolutionize the way people do business.”
– N Hafele – labelynstudios.com
2. “The emergence of Internet-based socialmedia has made it possible for one person to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of other people about products and the companies that provide them. Thus, the impact of consumer-to-consumer communications has been greatly magnified in the marketplace. This article argues that socialmedia is a hybrid element of the promotion mix because in a traditional sense it enables companies to talk to their customers, while in a nontraditional sense it enables customers to talk directly to one another. The content, timing, and frequency of the socialmedia-based conversations occurring between consumers are outside managers’ direct control. This stands in contrast to the traditional integrated marketing communications paradigm whereby a high degree of control is present. Therefore, managers must learn to shape consumer discussions in a manner that is consistent with the organization’s mission and performance goals. Methods by which this can be accomplished are delineated herein. They include providing consumers with networking platforms, and using blogs, socialmedia tools, and promotional tools to engage customers.”
-Mangold, Glynn. “Socialmedia: The New Hybrid Element of the Promotion Mix.” Business Horizons. 4th ed. Vol. 52. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.
As you can see, social media is not just a “college kids posting stupid stuff” site, it is much more than that. Professionals tend to be in agreement, that if done correctly, social media marketing can cause sales to increase dramatically, widen the customer base and develop brand loyalty.