Evolution of Marketing: Use of Social Networks to Promote Events

Introduction

The control and focus of marketing have been changed by the changes that have taken place in the market and new approaches of marketing are starting to replace the traditional approaches by shifting the focus from the company towards consumers. In this regard, many new methods have come up; one of such is viral marketing, which will be discussed in this paper as it plays a vital part in marketing through social networking sites. There are different ways in which benefits may be derived by this method and for employing it in the best manner for marketing purposes including social media.

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This paper also sheds light on the social media, which is actually just all about being humans and its underlying need of socializing. Since the early days, the social networking sites have made great progress; there are now special sites available for different audiences like professionals, youngsters, teenagers. Through social network sites people can make their own web pages and later connect them with friends for sharing the contents and communicating with others. Social networking sites provide a reach platform for those who want to attract audience for their business like politicians, spammers and marketers. The paper specifically discusses Facebook, one of the most well-known sites of social networking and its different aspects.

Literature Review

Traditional Marketing versus Social Media

The whole theme of marketing is to attract customers, which are indeed a precious asset for a company, even though it may be costly to get hold of them and then keep them. Every customer has a different relationship with the company and this variation is evident in the offerings which they make to the company for as long as they are associated with it. Each different method that is adapted to acquire a customer attracts a certain type of customer and therefore this process of acquiring customers has a vital effect in terms of the profit that a company earns through the customers, whether, its long term or short term. In order to expand a business, it is important to attract customers through different means, and this is where the various marketing methods come in, like broadcasting through media or conveying messages or news about a new product through direct mail or through unstructured referrals occurring among the customers themselves called word-of-mouth. Each customer who is obtained through a certain channel is anticipated to produce different value for the company Therefore, the marketing method which is used is very important in this context. Traditionally, the method through which companies used to acquire their customers were either through expensive investments in marketing or depending upon the natural and cheaper method of word-of-mouth but now many news means of marketing have come up with the advent of the internet. (Villanueva et al., 48-49, 2008).

The control and focus of marketing have been changed by the changes that have taken place in the market and new approaches of marketing are starting to replace the traditional approaches by shifting the focus from the company towards consumers. In this regard, many new methods have come up; one of such is viral marketing, which will be discussed in this paper as it plays a vital part in marketing through social networking sites. It is a strategy that persuades individuals to transfer to others a certain marketing message; as a result of this strategy, a possibility of rapid growth in terms of the revelation and effect of the message is created. This strategy may be employed as a long-term strategic tool by businesses in order to build their brands by taking the benefit of brisk growth for exploding the message to a large number of people (Wilson, 2000).

Social media

Among the new modes of marketing, a great wave has been created by the internet which is used daily for making purchasing decisions by many of its users,this is a trend that was not present in the last decade. With the advent of the internet, many changes have taken place with respect to marketing. Internet has fuelled and supported the process of globalization and as result companies have to follow their customers even across the seven seas at times. This is a benefit that was not previously available to companies and they were limited to the geographic regions of their operations. But with an advent of technology, media has exploded and traditional means of marketing have been amplified by nontraditional means, like viral marketing or virtual community marketing online (Drumwright & Murphy, 89, 2009).One such way is the social media which is not only new but differs completely from the traditional methods. Marketing through social media is a process in which social media channels are used for promoting a business. As a result of social media, the boundaries between interactive marketing, public relations, sales and customer service are no longer distinct but instead have been blurred. Social media is used for generation of large numbers of impressions by means of display and also as a part of campaigns. Where social media has blurred the distinct boundaries which were previously present in the marketing sector, the best social media campaigns enhance the experience of users in a certain way and leave them with a positive association for the brand. Social media tools allow a brand to connect directly with its target market thus mixing marketing with online PR, which was not possible in the last decades. Brands which are willing to participate in the social media are required to listen more and talk less- unlike the traditional marketing tools (NMA, 34, 2009).

Research shows that forty-three percent of marketers in Europe used social media over a period of last 12 months. Starbucks and Apple brands have capitalized on Netlog, and used it for creating profile pages that can be joined by users who are fans of the brands, thus targeting the community of the Eastern European. The social media site ‘Facebook’ is trying to make it easier for brands to advertise across the world by providing self-service platforms which permit companies to buy ad space in a local market and employ targeting tools for reaching the right audience. (NMA2, 30, 2009)

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Viral marketing is another strategy that is used for marketing their products online by various companies. Through viral marketing messages can be spread rapidly among the target audience by various means like e-mails. Viral marketing is based on the concept of word of mouth marketing or WOM, where WOM communications may be defined as “informal communications directed at other consumers about the ownership, usage, or characteristics of particular goods and services and/or their sellers”. The word mouth marketing exploits the use of interpersonal impact among people, which has enough evidence to prove that it affects people when they chose alternatives in various circumstances (Matos & Rossi, 578, 2008).

The benefits of new means of marketing

So, it is observable that viral marketing and Facebook are those internet tools that are very different from those used in traditional marketing. Their greatest benefit over the traditional approaches is that they enable marketers to reach a large segment of the right target market at relatively lower cost than traditional means of marketing. Here arises the aspect of the target market which is different in both cases, justifying the difference in approach. The target market for viral marketing and Facebook is the youth, majority of the visitors and users of such marketing messages and sources is the younger generation including teenagers, students from high school and college, and young professionals in their 20s, though some of the older generations are also using this medium (Anderson, 114-115, 2008). This implicates that the these new modes of marketing are targeted at and are more suitable for the younger generation who spend more time online whereas the traditional marketing modes are more suitable for the older generation who have more exposure to the old marketing channels like TV, Radio, Newspapers etc.

Introduction to Viral marketing

The word ‘Viral marketing’ was at first introduced by Steve Jurvetson, who was a venture capitalist, in a newsletter, named “network-enhanced word-of-mouth”. This word may have negative implications but is actually a positive concept. Viral marketing suggests that messages have the ability to quickly spread from one consumer to another, as a result of which, acceptance develops on a large magnitude in the market. Viral marketing may be described as an approach that motivates a person to transfer a marketing message to another person, consequently, resulting in a tendency for exposing the message and its impact at a fast rate. In an environment of viral marketing, the speed with which communication takes place is similar to a web and hence, a large number of viral campaigns are meant for encouraging word-of-mouth by employing internet as a tool where a single individual “infects” various others with an offer, which is then passed on to friends and eventually to the whole virtual neighborhood. Viral campaigns rely on their sources for passing on the message like e-mail accounts, bandwidth and network of friends (Datta et al., 79, 2005).

Viral marketing is strongly associated with the fact that a satisfied customer informs at least three people on average about a preferred product or service but informs eleven people about a disliked product, therefore, this strategy has to be carefully planned and carried out to derive the benefits (Anderson, 114-115, 2008).

The fundamental nature of marketing on a multiple levels is capitalized upon in viral marketing and is then applied to all customers, as a result of which all customers turn into a salesman for a company’s product. It may be said that viral marketing is based on Metcalfe’s law, according to which, ‘the utility of a network is proportional to the square of numbers of users. This means that the greater the number of people joining in a network of viral message,the greater is the number of cross-network connections that are created quadratically. Thus, it can be said that viral marketing is another synonym or catchphrase, for a pre-existing concept known as word-of-mouth (WOM). The vital differences between both are in terms of the medium employed and the potential for increase in growth (Datta et al., 69, 2005). What is to be noted, however, is that the viral marketing is dependant upon a larger network of people; if the target of the message is a class of people who are not much into social intermingling, then, the message may be lost after reaching a few people.

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Viral marketing may be used as a means of can penetrating the market without incurring high costs on media. This means that the marketing costs for a company are much less as compared to the obtained benefits of this method. According to a survey by Jupiter Research, promotion through viral marketing is done by 80% of online companies, another study by Sharpe Partners showed that almost nine of ten adult U.S. users of the web use e-mail for sharing content with others and almost 81% of the recipients of viral messages forward them to at least one other person (Perlstein, 2007).

The uses of viral marketing

Viral marketing depends upon the strength of interpersonal ties which is a product of the emotions, time, intimacy and reciprocity in the relationship. Even though these elements are not dependant on each other, they do have a strong intra link among each other. In order to spread a specific message, the message should be aimed at people whose networks are not connected with each other, as such a case, results in the message being transferred to some people many times (Granovetter, 1360-1380, 1973).

Keeping this in view, the recipients of viral marketing should be greatly dispersed and for this, viral marketing makes use of a number of things like free products, websites, e-mail services, classified advertising, links and banners. For instance, one of the most effective ways of marketing a website or products is a free viral ebook; this is an efficient means of reaching a diverse network of people since freebies are always loved by people. It works by allowing people to download the free ebook from a website and providing them with valuable information which is present within, but it is important to make sure that the contents of ebook appeal to the target market. The most useful aspect of viral marketing is that a company has the complete option to choose at its discrete whichever method it finds suitable for its need. In terms of advertising, there are great benefits at low cost of using viral marketing and with its easy-to-use setup, the results are often amazing (Markle, 2003).

Benefits and contradictions

It is said by E-commerce experts viral marketing is a great method of creating online buzz for upcoming products and services. A general consensus among the experts is that viral marketing has to be targeted at the right audience otherwise it carries with it a great risk of missing out on the right customers.

A great concern for companies when giving special e-mails or free products through Internet to potential customers is of identifying the opinion leaders among the consumers and the platform of their online congregation. It is vital to direct attention towards the opinion leaders since the trust issue is involved; with the presence of numerous marketing e-mails, most of the advertising messages are just meant for creating hype and exaggerated claims, due to this reason it is simpler for people to have confidence in a message that is coming from an acquaintance or a person whose views are appreciated (Hirsh, 2001).

After identification of the target market has been made, efforts have to be made in order to make the message persuasive. The message has to be an intriguing one in order to attract the target market and to make sure that word is spread from the audience to others; the experience of the audience has to be a nice one. An inappropriate viral marketing can cause damage and works to the disadvantage of the business (Hirsh, 2001).

Companies can use viral marketing to assist them in building programs for personalization and devotion and for those products which call upon a passion. The buzz is created from the choice of using the right Web site, marketing the right product through the right means and from the right kind of conveyed information. What viral marketing should do is employ rich media that has a high probability of success, as recipients are entertained and encouraged for sharing their experience with others (Hirsh, 2001).

Advantages & Disadvantages of viral marketing

The advantages of viral marketing are low cost since it is cheap and there is no printing or broadcasting involved as in the traditional means; extensive reach as the messages spread along from person to person like a chain; high credibility as recipients mostly get the message from people who are friends or acquaintance or have a reputation and therefore there is credibility; high efficiency due to the lower cost and extensive reach (KHNK, 2001).

The advantages of viral marketing are accompanied by its disadvantages. These include lack of control because once the message has been released in viral marketing, the marketer has less control over the recipients to whom the marketers’ message will be forwarded by its own contact in the mailing list; risk of spam as there are no real means of differentiating or convincing the recipients of the originality of the message; brand dilution by relying on those people to do the marketing who are not actually contracted or trained for this purpose; involvement with anonymous people and therefore chances the risk that the message may end up with someone who is unknown and receives private information embedded in the message. Sometimes the message may completely fail due to the use of appropriate words or images thus making people react repulsively towards it. When this happens, the message does not get passed on and a negative perception is formed of the company and the products (KHNK, 2001).

Marketing E-business

Every form of media is new at one time and obsolete at another, still, new media keeps on emerging as an indistinct process. There are various reasons given behind the mechanics of this process like technology, economic thrust, audience-driven demand and the influence of cultural disputes. It may be rightly said that media is a blend of the different reasons mentioned above. Technical inventions are not the only reason behind the emergence of new media but it is derived from a process consisting of two-stages: invention and ‘social institutionalization’. It is the second stage of social institutionalizing which results in changing the media by enabling society to institutionalize inventions by finding more alternatives and options for communication. Of such efforts, one output is the social media. Computers were endowed with media characteristics when it was started as a source of writing documents, this was followed by using them for purposes of multimedia. This was fuelled with the introduction of the Internet, which was initially used for military purposes; in the late 1980s or early 1990s, the economic innovation began for the Internet started through the concept of world wide web which had multiple uses. This opened the gateways on the Internet for businesses later on through concepts like e-commerce (Stober, 3-11, 2004).

The Internet is not just a means of communicating, but it has revolutionized the structure of various organizations and permits them to transfer information easily between companies and their customers at low cost for the seller and more choices for the buyers in the form of e-business (Rowan, 3, 2002).

In this regard, a new means of using the internet for marketing purposes has been discovered known as social networking sites. Even though this concept is still in its early stages but it has already started influencing the culture like changes in language, in politics and even on college campuses where absence of using such tools is considered a social handicap. The origin of the first online social networks may be traced arguably in the mid 1980s to the Bulletin Board Systems which allowed users to post public messages, communicate through private messages, enjoy games and software. In the mid-1990s, the shift of such systems to the World Wide Web took place. What social networking sites do is “connect” people through a computer network. This networking has been described for a long time as intentionally making social connections; therefore, such websites can be used to provide a source of large audience if employed in the right manner (Rosen, 16-21, 2007).

Utility of social media

Social media essentially supports the preservation of social networks that were already existent as well as associate strangers with each other on the basis of similar interests, views, or activities. Some of the social media sites are meant for a diverse group of audiences whereas the other ones merely bring those people together who share a language,gender, race, religion or other identities. There is variety in these sites in terms of the degree to which they integrate information and communication and allow people to meet others or form new networks. But since social media can and does perform these functions, they often create connections between people whose creation would not have been otherwise possible. The different sites have varying aspects like photo-sharing, blogging or instant messaging. Some of the social media is used specifically for targeting individuals from certain geographical areas or belonging to a certain ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or other categories (Boyd & Ellison).

Doing Right Marketing On Social Media/Social Networks

Over the last few decades, marketing through the internet has made great leaps. The methods used in the first generation were few; in the second generation, the realization came of the fact that it was not just traffic that was wanted but instead targeted traffic. For this, many ways were introduced. Next is the third generation internet marketing which uses such experiences through media where people can enjoy more of an interactive experience. This generation of marketing is different from the former two and is based on the desire of the consumers to be more in control over the message to which they are exposed as compared to the push service previously offered to them. in this third generation, the social media is employed as a great marketing tool where the concept of viral campaigns has caught pace and efforts have been made to bring about improvements in them. Since social networks are all about networking of people, viral marketing uses the idea of “Tell a friend” in association with a certain thing like a product or an event, The marketing efforts can be enhanced by providing incentives linked to up taking on the viral marketing. It is important that marketing on the social networks is personalized and uses the first name of the recipient as well as the sender’s name in order to enforce authenticity of the message. But it is vital that in order to market successfully on the social networking sites, they should be uses as a tool for learning about the target market and gather data on their demographic, geographic, and behavioral characteristics (Sweeney, 33-76, 2007).

Major Considerations in Using Social Networking

There are major considerations that have to be kept in mind when using social networking as a media tool when compared with tools like direct marketing or interpersonal interaction as this medium is different than traditional media tools. In this discussion, we consider only two of the vital considerations. Firstly, it is to be kept in mind is to assure that no important link in a network is missed out since this can result in distorting the overall systematic functioning of a system. this means that all people who are interlinked in a system are included when a message is being passed on since the transfer of the message is dependant upon the complete chain rather than its fractions (Laumann et al., 61, 1992). A second consideration to be kept in mind is the context and content of this relationship which are present in a network. This means that when a message which is of informal nature is to be passed on in a network, it is important to consider the nature of the relationship that people have with each other in that network. An informal message can be passed on between family or friends while that of a more formal nature can be passed on by using business associates (Burt & Schott, 185, 1992)

Marketing Strategy and Consumer Behavior

one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding disciplines is that of marketing. Ever since its beginning, progress has been made in a number of areas of marketing but in spite of the great development, it is visible, that there is still great distance to be covered to success. There is a need for an appropriate strategy that can uncover new areas like more distribution channels. There are other areas that are progressing but are still in the initial stages like monitoring channel members and market orientation. Besides, there is a need for strategically planning on the resource allocation in this disciple ranging from channels to synchronization of supply networks. With the advancement in internet, its use as marketing as well as distribution channel has amplified, implicating the need to integrate it in the marketing strategies due to the impact that it has on the nature of business. due to the failure of chalking out the marketing channels and methods in an appropriate manner, the contribution of the merger of internet and marketing is underutilized (Malhotra, 116-119, 1999).

The consumer behavior is extensive of problem-solving nature when they are engaged in making a decision in absence of established evaluation criteria for multiple product types. Consumers have to face two basic differences when purchasing products and services online, firstly, there is no physical presence and secondly, product information is profuse and versatile (Kurnia & Schubert, 2006 cited in Petrovik, 2008). Another vital difference is that consumers ‘pull’ their research information in online purchasing more than they do in case of majority of non-interactive media, where information is ‘pushed’ towards them. Time is of great consideration to the online consumers as they are most of the time willing to risk their money rather than time (Koiso-Kanttila, 2005 cited in Petrovik, 2008).

Effect of E-Commerce on Consumers

With the materialization of the Internet, infiltration of electronic commerce took place. E-commerce may be defined as ‘the purchasing of goods and services via the Internet. This has resulted in various changes in the way business was traditionally done and consumers behaved. As a result of e-commerce, supply chains have shortened and so have the associated logistic chains. The patterns of distribution in e-commerce are different from the traditional, goods purchased online are transported straight from a wholesaler or manufacturer to a customer, the physical mobility has reduced for the customer since there is no need to visit a retailer. E-commerce is often linked with reduced prices which means the consumer has more buying power. (Reijnders & Hoogeveen, 271-282, 2001)

As a result of the interactive aspects of e-commerce websites, online activity of consumers has been affected irrespective of their shopping orientation. Customers, whose orientation is towards entertainment, use these websites for pursuing ‘hedonic outcomes’, where they get excited by offering an attractive range of products and loosen up on their self-control resulting in increased and unregulated purchasing behavior. As a result of no time pressure, unregulated buying often takes place. it may be said that the ease of online shopping can assist the unregulated purchasing temptations which are found in almost all consumers. Meanwhile customers who have a utilitarian orientation retain their buying behavior without taking the impact of the features of e-commerce as they have a planned purchasing plan which directs them towards locating the items on their list. A major impact of e-commerce on consumers is that they have the option of doing comparison shopping conveniently before doing the actual purchase. Thus, the costs of searching and transaction are minimized online. Another aspect of the impact of e-commerce on consumers is information overload where Internet browsing is started as source of reducing search costs, but leads to overwhelming quantity of online product information where more than intended time is spent in searching and making comparisons leading to frustration and confusion (Kim & LaRose, 2004).

The Facebook Generation

Generation Y may be called the Facebook generation. They are of age 25 years or below. People belonging to this generation are used to constantly changing situations as they have grown up in the age of technology and information, in which they are used to receiving a great number of media messages on daily basis through different channels. Besides, this generation is interactive by nature since they were surrounded by mobile phones, computers and pagers from the time of their birth which made them habitual of responding to everything around them; communication is defined by the tern interaction for people of this generation. For this younger generation, the rules of all sorts are different from the older generation and so are their values, traditions and culture; due to this reason, the manner in which they have to be treated is different from the way in which their elders were treated which means the marketing of products and services has to be different for this crowd. It is important to know how to communicate with each generation because not knowing this art can conveniently turn off communication with them. Another important characteristic of the Generation Y is that they are team players which means that they have a strong desire to be connected (Fishman, 2007).

One of the best-known social networking sites for Generation Y is Facebook, due to which this generation is also referred to as the Facebook generation. For many of the members of this site, it is a primary tool of communication where they check the site various times in a day, spending hours in tasks like exchanging messages, making appointments, reading the updates of friends and getting to know about other people (Rosen, 2007). What attracts this generation to Facebook is its numerous features which are fascinating like its interactive, image-laden directory of groups through which thoughts and lifestyles of people are shared. A majority of them find this website addictive, naming groups like “Addicted to the Facebook” (Bugeja, 2006). This site allows members to portray themselves through their online profile, add up “friends”, write comments on pages of friends and view their profiles. Besides, there is option to become members of virtual groups which helps in sharing interests. Another vital incentive for using Facebook is to maintain contact with high school acquaintances and friends, contact with whom may otherwise get inactive. This way there is opportunity for the members of generation Y to stay connected with each other and bridge the social gap which may otherwise arise due to busy lifestyles or other reasons (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 1-22, 2007).

Targeting the right consumers

Social networking sites are an important tool for articulating the information about their users in detail on daily basis as part of their operation and one of the most important reasons for their increasing rate of adoption. This way, they form an important resource for network data (Lewis, Kaufman, Gonzalez, Wimmer & Christakis, 330, 2008) there are various aspects to a social networking site that may be used to the advantage of its users. As explicitly understood by now, these sites are at basic a method of staying in touch with old friends and meeting new ones.

From the aspect of marketing, social networking sites provide a good option. Marketers can create their online profiles and fill them with relevant content that can draw the attention of potential customers. The sites offer the marketer of interacting on a personal basis with the audience through messages or comments. Targeting the right consumers is vital and depends on the goals of the marketers; this means that marketing should be done by participating on those sites whose contents are according to the strategy of the marketer and whose members form the target market. Majority of the audience of social networking sites are people ranging between ages 18–24 since they visit these sites in great numbers and are more interactive. Those companies who have products appealing to this age group and have more incentive for participating on these sites and proactively getting the targeted audience involved in a chain of customer feedback, contents which are user generated and establish a level of trust with them (prospect, 2007).

The FaceBook

Facebook was started in February, 2004, by a student of Harvard University named Mark Zuckerberg. This site was created by Zuckerberg and two of his mates for fellow students. Once this site was launched, it soon gained popularity among the students as word spread about it. its network expanded within a month from Harvard to Stanford, Columbia and Yale. Its popularity was multiplied by news coverage and by the end of 2004; there were one million active users of the website. In October 2007, there were more than 50 million active users of the site (Brown & Newman, 1, 2007).

It is the sixth most visited website around the globe and has members across 55,000 regional, work, high school, and college networks. It enables users to make profiles that may be viewed by people, besides; information about personal background, demographics, interests and tastes may be added. Users can stay connected with other registered users and share their pictures and videos (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 330-331, 2008).

The initial success of Facebook can be traced to its use as an information service that was not present offline in form of an interactive student directory. In terms of demographics, the country that has fallen most extensively for Facebook is UK; besides America and Canada, most of the members belong to the UK. All across the Britain there are Facebook fans; mainly the application appeals to the Generation Y, followed by Generation X but now includes even the Baby Boomers, people of the older age group (BBC Facehooked, 2007).

Facebook and social media

Facebook permits its users to make communicate with others and exchange information. It is free to use but generates its revenue through advertising and sponsorship; this means that the application uses the advertising model of the e-commerce. This works in a manner that after profiles of the users have been made, their friends ‘push’ useful information towards them due to their shared interest. This is the basis of employing this social media for marketing purposes where marketers can reach out to their target audience in a cheap and effective way. Besides, it is possible for marketers to implore and network with consumers so as to obtain better feedback about products and services. Such interaction can possibly produce new products or change the product positioning for meeting consumer needs. In social media like Facebook, the content value is enhanced only by including friends and therefore it can’t replace traditional online means for marketing, yet, it is effective due to its use of the process of viral marketing (Narciso, 2007).

Facebook permits its users to make communicate with others and exchange information. It is free to use but generates its revenue through advertising and sponsorship; this means that the application uses the advertising model of the e-commerce. This works in a manner that after profiles of the users have been made, their friends ‘push’ useful information towards them due to their shared interest. This is the basis of employing this social media for marketing purposes where marketers can reach out to their target audience in a cheap and effective way. Besides, it is possible for marketers to implore and network with consumers so as to obtain better feedback about products and services. Such interaction can possibly produce new products or change the product positioning for meeting consumer needs. In social media like Facebook, the content value is enhanced only by including friends and therefore it can’t replace traditional online means for marketing, yet, it is effective due to its use of the process of viral marketing (Narciso, 2007).

Context sensitive advertisements are the basis of marketing on Facebook and are a vital part of its success story, there are also third-party applications now available. The partners of such application include Amazon and Microsoft by offering their own features from an advertising perspective like “Buy at Amazon” button. It can be rightly said that Facebook offers a great potential for marketing as notices are provided to a user’s friends in form of “New Story” which makes an announcement. It has been claimed by Facebook that such announcements benefit consumers by informing them more about the interests, likes and dislikes of their friends (Brown & Newman, 8, 2007).

Advertisers have achieved less than stellar results through Facebook as compared to traditional means of advertising. Facebook is faced with great challenge due to its high CPMs and low click-thrus. The latest ad system has resulted in significantly reducing the CPM for those who chose cost-per-click (CPC) model and the basis of the problem lies in the fact that there are no clicks. Even though the targeting is significant, the involvement of the users is more with the content rather than the advertisements (O’Neil, 2007).

Promoting through Facebook

There are 31 million users of Facebook around the world and its growth continues. With a such a large base of users, Facebook offers great possibility of acquiring customers, promoting one’s business and driving traffic to a website or eBay listings. Through Facebook, close ties may be formed with contacts and a foothold can be attained by creating a company profile and a company network, as a result of which it becomes possible to invite customers to and from a network around the business. This will enable postings to show as newsfeed on the contacts profiles informing them about latest products and offers. Besides, things that have to be sold may also be listed as items on the facebook marketplace. The marketplace is free and may be used for promoting items available for sale on website or eBay. There is also an option of creating an application which can assist in developing contacts and driving people to website (SN, 2007). The strength with which a business is promoted effectively to targeted audience on Facebook depends upon and is going to be defined by the presence of the marketer. Another means of promoting on Facebook is ‘Social Ads’, which are paid option for branding and enables business to expand their network reach and boost their brand. These ads work by making them appear on the basis of certain demographics and keywords. Social Ads are formed on the basis of pay per click model and are a cost effective medium for niche marketing. Since, this the placement is extremely focused, there are great chances that it will bring traffic to desired sites (Ford, n.d.).

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Evolution of Marketing: Use of Social Networks to Promote Events
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