Social media is a growing outlet for marketers, with word of mouth marketing being the main driving force behind social media marketing.
Social media marketing can take two different paths. Companies can market to consumers on different social networking sites, and/or consumers can create or reiterate content for companies themselves.
If a company plans to market on a social media site, “companies need to focus on providing content and tools to consumers, which is the opposite of traditional marketing. Instead of providing consumers with a one way communication stream, companies today need to focus on supplying something of value.” (Qualman, 2011)
It is “imperative that you produce products and services so that people not only want to be associated with you brand, but also take ownership of it.” (Qualman, 2011) This allows for consumers to create their own content and become marketers themselves. User to user marketing at times can be more effective as it comes from a trusted source. Companies that can create content for consumers to talk, tweet, blog, or post about, allow their company’s particular message to spread from user to user and third party sources resulting in EARNED media opposed to paid media.
Social media is a relatively inexpensive and efficient option for organizations to market themselves, and their new campaigns. Not only does it bring increased brand awareness because of the sheer number of users available on social media sites, but it also increases brand relations as it makes the brand more personable. Social media has essentially become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access.