Sunday, April 14, 2024

Social networking sites: Small place, big impact

Views & analysis
Social networking sites: Small place, big impact
Mohammad Ruhul Kader
With the passage of time communication process has changed significantly. Unlike previous post office and “Late Latif manner”, now we can communicate instantly and easily with anyone, from anywhere of the world. Most of these are the sole contribution of Social Networking Sites SNS popularly known as Social Media.
The hottest innovation of today’s business communication is social-media marketing, that is, the careful and strategic use of social-networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, WAYN and Twitter to engage consumers with the brands within the context of their trusted circle of friends and family. Social networking sites are not mere tools of communication; they ensure most effective, efficient and interactive communication. Facebook has ever-biggest influence especially for the young generation. Facebook and social networking sites have changed the traditional method of communication. Stay close is no more an option now; rather it has become mandatory for survival.
Social Networking Sites have gone widely popular all over the world. Now every internet user prefers being connected to these social websites one way or another. These new communication tools have created more vibrant communication window for the corporations.
A huge number of global corporate giants is now using this new media to bring revolution in their way of communication. From Coca-Cola to Ford, Robi to Grameenphone, everybody is now putting emphasis on this new type of communication.
The excellent use of SNSs as a means of communication is being done by “Emma Bridgewater” — a leading UK pottery company based in Staffordshire. The company introduced an integrated social media sales and marketing campaign by using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. After a rigorous campaign and communication, the press release by the “Emma Bridgewater” shows a comprehensive package of outcomes that reveal the astounding potentials of SNSs as means of communication. “Emma Bridgewater” said that, their social media activity increased 30 per cent of their online sales since the start of the campaign in March 2010. More interestingly, it makes the bonding with customers stronger. It says, since the campaign began there had been 1000 separate interaction with Facebook fans with each wall comment posted receiving an average 15 responses.
Although the number of internet users in Bangladesh is increasing dramatically, but the use of SNSs as a medium of communication is still very low. Even some of our very successful brands are still unaware about the matter where many small firms and restaurants are reaping the results of strategic use of facebook and Social networking sites. The scarcest resource of our time is attention. Getting customer attention is becoming more difficult.
Besides consumers are becoming more and more savvy. More over today consumers are talking back and because of different communication media, they can share their feelings with the world. Everything is becoming instant.
The greatest thing associated with SNS is the ability and chance to engage. The most core characteristic of effective communication is that it must be two-way where both ways have equal voice. The weakest point of TV commercials TVC, billboard, leaflet, and many other promotional activities is that; it seldom gives its viewers to talk back. But in social networking sites this absurdity of communication seldom happens. Facebook gives company the chance to communicate instantly, receive opinions and feedback from their consumers at a time.
SNSs is now a common phenomenon. Almost everyone using internet is connected to this media and the amount of time we are spending on facebook and in other social networking sites is increasing geometrically.
In television when we dislike any channel, we change the channel immediately but in facebook, this seldom happens. In SNSs, customers can directly ask a question, put their complaints and write their feelings and feedback unlike any other media. The instant and continuous communication gives brands to monitor the feelings of the customers and help in better understand their needs and wants where this interactive communication gives customers a feeling of empowerment, and increases their emotional attachment with the brand. There are certain things associated with SNSs.
Customised communication: Now customers’ demand is very peculiar. In addition, demand varies largely from one customer to another. For example, the best part of a TVC to one customer can be the worst part to another; but in this case, a brand cannot redefine the advertisement and seldom can customise. On the other hand, in facebook, communication is highly customised. It can happen through sending special message, writing on wall, posting a picture etc and you can directly approach to a particular customer and communicate with that customer without making other known.
Instant Communication: Now getting customer attention is equal to have a golden beer. There are so many communication media — which begins with newspaper and ends at FM radio. Besides, studies show that, now a days consumers seldom bother about TVC and most of the time they ignore commercials and consider them as interruptions. There are a plenty of TV channels and if any viewer finds any channel is not interesting or less useful then they have remote control to take right decision. But in Facebook you can communicate instantly and feed the instant gratification of customers according to their demand, so it is easy to sustain. Moreover, a Facebook fan-page seldom shows like a page of advertisement.
Free Feedback: Today customers want to talk back. Now there are huge interactive media through which consumers can make the world known how they feel. Facebook gives customer to tell their feeling about the brand they consume. Besides this feedback works as right track fuel for the company to design and produce product that consumer want.
Breaking clutter: Preparing a TVC is not a tough task if you want to spend a handsome amount of coin. Now there is huge TVC and billboard that the target customers often miss. But in Facebook, if you are able to choose your segment and can make your page alive, you can easily find the way and break the clutter, which can better ensure effective and fruitful communication.
Cautions: Facebook or social media is cool and useful means of communication no doubt. But to ensure effective communication by using SNSs or Facebook, corporations should take some pre-cautions.
Choosing segment: Choosing segment is crucial. With which segment you are going to communicate and what are their communication needs should be identified to better communicate with them.
Ensuring lively use: Face-book page must be alive. If a single comment or wall post passes through weeks then it cannot make an effective communication. Life in SNS is very uncertain. Here your “status” is like oxygen. In addition, to conduct and administer your page you should appoint special person — who can better run the platform.
Ensure proper Engagement: Customer engagement is must. Encourage customers to participate in discussion. Arrange discussion board, competition, funny tricks and amusement party online to make your page livelier.
SNS is awesome and as a means of communication, it can be great. However, remember that it is face book where you can delete your closest friend just by a single fingertip. So do not do anything that causes customer to leave your page and divorce your brand.

 

The writer is a student of Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka, and can be reached at E-mail: romel122@gmail.com

 

Original article on The Financial Express

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