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Aaron Copland School of Music ​hello my name is Sofia Shirley and today I'm going to be talking about internet marketing and I'm going to be talking about my paper can social media sites contribute to company's success many organizations today are being forced to rethink their business plans and tactics due to the emergence of new technologies such as the internet internet-based companies are becoming so popular that they are putting many traditional brick-and-mortar organizations out of business consumers are taking advantage of the internet in order to do product research as well as purchasing products all from the convenience of their own home organizations should realize that social media sites are not going anywhere and that they can be utilized to market promote and sell their products for free or for a small fee blogs and discussion boards are a type of social media that businesses can benefit from by reading and researching what their customers think about various products social media can be a great tool for businesses to use today but organizations must ensure that they have a quality product and that they have a competitive edge or else these social media sites could cause undesired results can social media sites contribute to company's success having an internet presence on a social media platform such as facebook twitter myspace or linkedin has been a trend that is growing in popularity and it can be both an opportunity and a challenge for many business owners social media is defined as a network of sites where users are able to interact with one another by sharing information or discussing their topics a recent report from the nielsen company has said that the popularity of social media is undeniable and that users spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networks and blog sites on the other hand since social media sites are slightly unfamiliar territory for some is understandable that only twenty three percent of respondents indicated that they trust content from these social media environments one of the biggest perks associated with having a social media website is the ability to increase web traffic which can result in increased sales and brand awareness gems comm is an example of a company that receives up to ten to twelve percent of their site traffic from individuals who found their company on Facebook gems comm is a company that gets between four hundred thousand five hundred thousand page views and more than a hundred thousand unique viewers which is an increase of five percent as compared to six months prior a recent study by demand gen report has indicated that b2b buyers have changed the way they do research and engage in the buying process with the emergence of newer technology over recent years buyers indicate that they are replacing some of the traditional purchase processes by searching the internet for information and pure oriented opinions about specific products before making a purchase after asking individual buyers what sources they use for product research and selection it was clear that vendor websites and searches were the most significant sources that influence their buying decisions some of the other significant influencer include webinars white papers and social media including discussion threads Twitter Facebook and many other social media platforms allow an unparalleled ability for individuals to connect with other individuals who have used or purchased specific products that a buyer is considering for purchase organizations realize that buyers can be viewed as free advertising agents if they are pleased and delighted with one of the products they purchase many individuals will post information about a great product as well as complaints that they have about a product on social media sites where a large audience has the ability to view this raw unedited information if a business ensures that it is producing a quality product social media can be helpful to promote the product and to achieve more sales on the other hand if a buyer buys a product that they are very unhappy with they may feel inspired to post complaints on discussion boards pertaining to that product this could deter other individuals from purchasing that product as well as affecting the company's image this proves that social media can be a free advertising platform for companies products but there's always the risk of bad publicity which can occur from a company's presence on one of these sites an example of situation where social media work to boost sales includes the social media efforts of Kraft Foods stride gum in 2010 stride gum launched a facebook application called change your flavor change your life which was focused on promoting the new stride shift gum marketers for stride products realized that its target audience was mostly comprised of teenagers and young adults with a fan base of over 700,000 on Facebook many individuals and fans of stripe gum products were familiar with the RAM who was always trying to get tours of stride products to spit them out this mall known Ram has now become the face of stride gum on one of the biggest challenges that business owners have faced with social media has been finding an accurate way to measure the return on investment that is associated with having a presence on social media site stride gum is monitoring the number of individuals that actually engage with their newest application that is found on their social media site as well as what


types of conversations are developed due to this effort business businesses can also use social media sites to get opinions from consumers as well as asking for assistance from from fans on various product decisions in 2009 stride gum released a new product but did not have enough time to come up with a name for the new flavor stride responded by asking consumers on Facebook what they thought the new gum should be named and contained a link that fans could click on that link the individuals to the stratum where website where they could vote the response was overwhelming and produce more than 300,000 entries business owners are realizing that they need to be where their customers are and they cannot just sit back and expect for new customers to seek them out this is why it is important to use platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to reach customers posting stories events product reviews and user videos can help customers feel more connected to a company it can also make a customer feel like they have nothing to lose because appears that company has nothing to hide some businesses have put such a such a focus on social platforms that they may have even hired dedicated social media staffers who are in charge of every aspect pertaining to these sites even though it is hard to measure the exact effects of social media many of these sites help to enhance their existing products as well as driving new revenue and promoting new products the single greatest challenge that remains is how to measure the effects of social media networking and if it is worthwhile for companies to adopt there is no way to put value on the hundred thousand fans that a company on Facebook dan Neely CEO of networked insights which is a wisconsin-based analytics company that uses social media to help clients make marketing decisions has said that the value of social media is it's the richest data set that's ever existed the data that can be obtained from a social media site can be used to determine what customers wants and needs far as well as information posted by buyers that describes their experiences and opinions about a product many businesses are starting to realize the importance of social media platforms and are revamping their advertising efforts and allowing more of a budget for social media efforts according to a survey of 1,000 marketers taken by exact target seventy percent said they plan to increase spending in social media but less than twenty percent said they could effectively measure the return on investment businesses are not the only entities that can use social media sites to promote their businesses President Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate who was able to understand the true power of social media platforms he was able to reach an enormous audience by using social media including blogs Flickr YouTube LinkedIn Facebook MySpace and various faiths age race and event based networks these social media efforts paid off and show that many Americans are catching on to these trends an example of a well-known company that decided to drastically change his approach to advertising and marketing by using social media is Pepsi company even though many businesses are still not sure about the true effects of social media Pepsi is Allart allotting a large amount of money to be used towards social media efforts in order to accomplish this strategy Pepsi was unable to appear in the Super Bowl for the first time in 23 years Pepsi decided to redirect the money that would have been used for the Super Bowl towards an ambitious social marketing centered program called refresh everything that will direct 20 million dollars to charities even though Pepsi's refresh everything campaign uses social media to promote the concept Pepsi is still using elements such as TV commercials and media advertisements to appeal to audiences Pepsi also uses stars such as Demi Moore Kevin Bacon and the New Orleans quarterback and Super Bowl hero Drew Brees to add to the appeal of a social media campaign since the return on investment for social media efforts are difficult to measure Pepsi is trying new methods such as using a score card that can gauge people's perception of Pepsi and how their perception has changed in recent years Pepsi is also using social monitoring tools to track the number of voice and mentions in social media as well as traditional media such as traffic to the Refresh site time spent exploring the site and various customer submissions and comments Pepsi is hoping that the scorecard along with traditional measurements measurement methods will determine if the program is having an impact in the community as well as an impact and the overall perception of the Pepsi company as a whole even though Pepsi is taking a large risk by focusing efforts on social media networks coke is starting to take notice of these efforts and responded by starting their own Facebook campaign along with data with donating 1 million dollars to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for every visitor I'm sorry one dollar to the boys and girls club of america for every visitor as well as every time a virtual gift is sent an example of a company who has benefited from positive social media efforts has been Dell computers Dell was originally known as as the company that chose to ignore the growing popularity of the social web in 2005 Dell computers was negatively blogged about on facebook and individuals who shared their unhappiness with sell products convened in the blog named Dell hell dell has realized the importance of the social web and has gone on to become a social media leader ranked by vid true as one of the 10 social media brands of 2009 del now credits is social media efforts for racking up to six point five million dollars in sales through Twitter while connecting with 3.5 million consumers on social sites and its own as well as soliciting consumer ideas and input through sites such as Dell idea storm and dell tech center julie pech the president of the jets car jetstar group in toronto has said it's time we regain


our confidence in the fundamentals and view social media marketing for what it really is a conversation social media sites should be looked at as opportunities for business owners to have an inside look at what their customers are saying about their products these sites allow for individuals to give their unedited opinions on specific products as well as expressing changing needs and desires business owners should take advantage of this information that is free if it is posted on social media site as compared to expensive survey information that must be purchased from various companies Pech also explains that it is best for business owners to listen and learn what their customers are talking about and how they feel about various products these blogs and postings can provide an unbiased and deeper understanding of what customers are saying this can also result in an undesired effect of negative publicity if a product is getting bad reviews from consumers business owners should focus efforts on pinpointing product problems by listening for insights into areas where improvements can be made such as customer service product quality or product features social networking first started as a way for people to reconnect with former classmates and has a close connection to connect with consumers social media is appealing because communication is usually done by consumers in their personal space where they are most comfortable and most open which can increase vulnerability not all age groups respond to social media sites in the same way business owners should identify their target audience as well as specific factors such as age and life stage a business may decide to put a large focus on increasing social media traffic if their target audience is a younger generation who is are familiar to newer types of social media as compared to a traditional retired 90 year old man who may not own a computer information obtained by the web information database Alexa com shows that Facebook MySpace and YouTube are three of them five top five most visited websites in the United States all of these social media sites allow individuals and businesses to gather research for free instead of paying thousands of dollars for survey data social media sites also have the advantage of providing online communities or groups for a large group of people convene who have similar interests these groups can reach and appeal to a large specific audience and this can be a way to utilize free marketing text techniques such as mass emails promotions and discounts all while building brand awareness at the same time YouTube a free popular social media site allows the uploading and viewing of videos if used correctly YouTube can also be used as a free marketing tool that will most likely receive a large amount of exposure an example of a company who used YouTube and was very pleased with their results was a company in the Midwest that spent five thousand dollars to create videos of its blender smashing almost anything the word of the YouTube video with the blender that destroyed everything from food products to golf balls was popular with viewers and resulted in the company having a two hundred percent increase in sales sales were increased because the video was views viewed by a large audience which resulted in more visits to the corporate website social media can be an extremely beneficial tool for organizations to use in order to reach an appeal to a specific audience the Internet has changed the way the business world is doing business and social media sites will most likely continue to grow in popularity in coming years organizations should try to utilize these social media sites to have the competitive edge to find out what their customers want and to reach an appeal to a larger audience thank you very much you Touro Law Center.

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