Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Followership and Social Media Marketing

Academic journal article Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Followership and Social Media Marketing

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Social media are online platforms that facilitate global collaboration and sharing among users. Consumers can easily obtain information from a vast, geographically dispersed group of people in social platforms. Meanwhile, these social platforms give retailers a wealth of options for reaching potential customers, communication and collaboration, and creating values to customers. Furthermore, social media are increasingly being used in organizations to improve relationships among employees and nurture collaboration. Since businesses are bombarding the internet with marketing, fan pages, advertisements, and websites, how are consumers responding, using, clicking, and liking (Singh, 2012; Patterson, 2012).

Understanding the potency and competency of capturing and utilizing both social media and social networking, is leading to the next generation of marketing and customer relationship management. Whether the company is broadcasting messages or merely monitoring customer interactions with their products, businesses and marketers have more than enough reason to pay attention to social media and consumer interactions on social networking.

Meadows-Klue explained that the internet was a catalyst for changes needed in marketing, and amplifying the scale that can be reached. Marketing had been simple and one way; however, with the introduction of the internet, marketing needed additional approaches, and exploration of social media was a main component. Social media is allowing marketers to uncover deep drivers and customer connections, which allow for greater planning and understanding of their target markets.

However, with the potential positives of the internet and social media in relationship marketing, there are also challenges to be overcome, such as digital literacy. Overall, the generation "Facebook" demands that marketers think and act differently than before. Brands can now communicate directly with their customers and persuade them to love their products through the social media.

The next step in this evolution is collective intelligence, which means connecting social media, extracting this new community knowledge, and sharing it back. This represents a new paradigm of communication and branding in the new digital age. Meadows-Klue (2008) said it best when he wrote, "The explosion of social media since 2005 is the starkest of reminders about how fast the tools of the digital networked society continue to unfold". This generation and social media will continue to change the how businesses and consumers communicate.

Paul Greenburg's book, CRM at the Speed of Light, Fourth Edition: Social CRM 2.0 Strategies, Tools, and Techniques for Engaging Your Customers (2010) explains many connections between social media, social networking, marketing, and customer relationship management. Customer relationship management, or CRM, is defined as a model for managing company interactions with current and future customers. With the use of technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service and technical support. CRM can vastly increase the capability of a company to manage customer relations.

Since Generation Y or the Millennial Generation is the first generation to spend more time on the internet (12.2 hours) than watching television (10.6 hours), significance of understanding and capturing this medium is imperative. This is the premise behind the idea of Social CRM. This idea concludes that the social customers are now in control because of their connection and relationships established with businesses, which is enhanced by the intensity and volume of consumer represented online. Slowly, each generation is catching on, and driving their desires to businesses, instead of businesses seeking them out.

According to Greenburg, Gen Y is so in touch with technology that it is considered a key trait. The use of technology in communication and personal activity is natural to Gen Y, while still maintaining competence and sentience. …

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