Social Media Marketing Made Easy

Social Media Marketing utilizes a variety of Internet tools to strengthen customer relationships, in turn leading to increased sales.

Social Media Marketing, an innovative manner of business promotion using Internet tools to build customer trust and loyalty, offers a low-cost method for companies to enhance sales. The goals behind utilizing many of these web tools are search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, and also cultivating a friendly relationship with customers.

Internet marketing is essential to modern business not only because these promotion tools are free to use, but they also build a friendly approach to the business/customer relationship. Writer Moira Gentry of Network Design & Communications, explains, “Social media marketing is using online social media to reach prospects, communicate with customers, improve internal efficiency and morale, and — most of all probably — to present and manage a brand,” or to put it more precisely, “It makes cold calls warm.”

Three Top Social Media Marketing Tools

Although Twitter was originally created to act as a mobile “away message,” some people still have no idea how to use it. “Twitter’s great for mass texting, sharing news – and knowing immediately what your customers and/or the press are saying about you. You shouldn’t find out a day later – you can know right now, and you can join the conversation and fix mistakes and celebrate good news,” clarifies Gentry.

The popular social networking site, Facebook, can not only save money on direct mail but also provides a simple, cost-effective means of announcing specials and free samples. Additionally, a business page on Facebook builds customer trust, as well as attracting new customers. No business should be without a Facebook page.

Receiving “more than 9 billion page views per month,” Craigslist is useful for boosting website traffic by means of search engine optimization. One useful method for improving a company’s SEO ranking is by placing inbound links in ads, announcing either free samples or product discounts.

Additional Social Media Marketing Tools

Since the plethora of media marketing tools available on the web can be overwhelming, figuring out the advertising needs of a company first will help to determine which tools to focus on using.

For instance, photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Picasa allow companies to save money otherwise spent on catalog production, by placing product photos online for free instead. No cost and immediate results make YouTube an ideal replacement for expensive TV ad time. Other means of marketing businesses include blogs, posting product reviews on Amazon, and offering helpful advice in subject appropriate online communities.

Most businesses taking advantage of these Internet marketing tools will watch expenses decrease while sales increase. Whereas the Internet has added complexity to doing business, thanks to social media marketing, it has also added another level to the method and meaning of nurturing customer relationships. And the best part is that it is free.

Successful Brand Name Marketing

How Trademarks Are Used to Appeal to a Person’s Sense of Power

Successful brands cultivate an aurora of elitism and luxury around their product, appealing to a person’s vain “sense of power” as defined by sociologist Max Weber.

A diva in the automotive industry, Maserati lays claim to some fabulous cars, including the Gran Turismo and Quattro Porte (Maserati). An examination of the Maserati showroom, located in Manhattan, New York, shows dazzling cars and an array of pricey merchandise. Care for a Jacquard Regimental tie? $75. Cotton beach towels run cheap: $82.

With the exception of extra aesthetics, ergonomics, and jounce, a Maserati automobile makes little difference to the casual driver. Why would somebody pay an inordinate price for a Maserati car or beach towel? Simply put – it is a Maserati, and Maserati is a brand name.

The Concept of Brand Names in Marketing

Few concepts are as powerful in marketing as “brand names.” The goal of a brand name is to create a brand essence which “creates a relationship with the consumer, making an emotional connection” (BrandWerks). A prominent brand name equals more cash revenue. In 2001, the gargantuan diamond monopoly De Beers announced the end of their century-old cartel and a switch to a “Supplier of Choice” marketing philosophy.

Nicholas Stein, a writer for Fortunesardonically noted that “De Beers has set in motion a formula for making the diamonds under its control more valuable – simply because they have the company’s imprimatur.” Rather than controlling the majority of the world’s diamond supply, De Beers chose to use brand name marketing. Marc Globe, an author of Emotional Building, noted, “Brands are always taking advantage of the emotional need for a social experience” (qt. in Brandweek’s). By using attractive models and slogans about eternal love, De Beers insinuates that a diamond ring can offer a satisfying emotional experience.

The Concept of Brand Names in Sociology

Sociologically speaking, brand names not only appeal to a social experience but a person’s sense of power. Sociologist Max Weber (1864 – 1920) thought power is “the ability to accomplish your goals even when others are acting in opposition” (Witt, 80). He divided power into three sections: class, status, and party. The class has two subsections: economic resources and workplace skills. Status is about who you know and what people think of you. Party is the “capacity to organize to accomplish some specific goal” (Witt, 87-89). Successful brand names appeal to a person’s wish for class and status.

Brand Names Present an Image of Luxury and Wealth

Buying into luxury goods presents the visage of wealth. By donning Oakley sunglasses, the wearer sends an important message: I have money to spend on opulent items that are expensive. One of the most popular fashion companies, Gucci, depends on this principle for its success. “Gucci understood the importance of building a reputation … products were a hit and quickly became status symbols synonymous with luxury” (Manning-Shaffel). Without the Gucci emblem, a purse is just a handbag, but with that symbol, a purse is transformed into a representation of wealth.

Brand Names Give Consumers a Feeling of Importance

John Dewey, a famed American philosopher, commented that the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important” (qt. in Carnegie, 18). Luxury brand marketers know this. The automotive company, Ferrari, has among the most expensive and sought-after cars on the planet. The burgeoning number of Ferrari-drooling millionaires has extended the waiting list time to two years in some countries.

Despite this incredible demand, Ferrari refuses to drastically increase its output (Frank). Why? Because, “As more and more people get rich, they can’t all have the same luxury goods. Or if they can, they’re no longer luxury goods” (Frank). Jens Baumgarten, head of financial services at Simon Kucher & Partners, said that luxury corporations “are not selling goods, they are selling an emotion” (Lindner). The Ferrari consumer, as part of a small group, believes he is respected and elite.

Robert Blanchard, former P&G executive, wrote that “As a person, you can respect, like and even love a brand.” (“Parting Essay, 1999). Brand names make people feel richer, wealthier, more elite and more important. With all those attributes, who wouldn’t buy a Maserati beach towel, eighty-two dollars or not?