Based on Tara Gustafson and Brian Chabot’s article on Cornell Maple Bulletin (2007) brand awareness is the awareness of customers, existing or potential, about a certain business and the products they offer. It is the lone advertising or marketing tool if you want to know if a product or business is going to work or is working. Its major components include profiling of target customers, logo, slogan, and/or name of business development, advertising, and customer relationship management (Sugandha Sharma). But with the decline of tri-media use in the global marketing stage, advertisers and marketers alike turn to a more likely ally, the World Wide Web.
With the current trend in advertising and marketing, agencies are turning their heads into using the new medium to promote businesses or brands. With massive online users of social networking sites to tap into, it is only a matter of time before everyone gets a hold of the new medium and the best way to get ahead of the pack is to use it now before it reaches its peak.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Based from UM Philippines Wave 6 study there are 845 million Facebook users as of December 2011, 43 million Google + users as of September 2011, 100 million Instagram users as of December 2012 (just 2 months after its launch), 100 million LinkedIn members, and as of June 2011 Twitter receives and sends 200 million tweets a day. Just by looking at the data itself, it does not take a scientist or a statistician to know that it is a goldmine. With that kind of number it is no wonder why every advertiser or marketer is trying to get a huge part of the social media pie through social media marketing.
To better understand this kind of marketing let us define Social Media. Based from Mangold and Faulds’ academic paper, it is the wide range of online and word-of-mouth forums that include blogs, company-sponsored discussion boards and chat rooms, consumer-to-consumer e-mails, consumer-product or service-rating websites and forums, internet discussion boards and forums, moblogs (sites containing digital audio, images, movies, or photographs), and social networking websites (Business Horizons, 2009).
And because of how easily people use (share, like, or tweet) the platforms, marketers exploit the phenomenon and with caution slowly introduces a product or a business within the desired social media site specifically in Facebook, which is considered to be the most easily accessible and user-friendly social media platform that has the ability to instantaneously share photos, videos, and quotes or stories. And because majority of these platforms are free, if you share something good/catchy and it becomes viral, the product rides a free promotion and that is a very effective marketing strategy because ROI will be unprecedented. And to make it an effective marketing strategy the brand/product to be promoted needs to be directed to its target client or population, marketers need to post quality-good content, and content managers for the brand needs to be active, reachable, and can easily connect to the customers (SpeakWell Communications, 2010).
Social Media Marketing in the Philippines
The data collected from Yahoo -Nielsen Net Index 2011 represents where the Philippines as a country is going in regards to Digital or Social Media Marketing. From 53% to 82%, social network engagement is no longer new to Filipinos and it is only pragmatic that companies are investing their money where increase ROI is guaranteed. Though some companies still rely on traditional media; television, print, or radio, and digital medium is still in its infancy the outlook is bright for digital marketing in the Philippines this can be correlated to the outstanding number of mobile devices being sold in the local market.
Social software or media when used correctly will always bring definite results for your company. And based from Johan Wigmo and Edvard Wikströ’s 2010 paper, the positive results always outweigh the negative results from brand awareness improvement and reputation to consumer relations and helping dissatisfied customers at an early stage.