In day to day lives, people come up with different organizations with the aim of achieving some goals. Some organizations are established to make profits while others are nonprofit organizations. For the past several years, technology advancement around the globe has been witnessed, and more and more people have access to technology. Of great concern, with technology, is the availability of internet and internet accessing gadgets. Many people can access the internet easier in their day to day lives. One of the products of the internet is social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others. Many organizations have changed the way they market themselves, and they are now using social media to reach their customers or audience. Some strategies that for-profit and non-profit organizations are using to market themselves using the social media will be looked at.
A website (s) which has online communication channels which are dedicated to interaction, sharing contents and it gets these inputs from the community is called social media (Rouse, n.d.). Social media marketing is the process of using social media to achieve certain goals. The objective of using social media marketing could be to gain attention from the platform users among other reasons. Different organizations use different social media strategies to reach more clients or to achieve other goals through social media marketing. However, for one to come up with a strategy that will be effective whether the organization is for profit or nonprofit, there are some things whose consideration is essential. For instance, according to rick dragon, it is essential to look at the brand or what the organization is offering, look at the customers/clients and finally look at the competitors who are offering similar products or services (Dragon, 2013).
A good social media strategy starts with the desired outcome. This is the point where the question of what is it that one wants to achieve from the social media marketing? (Dragon, 2013). Failure to know what exactly social media marketing is going to achieve for an organization is one of the many mistakes made by people coming up with a social media strategy. Before one can understand what should be achieved with a social media strategy plan, one must have a good understanding of the brand. Understanding the brand does not only involve knowing what is being offered to the customer but it involves much more. For instance, the marketers have to understand who owns the company. The CEOs, the shareholders and the employees or anybody who contributes towards delivering the service must be understood to come up with a good strategy. It is after understanding the brand that the marketer thinks of the desired outcome.
Some examples of the desired outcomes that the marketer will look at when creating the plan are increasing total customer value, increasing profits, increasing revenue, increasing customer satisfaction, creating brand awareness among other desired outcomes. After defining the desired outcomes, the marketer needs to create a social media matrix from where the progress will be checked. It is this matrix that one will be able to know how effective the plan is by checking what has been achieved (Dragon, 2013).
After understanding the brand and knowing what the plan is intended to achieve, the next step is to understand the customer. The questions of who are the customers? What are they about? Where are they? Among other customer related questions. These types of questions are most important for a for-profit social media strategy. If the customer/client is not understood properly, again the goals may not be achieved. In other words, the strategy will not be successful if the customer is not understood.
Another important tool in social media marketing is being a professional stalker. For instance, lets assume a certain organization has a Facebook page and it follows some people. Every time these people post something, the admin of the Facebook page hits the like button or comments something. At first, this may seem ineffective, but there is a time that these followers will wonder who is this who always likes my posts. That curiosity will make the followed person click on the profile. If he/she likes the kind of service offered, then the Facebook page admin may have succeeded in getting a new customer. That is being a professional stalker, a very important social media marketing tool (Dragon, 2013). Connections are also another important tool in social media marketing. For instance, a person with a Facebook page which has only 25 friends cannot reach many people as a person who has a thousand friends. Another very important step is content creation. The marketer has to create content that will help achieve the desired goals.
Non-profit enterprises also utilize social media to realize some of their goals. Unlike for-profit organizations, the non-profit marketing is usually used to create movements which could help the organizations raise funds or extend their services (Spence, 2012). According to Spence, One of the factors that motivated her non-profit organization to invest heavily in social media marketing is the need to know the kind of progress they are making for using social networks. Just like in for-profits, social media marketing gives nonprofits tools to monitor how effective their plan is in social media. In her interview, she also states that marketing in an organization is as important as the core business of the organization. She also says that story-telling in the content created for the marketing is also an effective way of realizing the goals just like in for-profit organizations marketing (Spence, 2012). Once the social media has been used to create the movement or to reach more people, the non-profit organization can raise more funds easily.
One of the challenges facing the organizations is budgeting for the social media marketing. Sometimes the organizers may feel as if they are spending too much money on marketing such that if they are to slash budgets, they dont know how much enough for marketing is. According to Spence (2012), slashing a big part of the marketing budgets is a very big mistake an organization can make. Developing a completely effective social media strategy is also a challenge that faces both the nonprofit and for-profit organizations ("Biggest Challenges Facing Social Media Marketers", n.d.).
In both for-profit and non-profit social media strategies, there are some common essentials some of which have been mentioned earlier in the essay. One of them is identifying the organizations goals. Once the goals are well known, using social media to contribute to reaching them will be a bit easier for a marketer (Daoud, 2016). There are many goals that an organization can be willing to achieve through social media marketing, but it is advisable to choose a few and focus on them. A marketer with too many goals may end up not achieving any (Daoud, 2016). After deciding on the goals, another essential step is coming up with objectives. It is through objectives that a marketer will know if a certain goal has been achieved. For example, if a company wants to achieve the goal of increasing its profits, an example of a good objective would be to increase profits by 50% after six months.
Knowing the target audience for both the non-profit and for-profit organization marketing is also an essential element. Some of the things that a marketer would be seeking to know about a customer are their interest, dislikes, habits, problems, their age, income among others. Such data helps the marketer know the ideal customer. Another essential element is doing some research on competition (Daoud, 2016). This includes checking the progress of other organizations who are offering the same product or service. It is essential in that it enables the marketer to pick some working strategies and tactics from other companies and apply them. Through this, one is also able to know the social media platform that will best suit his/her organization.
The essential step is creating a content strategy. A person may succeed in choosing the best platform to reach the audience but fails to create the best content for the audience. A good content strategy is one that has the right content, is posted at the right time and the frequency of posting is also ideal. Allocating budget is also as important as other essential steps for a good strategy as seen earlier in the essay. The last essential element is assigning roles (Daoud, 2016). This is where the person in charge assigns duties to the members to avoid confusion and increase productivity.
Since the emergence of social platforms, the way through which organizations reach their clients has changed. For-profit organizations use social media to entice it, customers, while nonprofit organizations use social media to reach more people for easier fundraising. One of the reasons that have made the social media a famous platform for marketing is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to other modes of advertisements, social media is a convenient and cost-effective way of sending a certain message to the audience (Lake, 2017). For its convenience and ability to reach more audience, many nonprofits have said that social media plays an important role when raising funds. Social media also helps organizations get feedback from their community which in turn helps them in meeting the customers needs. Having helped organizations achieve a lot of their goals and objective, it is now clearly evident that an organization that is not using social media marketing is living in the past. However, to achieve the desired goals, one needs advice from the market experts to come up with a good strategy.
As seen earlier, the use of social media for organizations has many benefits. One notable benefit is value creation. Enhancing communication between the service producer and the customer has enabled value creation. For example, a customer who is unsatisfied with a particular product will give his negative sentiment directly to the company. The company will use the customers information to improve or rectify their product or service (Hausman, 2013). Social media also cut the cost of bringing innovations. Apart from negative sentiments from the customer, they also bring innovation suggestions at little or no cost. In one way or another, this could reduce the cost used in R&Ds. Social media has also created value for nonprofits. One way is through creating a discovery device. According to studies, most people are learning about non-profits that they can help through social media (Chisholm, n.d.). Social media has also created value for nonprofits in that more needy people are benefiting from the charitable organizations. This is so because people can also be able to present their problems directly to the organizations and through follow-ups, the organizations can serve more people.
To conclude, technology advancement has impacted the way of life in almost every part of the world. Organizations that have embraced technology and in this case use of social media platforms to market have seen the benefits in many ways. Organizations which are yet to start using social media market their products and services should start using it to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Biggest Challenges Facing Social Media Marketers. eClincher. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from https://eclincher.com/blog/biggest-challenges-facing-social-media-marketers/
Chisholm, S. Whats the True Value of Social Media for Nonprofits?. Best practices, tips and fundraising ideas for nonprofits. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from https://www.classy.org/blog/whats-the-true-value-of-social-media-for-nonprofits/
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