One of the major differences between classic marketing and social media marketing is social marketing’s ability to offer bidirectional, or two-way, communication. Classic marketing’s unidirectional, or one-way, communication limits the company’s message potential. When trying to get a message out to a large audience, one-way communication can prove to be effective in gaining awareness. However, two-way communication through social media marketing engages audiences. According to mashable.com brands use two-way conversation to get consumers attention, engage with them and learn about them by personalizing the online experience. Brands use two-way conversation to exude a human quality, showing that they care about what the consumer has to say.
Social media marketing allows companies to comment, like, retweet, and respond and answer complaints. Whole Foods Market is an example of a company that uses Twitter well to respond to customers who have positively tweeted about their experience. Whole Foods Market uses the opportunity to acknowledge their support from customers with short tweets, such as “We are so happy you are enjoying it!!” The healthy supermarket also uses its Twitter account to respond to complaints, by apologizing and offering advice on how to manage the customers issue. Facebook’s new feature to directly respond to comments has made social marketing even better for companies. Starbucks is an example of a company that uses its Facebook to connect and build relationships with its customers well. When customers comment on content posts, positively or negatively, Starbucks replies to hundreds of the comments engaging with the customers and maintaining the companies strong brand.
Whole Foods Market and Starbucks are leading examples of why social media marketing, and its ability to engage in two-way conversation, is beneficial to a company. Print ads, billboards and commercials are effective ways of getting a message out and generating awareness. But social media marketing is crucial in order for a company garner an active relationship with the consumer.
Social media marketing capitalizes on using a genuine, conversational tone. This quality allows companies to become more relatable to consumers, instead of appearing as a vast corporate entity. The professional tone of classic marketing is important in formal settings, such as news releases, however social media marketing’s approach is more personable. Communicating on social media sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, allows a company to act like a human.
According to a business2community.com article titled “Why It’s Important to Humanize Your Band on Social Media,” humanizing a company’s social media presence to reflect the company’s mission and inner workings, not only helps with brand recognition, but also users feel more connected. “Connecting breeds loyalty, which should be a key goal for any company,” the article states.
Social media marketing allows for humorous posts to grab attention from consumers. Oreo is a great example of how humor throughout social marketing helps create a connection with its audience, as shown in the tweet below.
According to “Social Media Marketing: The Importance of a Two-Way Conversation,” personalization and personality are key in social marketing. Two-way communication embodies the marketing strategy of personification. The article also emphasizes the importance of the company “being itself” to display the culture of the company through social media posts, photos and design work.
Both classic and social media marketing should be used together to create an extensive integrated marketing plan, but the growth in social media showcases the advantages of social marketing’s two-way communication and genuine language.