Social networking sites fulfill a variety of needs for both the consumer and the provider, namely a personal connection between the two. It is an excellent way to gauge various bits of information about a businesses target market such as age and other demographics.
You can determine the overall perception that the company portrays to its followers, which is then able to be compared to the initial research that determined what the company’s target market would be in the beginning to see if those are the same people following the company via social networking. Social networking is designed to be an open-format so people feel they have a voice to express themselves in a relatively “safe” environment. They can connect with peers and communicate without having to actually communicate in person which gives people a safety net.
This can be applied to businesses using social networking sites because those same feeling can be displayed between the consumer and the business by establishing a specific connection with their followers through exclusive promotions, daily updates about the company in general, various events updates, etc.
All these things create a relationship with the their customers that extends beyond the scope of traditional advertising because it reaches their customers on a perceived deeper level, as if they are more important to the company than those who don’t follow them. All of this is important because in today’s standards, there is very little customer loyalty in relation to what it used to be. Any way we can get customers to stay with a brand or company needs to be employed.
And while social networking sites are relatively new, to my generation and the youth that are becoming a powerful buying group, it might as well be considered “traditional” marketing and should be treated as such because it’s about connecting with them on a positive level and we should embrace that in any capacity as powerful as social networking sites.