The primary goal of an organization is to “find and keep consumers” connected to the Organization and companies. To accomplish this goal, organizations give more attention to a marketing strategy, which helps them to identify consumers along with their needs. Marketing is an approach to create, communicate, deliver and establish a product which has value for others. In other words marketing acts as a brigade between consumer and organization which help them to connect with each other. In this competitive market it is essential to reach the target consumer as soon as possible. In order to achieve this goal, social media plays a significant role in reaching and connecting consumers to organizations through marketing. With a changing world, our standard of living is also changing with time. One of the important parts of our today's lifestyle is “Social media”. Researchers state that a group of adults spends almost 20 hours a week. All things considered, we can state that social media is a big platform for organizations to promote their service and products.
In a marketing filed Nicosia F.M., 1966 gave “Nicosia model” which states that communication process that occurs between a brand and a consumer is an important factor, which influences the consumer behavior the most. Communication with the consumer helps the organization understand their behavior as well as help to identify their need. Social media gives that opportunity to the organization to have a direct contact with the consumer. According to Rajgopal, at the present time the consumer is not passive anymore. They are more active in the process of marketing content and becoming a co-creator in the process. Consumers spend their time online most of the time, as a result organizations have to come online to make a connection with their consumer. The one who fails to connect with the consumer through an online platform loses the long-lasting relationship with them. As a result they lose the competition in the market. To connect with the consumer through a social media platform, the organization used different marketing strategies which are explained further in detail.
Marketing strategies are mainly concentrated on three factors which are psychological, emotional and social. Organizations try to include all three factors in marketing contact to stand out and gain the attention of consumers. More innovative the advertisement the more attention they get. To engage with the consumer, the organization used comment, feedback strategies more. They ask consumers to leave feedback or to rate the services they are receiving from a company or organization. Which helps to create a direct contact with a consumer and to increase their trust. They ask questions, poll, and vote or conduct surveys through stories or posts on different social media platforms. The other engagement strategies used by companies are hashtag or tagging someone in the post. Hashtags are a very strong media to increase an engineer or to reach to the consumer. The instant the Coca-Cola #Shareacoke campaign, where they reside and start printing names on a label. People used to post a picture with a name on a bottle and used to tag their friends and family whoever's name is on the bottle in the post. It increased the production of Coca-Cola. In the same fashion, collaboration of a company with a popular figure or some influence is also an effective strategy used by the company. It helps to promote the product toward the customer. At the same time they influence consumer behavior more. This is how organizations used social media to promote their services and product
To improve the marketing context it is important to know and understand the consumer behavior and decision-making of the consumer. One of the important theories used in the field of the market to understand consumer behavior is the “Five Factor Model”. It claims that there are five stages consumers go through while buying. Consumers may follow all five steps or may skip one or two stages. The five stages are recognizing the need, researching or collecting information, finding alternatives, purchasing and the last one is post-purchase behavior. Let's discuss each one in detail. The first consumer recognizes their need. The need also can be triggered with the help of external stimuli. For example, with the help of algorithms, companies try to trigger consumers to buy or consider buying the products. After consumers recognize their need, they move to the next step that is collecting information. In this stage consumers search the product and try to collect information regarding that product or service. They may watch different videos on You-tube related to the products or can read blogger comments on the products. They can ask their friends or family to gather more information. The information gathered from family is more influential than information gathered from external sources. Then they search for an alternative product, they consider factors such a price and brands into consideration while looking for alternative products. Next stage is the purchasing stage. Consumers do not purchase products right after recognizing the need. They take time to purchase the services and goods they want. The time take form need recognition to purchase is lengthier. And the last is post-purchase behavior. It is mostly dependent upon the satisfaction of the consumer. If they feel the product was good, and they are satisfied they will buy that product again while skipping the research and alternative process. But if they did not like the product or service they will again follow the same stages of decision making.
Social media helps to deal with excessive information and filter the information which is not needed. As well as it is a more easy, faster and effective way to promote the services and product. Social media helps them to stand out and to reach a consumer. Social media gave more power to the consumer. To give an example of myntra (the online shopping store), the logo case, where one post forced them to change their logo within a day. A TikTok ban is also a result of the impact of social media. The world’s largest coffee-house Starbucks used social media to promote their products and services. They used Instagram worthy cups so that people will post and tag them in a story, such as the Unicorn Frappuccino, which are often selected to be re-shared via the official channels and also used in influencer campaigns. Which help them to increase their engagement. They mostly target the higher wage-earning professionals, business owners, or other higher-end customers in the 22-50 age group. One of the recent campaigns Starbucks launched is a social media campaign in 2 phases, named as reconnecting with Starbucks. The first phase was where they asked their consumer to share their ways of reconnecting amidst the pandemic and share their favorite Starbucks memory on their personal Instagram handles with the hashtag #ReconnectWithStarbucks. The second phase was named “Half Cup Full”, where they asked their consumers to comment on their favorite beverage on the post. They then sent these customers voice notes of baristas hollering the customers’ names along with their favorite beverage to remind them of the famous in-store experience. This was a great campaign as it not only reminded the people of all the good memories with Starbucks but also made them feel important and valued by them.
To conclude the article, in my opinion Social media is a good opportunity for an organization to reach the target consumer. It will help small organizations to grow. As well as help the organization to modify and make it consumer-friendly. They can easily change themself according to consumer need, because they know exactly what consumers want and expect from them. The effective use of social media gives an opportunity to consumers to enjoy the services and goods. Along with the chance for growth and development of organizations and companies.