What is Social media marketing?
“Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool” (Rouse, 2017)
What are the key components of social media marketing (channel)?
- Audience Participation
- Managing social presence
- Viral campaigns
- Customers feedback
Over the last couple of decades, Social media has started becoming a more important tool for many companies and playing a bigger part in their marketing strategies online (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick, 2015). For a company to have effective marketing in this day and age, they will need to create an online presence in which their audience either look at or even interact with. Gaming has only become mainstream in recent history due to the rise and innovation of home consoles such as the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo’s many different ventures. With the sudden boom of the Internet and gaming, gaming companies went with the flow and trend and jumped on the bandwagon. By following the trend they were able to easily reach out to their target audience as the age of gaming users and Internet ‘Whizes’ were around the same.
For many companies in the gaming industry, they will want their stakeholders to feel like they matter. Audience participation in questionnaires and in general conversation about what they want from the next title will affect the decisions making of the company as they will want to appease their audience and keep them coming back. A great example of this is fans of first-person shooter game Call of Duty had outcries for them to make a World War 2 game, and years later they did which lead to the revival of the franchise.
Managing social presence
Gaming companies have a massive social presence when it comes to social media, as they will have multiple different social media accounts which you can interact with and they will respond, this can either be with a complaint or even praising them for something they are doing right. This method is great and is used by many gaming companies; Bungie interactive studios who interact with members of public, use it frequently. This is to build a relationship with their audience making them feel valued and special. This relationship helps Bungie to improve their next game, as the community like to voice complaint, which they seem to take on-board.
Many companies use sponsorship as a means to get to there demographic, the most viable way to do this seems to be to sponsor youtubers. Yotubers have a massive audience dependant on who you sponsor for example, Pewdiepie Has more than 58+ million subscribers so sponsoring him could be extremely beneficial, but if he then has negative press it can hurt the company as they would be associated to him.
Viral campaigns are a large part of the gaming industry as they need to be able to tell the public that ‘this new game is coming out and you should get it”. These campaigns are mostly online and some will be interactive to let you know about the game and may give you extra items within the game as an incentive. This type of thing has become especially easier over the years as algorithms have taken over the Internet. This means that dependant on what you search and look at you will get advertised something similar, so this can help adverts find the correct target audience and for gaming, this can increase the number of sales and attention.
For any company, good customer feedback is all they want but they are near impossible, as you can’t please all your consumers. Negative feedback can be used to build upon something that your company believes has a good footing to make it reach new heights or even appeal to people.
Risks of social media marketing
Audience Participation can backfire; as people don’t always take these questionnaires seriously and will give wrong answers on purpose, making results vary from what the target audience actually wanted.
Social presence is especially hard to get right in this modern era as if you get it wrong the internet will make fun of you and might become something of a gag company not to be taken seriously, which could impact sales and future projects.
Viral campaigns are good as they will get to many people and using algorithms you can get it to the right people. But you need to get the ad campaign right as if you get it wrong you cause a backlash from your own audience, an example of this is Pepsi’s advert which featured Kendal Jenner (advert below) which had a good meaning badly represented which caused Kendall Jenner and Pepsi to both have bad publicity.
Customer feedback is great as it helps you to improve your products in the future. But having customer feedback showing to everyone can cause problems as customer usually looks at the feedback of a product before they purchase it.
In conclusion, social media marketing is very effective if done right and can influence positives going forward for a company, but the dame can be said for the negatives.
Rouse, M. (2017). What is social media marketing (SMM)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] WhatIs.com. Available at: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/social-media-marketing-SMM [Accessed 7 Jan. 2018].
Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2015). Digital marketing. 6th ed. Harlow: Pearson.