Social media has been an important part of many firms’ marketing strategies in the past five years, but critics say it has yet to provide any mean...

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The importance of social media for business
The potentiality of social media is too important to ignore because of the experience and the possible benefit brought by its functionality to users and firms. An example can be seen from Lay’s potato chip’s case as follows:
Lay’s created a campaign “Do Us A Flavour” through the social media channel and provided a $1 million prize for the winning flavour. Lay’s invited its customers to share ideas about the new potato chip flavour on the Lay’s Facebook page and received 3.8 million submissions across 14 countries (David 2013). Then Lay’s narrowed down the choices to the top three flavours: Cheesy Garlic Bread, Chicken & Waffles and Sriracha. Customers could actually purchase these three flavours in the stores and vote on their favorite one via Facebook or on Twitter to decide which one could stay on shelves permanently and the million dollar winner. The result was paid off tremendously with 12% increase in sales and over 1 billion Facebook impressions (David 2013).

Many social media channel are designed to facilitate conversation between individuals and groups. For business, it is cost-saving to establish FAQs forum and communicate with customers openly on the Internet to receive valuable customer feedback. Besides, it is efficient to share expertise and knowledge in the communities. Based on Lay’s campaign, it successfully utilises social media for co-creation. This conception is corresponded to Kaplan and Haenlein’s (2010) collaborative project that “the joint effort of many actors leads to a better outcome than any actor could achieve individually.” The evidence can be seen that the campaign increased customer engagement by allowing its audience gathering in the community to share t...

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...by Atras 2013). It implies that by listening to customers’ feedback through social media, VAA not only reduces customer complaints, but also drives itself for progress.

4. Innovation beyond the familiar
VAA has been a pioneer of innovation in airline industry including super economy service, using bio fuels (Innovation Leaders 2014) and glass-bottomed plane (VAA, 2013). This conception also expands to social media marketing. It launched a travel website – vtravelled, detailing destination information, inspiration and offering photographs sharing. Moreover, VAA participated in the discussion with a traveler’s tone of voice (Barwise and Meehan 2010). It gathers like-minded people worldwide in an online community and increases the sense of authenticity when people navigate the site. It not only adds value for the consumer, but also reinforces brand image.

Conclusion

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