Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses

Social media marketing has become essential for all businesses in today’s marketplace. In order to compete in the marketplace, it is essential to be have a presence on social media. Small businesses typically cannot compete with large corporations in terms of the amount of money available for advertising.  Therefore, small businesses are forced to look for an alternative method to market their products and brand. Social media marketing is an inexpensive form of advertising that can potentially lead to great monetary and non-monetary rewards.

An effective social media strategy can lead to increased brand recognition, greater brand loyalty, more opportunities to grow the company’s customer base, increased traffic to the company website, decreased marketing costs, better search engine rankings, and increased sales. Most importantly an effective social media strategy allows you to better communicate with customers and gives you an opportunity to better understand the wants and needs of your customers. Each of these benefits, combined with the fact that creating content and a strategy for social media sites is relatively cheap, it allows small businesses to compete with larger corporations on a critical form of advertising media. I do not believe that there is a better or worse platform of social media for small businesses. Although it is essential for small businesses to get on any platform as soon as possible in order to start building the brand’s presence on social media and to keep up with competitors in the marketplace.

Sources:

(2014, August 11). Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/2/#4ea1ed715232

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#IceBucketChallenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became viral on social media around July and August of 2014. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was prominent on all popular forms of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge asks for a nominated individual to record themselves dumping a bucket full of ice water on their head or if they refuse they have to make a donation towards ALS research.  Once an individual completes the challenge, they are to nominate three individuals to complete the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the next twenty-four hours. The goal of the social media campaign was to promote awareness of the fatal disease and to increase donations towards ALS in order to find a cure for the disease.

The social media campaign was a huge success, as more than 17 million people uploaded videos to Facebook. The videos were viewed more than 10 billion times by 440 million people. Because of the success of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge it is now an annual event that takes place every August until a cure for the disease is discovered. The highlight of the campaign was the awareness generated about the disease worldwide and as of August 2015, $220 million was raised from the challenge and helped advance the research of ALS immensely. According to the ALS Association the money raised from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been spent on research, patient and community services, public & professional education, fundraising, and external processing fees.

The target audience for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge received the campaign in an accepting manner and individuals genuinely had fun participating in the challenge and nominating their loved ones and friends to do the same. Although the social media campaign was a success there are a few things I would change about the campaign. I would recommend encouraging individuals to participate and donate to ALS instead of one or the other. Although $220 million is a substantial amount of money, potentially more money could have been raised if individuals participated and donated. Also I would recommend educating the public on the ALS disease.  Many individuals were taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge but had no idea what ALS stood for or what it meant if an individual had the disease. I believe the campaign can be strengthened by educating the public on the symptoms, effects, and causes of the ALS disease.

Sources:

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – FAQ. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2016, from http://www.alsa.org/about-us/ice-bucket-challenge-faq.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

Alfaro, L. (2015). Your $220 million to the ALS ice bucket challenge made a difference, study results show. Retrieved January 22, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/your-220-million-to-the-als-bucket-challenge-made-a-difference-2015-8