Although it is one of today’s buzzwords, “Social Media” is a generic term that refers to websites that allow one or more of the following services: social networking, content management, social bookmarking, blogging and micro-blogging, live video-casting, and access into virtual worlds. Social Media—the technology as we know it today—has its roots in Usenet, a worldwide discussion system that allowed users to post public messages to it.

Social media refers to online resources that people use to share content. This content can include images, photos, videos, text messages, pins, opinions and ideas, insights, humor, gossip, and news of almost any kind. Drury’s list of social media includes the following: Blogs, vlogs, social networks, message boards, podcasts, public bookmarking and wikis. Popular examples of social media applications include Flickr (online photosharing); Wikipedia (reference); Bebo, Facebook and MySpace (networking); (bookmarking) and World of Warcraft (online gaming).

Unlike traditional marketing models that are nothing more than one-way delivery systems from a company to its consumers, social media is about building a relationship with an audience and starting a two-way dialogue between a company and its consumers. In this new environment, marketing becomes a multi-dimensional discipline that is about receiving and exchanging perceptions and ideas. The consumer is seen as a participant rather than as a “target audience.” The old Source-Message-Channel-Receiver model is evolving into “a collaborative and dynamic communication model in which marketers don’t design ‘messages’ for priority audiences but create worlds in which consumers communicate both with the company and with each other.”

Intelligencia can help businesses develop and implement the following social media services:

Adding social media to a static Website can turn a site into a highly interactive destination that allows interested users and/or customers to actually become a participant in the marketing of the site and the casino. Adding “Like” buttons makes it easy for users to share content; sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are some of the more well-known and highly understood social networks and these are good places to start, but other platforms such as Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. can also be used to spread the company’s message far and wide.

“Crisis management” refers to the art, technique or practice of averting or dealing with crisis situations that threaten to harm an organization, its stakeholders, or the general public. It is also the attempt to limit the damage of a known or unforeseen problem. According to Seeger, Sellnow & Ulmer (1998), there are three elements that are common to most definitions of a crisis: (a) a threat to the organization, (b) the element of surprise, and (c) a short decision time.

No other media even comes remotely close to the data measurement capacity that mobile offers, which begins with exposure to the advertisement, followed by the persuasive effect of the advertisement and, finally, to the actual purchase of a product. Today, in many cases, it is usually possible to tell if a comment, a “Like”, a vote, or a blog, is coming in through a mobile or a social media platform. Facebook, YouTube,

In 2001, Hislop defined branding as “the process of creating a relationship or a connection between a company's product and emotional perception of the customer for the purpose of generation segregation among competition and building loyalty among customers.” According to the Management Study Guide, “Brand management begins with having a thorough knowledge of the term ‘brand’. It includes developing a promise, making that promise and maintaining it. It means defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand.”

Social media has really upped the ante when it comes to customer engagement because, through these channels, customers can not only connect with the brand they like, but also with other people who like the brand. What is new now “is that customer engagement is not just a brand's connection with the customer. It is also the customers' engagement with one another in the horizontal, viral aspects,” argues Macy and Thompson.248 It is these horizontal and viral aspects that can be so important—and, potentially, so lucrative.

Macy and Thompson explain that, “Beginning in 2008, the terms sentiment and influence were introduced into the real-time ecosystem to describe how to begin measuring the different aspects of listening. In addition to listening to mentions, companies and brands started to realize that they needed to listen to ‘influencers’, the leading voices whom others listen to.”247 Companies and brands quickly realized that there were influential voices that should be listened to because they held a lot of weight amongst other members of the business community.247

As Reichheld and Sasser showed in their study Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Service52, loyalty is important because a customer’s profitability increases as his or her loyalty increases. In their study, the authors found that it usually took more than a year to recoup any customer acquisition costs, but then profits increased as customers remained with the service or firm.52 The cost of attaining a new customer is also substantially higher than maintaining a recurring customer.52

Since every “Like”, every purchase made, every video watched, every cellphone movement, and every website visit is logged somewhere on some server, they are all analyzable. As Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus explain in their Das Magazin article I Just Showed That the Bomb Was There[i], “Psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a method of analyzing people’s behavior down to the minutest detail by looking at their Facebook activity.”193 According to Grassegger and Krogerus193:

Managing one’s reputation has always been a difficult and complex task, but it has become even more challenging because the Internet has made it so easy to search for the reputation of a company or a person.[i] As Alison Woodruff argues in her article Necessary, unpleasant, and disempowering: reputation management in the Internet age208the Internet “creates a potentially permanent record of people’s alleged or actual actions that is readily accessible throughout much of the world. Online damage to one’s reputation can translate into offline harm, limiting an individual’s opportunities to find a job, attend college, or establish social relationships.”

Whether you call them “fans”, “friends”, “followers” or “subscribers”, building a community of users for your company will help its grow its customer base, as well as help the company participate in the conversation about its brand. Few would argue that customer satisfaction is the foundation of true customer loyalty, while customer dissatisfaction is one of the key factors that drive customers away and increasing loyalty is what building fanbases is all about, but a company should be aware that building large fanbases and gaining thousands of followers shouldn’t be an end-goal in itself,

As Bifet and Frank explain in their paper Sentiment Knowledge Discovery in Twitter Streaming Data[i]Twitter is a:

“potentially valuable source of data that can be used to delve into the thoughts of millions of people as they are uttering them. Twitter makes these utterances immediately available in a data stream, which can be mined for information by using appropriate stream mining techniques. In principle, this could make it possible to infer people’s opinions, both at an individual level as well as in aggregate, regarding potentially any subject or event.”

According to Webopedia[i]:

“social shopping is a slang phrase used to describe networked shopping. In electronic commerce it refers to consumers who use social networking services and sites to share their latest purchases, deals, coupons, product reviews, want lists, and other shopping finds. Some people may use affiliate links when they write about shopping and products on social spaces including Facebook, Twitter and other social networking services.”

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