‘Clickbait Marketing’: How organisations adapt to increasing competition in social networks and exploring the changing dynamics of content marketing in the Facebook and Twitter era in hospitality industry

Home / ‘Clickbait Marketing’: How organisations adapt to increasing competition in social networks and exploring the changing dynamics of content marketing in the Facebook and Twitter era in hospitality industry

 

Abstract 3

Chapter One: Introduction. 4

1.1. Background. 4

1.2. Research Aim.. 6

1.3. Research objectives. 6

Chapter Two: Literature Review.. 7

2.1. The current marketing and social networks. Definitions, concepts and related applications. 7

2.2. Social networks and the social commerce. 8

2.3. The hospitality industry marketing through social networks. 10

2.3.1. The adoption of social networks as a channel expansion in the sales process. Benefits and challenges  10

2.3.2. The social media marketing as a new strategy for businesses. 12

2.3.3. Factors influencing social networks: Content, comments, reputation and impact. 13

2.4 Clickbait: Concept and Understanding. 14

Chapter Three: Methodology. 17

3.1. Part 1: Planning and development of the literature review.. 17

3.1.1. Planning, development review and presentation of results. 17

3.2. Part 2: Building marketing strategies related to the use of social networks. 20

Chapter Four: Empirical analysis. 21

4.1. The application of the 4E’s in the hospitality industry. 21

4.2. Generating marketing strategies related to the use of social networking companies in the hospitality sector  23

4.3. Pinterest 24

4.3.1. Influence and benefits in marketing and sales in the hospitality industry. 26

4.4. Discussion. 31

Chapter Five: Conclusions. 34

Appendix: Translated transcription. 49

 

 

 

 

Abstract

After a thorough review of the literature, the present paper argues that the use of social networks as part of a marketing strategy for companies in the hospitality sector, can be a competitive for these advantage and aims on the one hand, make a review the state of the art that serve to lay the foundations for a more specific investigation and, second, to generate, based on the theoretical support studied strategies for companies in the hospitality industry who want to improve their foray into social networks as part of their marketing strategy.

 

 

 

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1. Background

The use of internet as a new channel for expansion and as a marketing platform is a reality (Geyskens, Gielens, & Dekimpe, 2002), the figures show that Internet traffic intended for web sites social commerce or social shopping. It grew more than 500% between 2007 and early 2008 (Stephen & Toubia, 2010) Today, global business social commerce round around 9 billion dollars with an annual growth of 56%, while the annual spending of European e-commerce has already reached 188,000 million euros (Cortés, 2013). On the other hand, mobile devices and connectivity that offer people influence social networks, making them important elements for any company (Clawson, 2011), mass marketing tools (Hoffman & Novak, 2012) and in one of Internet sites where people spend more time (Lipsman, Mud, Rich, & Bruich, 2012). Due to these reasons, the role of the internet has changed and now is an important channel to facilitate the way of doing business and social interaction between people (Liang, Ho, Li, & Turban, 2011; Mills, 2012).

Previous studies warn that social networks influence in an environment that did not exist a decade ago (Williams, Crittenden, Keo, & McCarty, 2012). Today, companies seek to increase their market presence in the media (Shooner, 2011), trying to adapt social networks in their strategies and business models, identifying the most influential users and devising marketing strategies according to them ( Andzulis, Panagopoulos, & Rapp, 2012; Chau & Xu, 2012). Unfortunately find an integrated platform that allows companies to connect with their customers while improving your experience, it is a challenge for those responsible for marketing and sales (Pagani & Mirabello, 2011). Even when they no longer have much influence on the social networks, as they are now customers who can create and propagate information due to strong growth with these networks (Marshall, Moncrief, Rudd, & Lee, 2012; Mills, 2012) .

On the other hand, the weight of the service sector in recent years has increased and plays an increasingly important role in the economy (Gustavo, 2013) paper. Users of this sector are accustomed to constant connectivity and rapid response to their needs, but due to the diversity of ideas, marketing has become an essential tool for the success of any company (Celine, 2012). Having strategies that arouse users interest in the products and services and enable them to attract more customers in addition to obtaining a competitive advantage, is the continuous thinking companies. While all sectors could make a profit with these tools, one of the sectors which in past decades has seen a number of developments in the area of ​​information technology (IT) is the service sector, particularly the hotel sector (Gustavo, 2013).

IT and social networks revolutionized the hospitality industry, influencing their business and how to promote the services in each of the areas. Cohen & Olsen (2013), show that companies in this sector they can be successful using these resources to improve their customer service levels and even the productivity of their employees. However, companies are still trying to understand the importance of good online marketing strategy through social networks and how are you can improve and increase sales of their services (Marshall et al., 2012). For companies wishing to venture into the use of social networks as marketing tools, they should clearly identify the objectives and the stages necessary for implementation (Britton, 2012), the differences between the various types of networks and roles played by each in different scenarios (Andzulis et al., 2012).

The work includes a review of the literature on issues of social commerce, social media and hospitality and the results of theoretical study takes the form of useful strategies and practices for companies in this sector.

1.2. Research Aim

With the increasing attention drawn to sites such as Upworthy and Buzzfeed, how have organisations adapted to – and compete with these businesses in social media environments, mainly Facebook and Twitter? What is the future of content marketing in social networks and how are social media marketers going about these arising challenges?

1.3. Research objectives

  1. To assess if, and if so the extent to which, sites such as Upworthy and Buzzfeed have impacted on the social media strategy of firms
  2. To understand the contemporary process of planning and executing a social media strategy in 2015
  3. To examine the tactic of click bait in order to evaluate its effectiveness to increase traffic and future viability for hospitality sector

 

 

Chapter Two: Literature Review

2.1. The current marketing and social networks. Definitions, concepts and related applications

Regis McKenna for marketing is everything and everything is marketing (McKenna, 1991). For Kotler, the father of modern marketing, is the social and administrative process by which groups and individuals meet their needs by creating and exchanging goods and services (Kotler, 2004) and according to the dictionary business marketing is  management process through which products and services reach the customer, turning from an initial concept to the product or service offered.

Due to economic conditions, new consumer behaviours and especially new technologies, concepts of traditional marketing have evolved and changed (Ruzic, Andrlic, & Ruzic, 2011). For example, the traditional Marketing Mix, which includes the 4P’s of marketing (product, price, place and promotion strategy) (Borden, 1964), have changed to focus on the treatment and exchange of ideas with the customer, instead of focus on products (Desai, 2013; Kotler, 2004). The traditional use of social networks as tools for selection and recruitment of staff has also changed, and now are seen as marketing tools (Wood, 2012). Moreover, the mode of action of the companies has changed and, in the service sector, these compete to build and strengthen their position in the market, while customers purchasing decisions (Navarro & MartinezMartinez, 2011 face) which are influenced by the information they receive about the products or services offered (Barber, 2009). The customer-company relationship has changed, this will affect the business, and will affect the projection of a business and the benefits arrive by customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships (Kotler, 2004).

Based on these premises, companies should optimize their websites and find new strategies for greater involvement of customers, increasing their incomes, improve relations with consumers (Saladow, 2012) and co-create a marketing between the company and the customer (zouni & Kouremenos, 2008). Depending on their position within the market, marketing strategies vary (Desai, 2013). Kotler (2004) suggests starting with a well-defined focus on meeting customer needs and market; while Desai (2013) states that a combination of better prices with a differentiation strategy is appropriate. Following this line, a company may differ from each other in their products, services, channels, people or image (Watkins, 2010) but may also be differentiated by offering unique services compared to competitors (Kotler, 2004).

2.2. Social networks and the social commerce

The concepts of social networks and social commerce are relatively new, many of these terms are born from the integration of areas such as marketing, sociology, social behaviour, internet and e-commerce (Turban, Bolloju, & Liang, 2010) and there is still no consensus on definitions. For example, everyone agrees that social commerce covers commercial activities such as buying and selling, and these are conducted online using social networks. They also agree that social networks are related to the exchange, creation and interaction of Internet content oriented applications. Several authors name them differently, but all agree that are the places or platforms where they can find the activities is also seen social commerce and where people interact with each other.

Moreover, some make small differences in the range that cover such applications. To Andzulis et al., (2012) or Agnihotri et al., (2012) the platforms on which the activities take place within social networks are broadly defined. But Michaelidou, et al., (2011) or Cortizo, et al., (2011) these platforms are defined in more detail, covering applications from broadcast video to mobile platforms. For work defining used Marshall et al., (2012) for social networks and the definition of Pagani & Mirabello, (2011) to speak of social commerce

The social commerce is fundamental to the essence and it is these relationships which sets it apart from other commercial activities (Liang et al., 2011). While the social commerce was related to the concept of social marketing by Kotler started in the 70s, it is currently more associated with the area of ​​social networks (Turban et al., 2010). To define and identify potential research problems on social commerce Liang & Turban (2011) they defined six keys to classify research in this area elements: research themes, social networking, business, basic theories, results and research methods. This work will cover two of these issues: social networks and commercial activities in the hospitality sector.

Stephen & Toubia (2010) maintain that social commerce markets have four distinct characteristics: They can offer products or services, you can sell both businesses and individuals, the place of sales are online shops (many custom times) and these stores are connected them to network, whose main incentive commissions are made by sales made. But the social commerce is not purely related to sales but also the monitoring of the information obtained from each channel (as a global marketing program) for the development of indicators (Britton, 2012).

Turban et al., (2010) studied the activities and limitations that the social commerce includes, concluding that this facilitates certain activities of e-commerce and that affected the traditional way in which they had been doing (increasing the volume in some and creating new business models etc.). These commercial activities may be grouped in certain categories, each with secondary activities (Liang & Turban, 2011; Turban et al., 2010):

  1. Social Media Marketing
  2. Management of the company
  3. Technology
  4. Support and integration
  5. Management and organization

Therefore, any event that is part of social commerce elements must include: commercial, social networks and interactions between the (Liang & Turban, 2011) community. These elements allow their activities businesses take advantage of social capital in line offered by social networks (Liang et al, 2011; Liang & Turban, 2011).

2.3. The hospitality industry marketing through social networks

2.3.1. The adoption of social networks as a channel expansion in the sales process. Benefits and challenges

The introduction of a new canal expansion will affect the daily activities of a company (Geyskens et al., 2002) and its performance will depend on the nature of the business, the introduction of the strategy and market or surrounding environment (Andzulis et al ., 2012; Geyskens et al, 2002). A consistent channel is a good tool when sending messages to customers (Ramsay, 2010; Social Marketing, 2012) by social networks that fact should not be treated as another channel, rather should be treated as platforms lead simultaneously interacting with the customer and company reputation (Andzulis et al., 2012). Companies are assimilating the potential of these technologies and have begun to adopt (Agnihotri et al, 2012; Andzulis et al, 2012). But this decision will depend on the type of service customers and companies (Andzulis et al, 2012.; Michaelidou et al., 2011) and should not be limited to the creation of a web page on Facebook or a Twitter account (Andzulis et al., 2012). Companies must understand that social networks are not limited to public consumption technologies (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) but there are also internal tools that can be helpful, such as salesforce.com (Chatter) (Andzulis et al., 2012)

Social networks have changed the way in which traditional sales are conducted (Marshall et al., 2012) and due to variations aspects of technology, become dominant sales tools, altering the interaction and client-company (Marshall et al., 2012). Although the sales staff has no clear relationship with their social networking strategies, or the value they provide, Agnihotri et al., (2012) state that the use of social networks has a positive influence on the service provided and which ultimately provide added value for both the company and customers. So companies must act wisely and listen to their customers and even competitors to analyse the true value of social networks (Andzulis et al., 2012).

The primary objective of social networking is to build relationships, therefore you should be able to take advantage of these (Liang et al, 2011; Liang & Turban, 2011) to extract benefits information available on social networks has great potential for service providers but also for companies that implement (Turban et al, 2010; Zhao et al, 2012.). Thanks to these technologies was demonstrated that major changes are possible, not only in the business area but also in various fields (Shneiderman, Preece, & Pirolli, 2011), to be fully opened and managed by users (Agnihotri et al., 2012), the diversity of information that can be extracted from social networks is remarkable (Agnihotri et al., 2012). But often they are not clearly distinguished the benefits they entail (Michaelidou et al., 2011), only the companies that implement a clear strategy, drawn important and professionals (Agnihotri et al., 2012) benefits. On this basis, it is important that companies assess the opportunities and risks associated with social networks and analyse whether or not they can help improve your performance (Turban et al., 2010), always considering the experience that screened at this means influence the degree of commitment that in the future users to acquire the company (Pagani & Mirabello, 2011).

2.3.2. The social media marketing as a new strategy for businesses

The social media marketing is related to the use of marketing in social networks (Basil, 2012), it is an amplified version of the oldest and most potent form of marketing WOM6 (Guilford, 2012) and has as main objective to attract new consumers and cultivating relationships with them, followed by increasing the visibility and dissemination of the company (Michaelidou et al., 2011). In addition to redefining traditional marketing strategies, social networks are transforming the involvement and commitment of consumers (Liang & Turban, 2011; Pagani & Mirabello, 2011) and, unlike other social networking technologies do not require a large investment without But marketing expenses focused on these channels increase (Michaelidou et al., 2011).

For the success and spread of a marketing campaign in the media Mills (2012) identified four factors: the content, the average propagation, message continuity and integration of multiple platforms. Other authors also consider variables such as entertainment, interaction, personalization, trend and WOM (Khansa et al, 2012; Kim & Ko, 2012, Social Marketing, 2012; Zhao et al, 2012.). In general, a marketing strategy must consider the content to be displayed and users who are part of the social network (Amblee & Bui, 2011; De Vries et al, 2012; Pagani & Mirabello, 2011; Ramsay, 2010; Shooner , 2011; Social Marketing, 2012).

Companies should not be afraid to vary your strategies depending on the medium used as a strategy will not always be the same for each channel (Ramsay, 2010), but the right strategy can improve the performance of sales managers and help achieve the objectives of the company (Agnihotri et al, 2012; Hoffman & Novak, 2012). The ability of marketing managers to make better decisions improve substantially if they consider a greater number of variables and consumerism is present (Haenlein & Libai, 2013). Then, make a marketing campaign to expand will be one of the great achievements that the marketing staff to achieve (Mills, 2012).

For Matthews (2011) a strategy on social networks is to do many things at once and see what will best work for the company. But Hoffman & Novak (2012) advise that you must develop a study of each of the social networks and the use thereof before implementing a strategy. Furthermore Andzulis et al. (2012) note that strategies can be oriented four roads: the price, the relationships, the customer and the products and services. . And Agnihotri et al, (2012) a strategy based on social networks should:

  1. Define organizational objectives
  2. Focus on the use of social networks based on a specific type of audience
  3. Consider the movements and strategies of competitor
  4. Be aware of market events and
  5. Set goals throughout the process

While promoting products and services in the hospitality sector in social networks is to change the traditional marketing (Earls, 2012), the study of Kim & Ko (2012) notes that new social networking activities add value Additional traditional marketing did not. Therefore Cohen & Olsen, (2013) suggest hospitality companies to invest more in these resources, especially those intended for marketing area. While each company adopts different strategies based on their needs (Sheivachman, 2011), for hospitality companies and growth strategies will be key recovery (Earls, 2012). But for companies where social networks add a lot of complexity, there will always be companies that can help tertiary, analyse and manage the interactions of social networks (Withiam, 2012).

2.3.3. Factors influencing social networks: Content, comments, reputation and impact.

As for the content posted on social networks, Ramsay (2010) suggests that companies do not use these means of formal communications (financial statements), always keep the updated content and not be afraid to change strategy according to the channel use. The appreciation of the content by the user and motivation for sharing this has affected their dissemination (Mills, 2012), but users often enter the web without having a clear idea of ​​what they want, in this case content generated by users, the propagation medium and continued strengthening affect the efficiency and effectiveness of these when consumption (Goldenberg, Oestreicher-Singer, & Reichman, 2012; Mills, 2012). The marketing staff hospitality companies must ensure that customers want to discuss the content displayed (Pardee, 2011; Teuber, 2012). It is advised that this is innovative to differentiate itself from competitors and generate an impact (Earls, 2012) and that the published issues are easily shared (discount offers, etc.) and to raise the visibility of the company in the network (Nugent, 2012).

To be available for countless users and have an influence on the behaviour of customers, comments on social networks (Hennig-Thurau & Walsh, 2003) help to identify and address any problems and are useful for marketing staff , customer and for the same users (Clawson, 2011). Share positive or negative comments positively affect the number of response that will by users (de Vries et al., 2012) and act to the bad reviews immediately generate an impact from the starting line (Watkins, 2010), ie socially active company increased its popularity in the media (de Vries et al., 2012).

2.4 Clickbait: Concept and Understanding

The clickbait or clicks bait is a technique used by some companies, which publish some content for the sole purpose of gaining clicks on their websites. Many companies like Facebook, consider this harmful practice and even try to kill her. But Mathew Ingram goes further and questioned where the line between this intrusive marketing strategy and give readers what they want in an article published on GigaOm.

The ethnographer Angéle Christin has studied for two years the impact they are having metrics and analytics in digital journalism in the United States and France and has been shown that such is the obsession that exists in some media does not allow their editors know the metrics related to its publications, for fear of interfering and distorting his work .

Ingram says these data and obsession they have completely changed the way we produce media content at this time. The ability to know the number of readers who have clicked on a particular item, how far along their reading, where they come from and if they decide to share, is undoubtedly many changes. But in the opinion of this journalist also it has led to the production of a more related content to readers’ tastes. Therefore, he concludes, it is not as easy to load all the blame on techniques like clickbait, if that helps to offer those who really looking for.

For some time blogging and digital media have ceased to strive for holders to have good SEO and first appear in search engines and have chosen to devote their energies to win clicks on Facebook, to be in the most brazen manner. And that has led to content creators to change the strategy to attract attention quickly to such competition.

One of the main tactics it is clickbait , i.e., the trick of putting a sensational, provocative and alluring eyes of the reader holder, whose main aim is to draw attention and attract visitors to a particular web page.

Websites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Viralnova started this practice and now even the mainstream media use it. This practice, although criticized by many, has also brought positive aspects. Come up with some considerations.

  1. The information becomes more enjoyable in order to find new users

For some time the post looking for information not is as complex and faces a context where people receive many impacts (social networks). Seeks to be interesting and not heavy, conceived more for the enjoyment of the user to be sold as a promotional post. Many experts say the clickbaiting leads simplify information, responding very easy and understandable way to the base of the holder and then finish the story for deriving the user to a site with more information powerful and serious about it (this point sometimes forget what content creators). With this formula, increases brand awareness as to consume more such news, it appears that more people will be exposed to your brand and therefore extend content and brand perception. If after clicking overcome barriers, it is an interesting content to sate the curiosity point for the brand.

Obviously there is a bad part: The overuse of that formula. Since copies of Buzzfeed and co. to general newspapers and others that point to jump on the bandwagon without having something to communicate. Sometimes too clever with this drift that readers look ignorant. And to make an attractive holder can be relatively easy, but the contents of the size, it is more complicated.

If just saying that this technique can generate more brand presence, the opposite effect is that it can hurt your credibility. For example, in some newspapers the content producing means depreciates and no longer maintains the values of the editorial line, looking only to seduce the viewer. And here they collide fore the need (emergency) financial and editorial line of the media.

 

 

Chapter Three: Methodology

This paper is divided into two parts. The first comprises a literature review to develop state of the art of the subject matter and the second is the generation of strategies.

3.1. Part 1: Planning and development of the literature review

A literature review is necessary as the foundation of any work (Kitchenham et al., 2009), but to describe the state of art of a topic fielt, E. & Miskon, S., (2011) argue that the important thing is to discover the theoretical foundations in which the topic for future analysis and expansion of the knowledge base of the industry is based. For this, you must define the studies that are relevant to the investigation, the same as what has been done so far show (Brereton, Kitchenham, Budgen, Turner, & Khalil, 2007). Following a methodology to analyse and summarize information quality (Brereton et al., 2007). With a solid foundation and methodology appropriate search for the topic of research, it demonstrates that the proposed work will contribute something new to the body of knowledge and developments in their field (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011). Furthermore, interview was conducted with Christian Leeb, CEO of Angelitos Inc to gather primary information regarding the topic.

Following Brereton et al. (2007) performed a literature review requires planning, development review and submission and review of results.

3.1.1. Planning, development review and presentation of results

For part of the planning Brereton et al. (2007) recommend to specify the scope and the search protocol to be achieved and develop. Therefore you should select the domains of interest and not look at all available areas (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011; Kitchenham, 2004), which will minimize bias covering the study, documenting information found and defined in advance as the review (Brereton et al., 2007) was made. For work it was considered mostly only scientific articles, excluding those items that involve areas of study and irrelevant taking into account only those related to the sales, marketing, social commerce, social media and hospitality. To read the articles he ordered according to their relevance, always starting with the most relevant. As a limitation, it should be mentioned that it was not possible to access all the information found in the database, due to the restriction or the format of presentation of some items. In this work we were not raised research questions and hypotheses and also were defined geographical or temporal scope since they are left for future research and studies that want to address the issue raised most.

Regarding the development of the review, this part includes identifying and removing articles, sources and search strategy, in addition to the analysis and classification of content. A literature search should be conducted in different electronic sources of information (Brereton et al., 2007), for the job, the search process was conducted in the following databases: Polibuscador UPV, EBSCO, Emerald, Google Scholar, Web of Science and Science Direct and keywords used to find items were: marketing, s-commerce, social commerce, social media, social media marketing, social networks, social media strategy,  Pinterest , hospitality and tourism ; these words were searched in titles, abstracts and text of articles. During the literature review and other items primary side (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011), between about 90 items were consulted, trying whenever possible to select items only from 2011 to date found.

As for the search strategy, Brereton, et al., (2007) recommend select whichever is appropriate according to topic, as this will significantly contribute to the removal of documents during the review of the literature (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011). For work, the criteria used in the search strategies varied depending on the database in which they worked, but the goal of the strategy was always to find the main authors and references in the field, definitions, characteristics, stories success, possible research and context of previously published studies on the subject (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011). For the selection of items methodology Brereton et al was followed. (2007), first titles, summaries and conclusions of publications to discard the irrelevant studies were reviewed and then full of those who were rejected to burn copies are obtained, review and understand in detail according to the search protocol set (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011). To process the information gathered manager Zotero references used as document reader Adobe Acrobat Reader is used.

Zotero is bibliographic reference manager free software that easily integrates the browser (Guevara & Raymond, 2009). Thanks to this it was possible to collect, sort, group and export the references to then manage these resources in a better way. Zotero is a complement of free, open Firefox and continuously updated installation presents no major problem, but you can consult your page web tutorials in case of doubt. Zotero’s main function is to export such references in different formats and automatically generate citations in different styles, and allowing search for a document by its ISBN or DOI and automatically add it. It can be integrated with word processors such as Word and automatically create literature, but is also compatible with many managers as ref Works and reference manager.

For submission and review of the results should be analysed and write the discoveries found then expose (fielt, E. & Miskon, S., 2011). For paper reviews the state of the art about the use of social networks as a marketing strategy companies in the hospitality sector was formulated, following Kitchenham et al. (2009) of each of the studies consulted you tried to store a complete reference. These include information such as the source (title of the publication and title of the study), or authors and year of publication, among others, they are presented at the end of work.

  • In the database Google scholar it was difficult to make good filtering information, as it has no such specific fields as other databases.
  • Many false negatives and positives were omitted losing information that might have been helpful. But for future research who wishes to go deeper into the topic they may be considered (Kitchenham et al., 2009).

3.2. Part 2: Building marketing strategies related to the use of social networks

The development work continued with the implementation of the information from the review of literature for generating marketing strategies related to the use of social networks in hospitality companies. Due to the proliferation of Facebook and Twitter as most studies focus on these two social networks, work focused on a new social network called Pinterest, which has such rapid growth that was selected as the site of greatest growth history (Gilbert, Bakhshi, Chang, & Terveen, 2013). This social network features, functions and favours the area as marketing and sales in the hospitality sector were identified. The conclusions and discussions on the subject, the future research, constraints and work results are presented to finish the job.

 

 

Chapter Four: Empirical analysis

4.1. The application of the 4E’s in the hospitality industry

Table 2 summarizes the characteristics of the traditional marketing mix and its development, providing some examples of the application of the 4E’s in the hospitality sector.

Table 2: Comparison of 4 P’s and the 4 E’s of the Marketing Mix. Source: Authors.

Product: creating products and designs based on customers

 

Experience: The information collected from customers is a source of innovation and development of new products and services that promote co-creation.

The intention is to:

• Achieve greater memory with a memorable and unique experience

• Customize the travel experience

• Achieve commitment to the company

Example:

TAP airline personalized your website so they could sell in addition to simple plane tickets offer customers services such as accommodation, insurance, car rental, etc. All on the same page thanks to its alliances with other companies.

Price: the amount of money that a customer must pay for the product / service requested.

 

Exclusivity: it maximizes performance is more than the volume of profits, no matter the price.

Characteristics:

• A list of product / service dynamics.

• Focus more in demand.

• Stimulated by the philosophy of experiences.

Example:

In the hospitality industry, compete on price becomes risky, then the exclusivity offered will have considerable value in the decisions, for example an exclusive beach, differentiated service, etc.

Place: it is the location where the product / service can be purchased

 

Commitment: the service would be purchased anywhere (online and offline).

Characteristics:

• An active and close relationship with the customer.

• The traditional WOM7 now becomes eWOM8 (much more powerful).

• Technology platforms are important to share and talk with customers.

Example:

Travel virtual communities like TripAdvisor

Promotion: Includes all the communication process using the marketing staff to create the attention of the product / service potential or existing customers. It may be for advertising, public relations, personal selling, and promotional sales. Emotions: customer and not just listen. It is about creating links between its customers and communities.

Characteristics:

• Focus on sharing ideas in common

• Create a value in the brand / company.

• Transforming customer a spokesman for the brand / company.

Example:

Implementation of environmental policies in some hotels makes customer identification with the company spread the comments and add value to the service.

4.2. Generating marketing strategies related to the use of social networking companies in the hospitality sector

Based on the literature review, they posed a series of strategies that will allow the hospitality sector include and use social networks in combination with marketing strategies already using. It should be noted that these strategies are only a base and are not necessarily useful for all companies in this sector. Here we are some general criteria are presented, and then elaborate on three lines where most authors focus when talking about the use of social networks. Before implementing any marketing strategy a company should be organized to develop and implement a plan that is aimed at using social networks (Bentley, 2011). As a general strategy, a company must always be represented by a corporate account (Ragone, 2012) and should include the (Ragone, 2012) technology, investment and budget used for updates and content (Earls, 2012). On the other hand, Marshall et al., (2012) suggest that the staff of any company, is committed to the strategy is implemented. Executives at the highest level, who best know the business (Bentley, 2011; Earls, 2012) should always be involved with the media Ricca (2012) and have their accounts connected with the company (Ragone, 2012) while the rest of the staff could interact with each other in groups within social networks (Ricca, 2012). According to the Christian Leeb when asked about the developments do that have taken place in recent years regarding firm competition in social networks, The main issue I observe is that people in companies still have no idea what to do with social networks and how to behave in them. To me it seems that especially the two-way communication is causing problems and employees don’t understand how to handle it.

Companies should try to understand how competitors act, to decide whether to copy them, improve them or take a different direction (Michaelidou et al., 2011), but always taking into account the risks involved in the raid for each of these lines (Ragone , 2012). Therefore, for the use and administration of social networks a plan that has adequate resources to respond to any inquiries (Line & Runyan, 2012), and creative ideas to facilitate the generation of conversation around these means (Andzulis needed et al, 2012; Line & Runyan, 2012). However, if the management of social networks is complex or a company cannot handle, there are companies that can help tertiary (Stagg, 2012).

Today most companies venture into Facebook and Twitter, but forget to new social networks like Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest (Line & Runyan, 2012). For this work he was selected as a social network Pinterest, due to its strong growth and its remarkable relationship with successful sales (Hansen, Nowlan, & Winter, 2012).

4.3. Pinterest

For users who do not have a clear idea of ​​what they want, Pinterest is a social network to help them discover new things (Hempel, 2012). Focused on making connections with people who have similar interests and share content, Pinterest website emerged as the fastest growing of all time (Wilkinson, 2013) and there are now many reasons to rule that the social network is a mere fad (Hempel, 2012; Romero, 2012; Wilkinson, 2013). It is the third most popular social networking platform in the United States and in 2012 was only beaten by Facebook and Twitter (Carpenter, 2013). Quickly reached 10 million users with a growth of 4,000% only in 2011 (Gilbert et al., 2013) and is classified as a more focus on the content found by the user social network of second generation in the user generated content (Wilkinson, 2013). Because of its success, the network becomes a potential threat to social networking giants (Gilbert et al., 2013) however, when new companies discussed about how to use it to achieve benefits and reach customers ( Gilbert et al, 2013; Hempel, 2012; Wilkinson, 2013).

Wilkinson (2013) defines options as a photo-sharing site as a virtual dashboard that allows users to collect and share images and websites that are of interest. However, the official website of this network is defined as: A tool to collect and organize things you love and overlooks business, the same page defines it as: A tool that helps millions of people discover your company and share it with others ( What Is Pinterest?, 2013). This platform brings together activities of e-commerce in one place and projects it as a passion and not simply as an online store (Turning the lastest whizbang Web site into a marketing success, 2012), being a very versatile site It is an excellent place to share lighter content such as quotations, memes9 funny pictures, research and technological advice (Hempel, 2012).

Pinterest users are more active than passive, spend on average at least half an hour on the site (Carpenter, 2013; Romero, 2012) and described as unique, attractive, absorbing and addictive (Slegg, 2013). The platform allows users to have many different dashboards, identify and follow other users (Wilkinson, 2013), or invite or find friends via email, Facebook, Gmail or Yahoo (Russo, 2012). Among its main features is its popularity with women (Hempel, 2012; Wilkinson, 2013), the aesthetics of the platform (Carpenter, 2013) and participatory and collaborative nature that has (Hempel, 2012). Pinterest is easy to organize, as it allows multiple pins can be added and organized in just a few minutes you can create boards shared between multiple users (Wilkinson, 2013). Like most social networks, have features such as privacy, interactions such as comments, repin or like (Wilkinson, 2013) and an application for Smartphones (Slegg, 2013). While this network has many positive aspects, you should pay attention and care on the images that are shared (Wilkinson, 2013) as many authors do not want their images to be duplicated and distributed under a social network (Slegg, 2013). For this reason, you should be sure to have the copyright or ensure that the loaded images do not have specific rights author (Hempel, 2012), it will be the responsibility of the company see and decide which images to share (Miller , 2012).

4.3.1. Influence and benefits in marketing and sales in the hospitality industry

According to Romero (2012) Pinterest three features make it stand out in today’s social networks: The large number of potential users, the fun and engaging way to share tastes and generated tangible benefits from the point of view of marketing. According to Hempel (2012) Pinterest users tend to be more consumptive users of Facebook or Twitter; although it does not handle as much traffic as the first, Pinterest, has the potential to create more direct sales and to generate faster economic value (Gilbert et al., 2013). Pinterest users directed to sites of e-commerce spend considerably more money that users are directed to sites like Facebook or Twitter (Russo, 2012) and the figures indicate that 59% of Pinterest users bought an article they found in this platform (Gilbert et al, 2013; Hempel, 2012; Wilkinson, 2013). While options helps generate a positive impression about the services offered by companies, thanks to the presentation of information and strong visual component of your boards (Romero, 2012), this network could also generate own profits if it proposed (Russo, 2012).

Described based on the use of options is recommended as a social network in the hospitality industry, having characteristics that match those of this sector. The hospitality industry is characterized by offering products and services to advertise difficult emotional words (Miller, 2012; Mills, 2012) in this regard, options will allow companies to show their personal style and users viewed in full experiences through images. Unlike other sites, images that are uploaded to the network have a consumer mentality (Wilkinson, 2013) because of Pinterest users are more inclined to connect through product / service and not so much through people (Hansen et al., 2012). If the images presented stand or differ from the rest, you can gain a competitive advantage (Hansen et al., 2012) and achieve an influence on the purchasing decision of users (Slegg, 2013). But images must be suitably selected to ensure convey the right message and get the desired response (Mitchell & Quick, 2012).

Due to the presentation of information and strong visual component of their boards, they vary and differ according to the type of company (Wilkinson, 2013). But it is always important to try to show a balanced profile between what the company knows, does and likes (Zarrella, 2010), it is also advisable that every company in this sector have a board that shows the user the activities and experiences that offer ( Miller, 2012) and a dedicated board for weddings if they offer this service (Gilbert et al., 2013).

Another feature of the hotel sector is the kind of influential users who have, studies indicate that women aged 30-55 years is primarily responsible for making travel decisions (Romero, 2012). Then, as users are encouraged to leave comments on any social network, Pinterest should encourage users to join the boards and upload photos and pin their experiences (Hansen et al., 2012) . This interaction will promote community involvement while a wider audience is reached through indirect marketing (Gilbert et al., 2013). This will be achieved with the user find what they want and the company obtains benefits from the contribution of ideas from these, Miller (2012) states that the number of new ideas that are achieved through the participation of users is striking, resembling a sort of crowdsourcing10. Thanks to Pinterest acts as a tool that provides a constant brainstorming, the hospitality sector in relation to observed improvements saving materials and components and a great influence in terms of new trends in decorating, recipes and events (Rodríguez Fernández & Gurus Press, 2011). Pinterest offers many ideas, but many companies cannot implement them immediately, for this reason it is advisable that the ideas do not run, you save them for the future.

Finally, the ease of integrating descriptions and links to shared images make more options redirect traffic to websites of companies (Miller, 2012), making this channel an outstanding environment within social networks (Gilbert et al. , 2013), making it easier and more likely that a sale will occur. Due to the increase in traffic, develop strong customer relationships and loyalty companies are required to improve and optimize their web pages (Mitchell & Quick, 2012; Zarrella, 2010). Miller (2012) states that to enhance the benefits of options as a marketing tool should be: maximize exposure of the brand or company, to create multiple dashboards and always be included in the message to the brand or company, using the tools offered adicionales11 options for greater exposure in social networks and maintain user interest with regular and continuing posts.

These facts, among others, supply options make higher profits for companies in this sector. Quick & Mitchell (2012) point out that the advantages of options in the hotel industry really appreciate when:

  1. A company seeking greater exposure: for it is a brilliant tooled if the company already has a presence on other social networks and to expand into new channels.
  2. A company has good content in pictures: Companies who have beautiful and striking images will have much success in this social network. The better the images, the traffic to the website will be higher as the amount of likes and repins.
  3. Facebook, the clickbait and how to improve the timeline

Social networks are the main affected by this phenomenon. The team Zuckerberg would like to see more diversity in content than the current (remember when they said they wanted to be like a kind of newspaper?), vision users is another. They click and share those contents that are counter example of what they want the creators of the famous social network: stories and photographs produced by publishers like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, Gawker or 9Gag.

Not that this is strictly wrong: viral content within Facebook means that users spend more time and therefore are satisfied. And if users are happy, Facebook is also happy. The problem is that Facebook does not want to stay only in the context of leisure, FB wants it all. So FB has been to work with this. How FB determines what a post sweetened by the clickbait? For changing the sacrosanct algorithm that decides how the timeline works. In terms of clickbait and the hype of Buzzfeed and UpWorthy, Leeb said, I believe that many firms have made a bad experience with social networks, i.e. shitstorms and the like, and that people in firms are neither culturally nor organisationally prepared to take on social media and social networking.

The latest changes that have been introduced are aimed precisely to attack holders they considered vague and fuzzy. And since it would be difficult for Facebook to identify the clickbait through the analysis of language, have decided to track how users behave after they have clicked through a link. In particular they discussed:

  • The ratio of people who click on the content compared with people who discuss or share on Facebook post itself. If there are many people clicking but relatively few people like doing or commenting assumes that people do not consider interesting the content.
  • It takes the time to click the link in FB leave and return to it. If you do it quickly, FB considers clickbait as reasons that the post you have seen is poor or anything interesting.

On the other hand it is important to note that:

  • If a topic is current, rises up. So they want to increase the amount of participation around shared experiences as TV shows and sporting events. This comes to tell us that if a friend or page is a topical issue is more likely to appear in the News Feed above
  • If you walk down all of your timeline. If you have a tendency to drop to a low of all, you will rise the most interesting of the day posts but you have not seen for not having gone down in your timeline.
  1. Clickbait has evolved metric system

This part is the most important issue, because we have achieved thanks to clickbait understand the importance of metrics and focus from a new perspective. Eli Pariser, one of the founders of UpWorthy advocates that such begin to take as the main base measuring the average time on site or by post, which is what they find most important sites as Buzzfeed, UpWorthy or Medium:

  • Total Care site (by hour, day, week, and month, whatever): It tells us how well this site does retaining users.
  • Content full attention: is the average combination of users who consume content and how much they are seeing. And the content more undivided attention, are promoted to appear on the cover.

Besides we also have to consider if this time is active, i.e. the user actually is on the site and is not doing anything else. This was based on a wide range of signals like playing videos page is in effect vision, mouse movements, or if you are in that or another browser tab.

The result is a metric that tells us hurry if people are genuinely committed to the content or if instead you are not paying attention. This is a combination that adds the watchability (minutes of care) + shares + commitment (comments and likes). And the truth is that this total may be a good way to check what users regard as highly satisfactory content. Leeb commenting on the future of Clickbait said, I don’t believe it’s of much use. Generally speaking, the idea to say ‘Hey, I have a good offer’ and then having consumers carrying it forward by sharing their positive experiences is good. It’s also good to have many touch points in the web that draw attention to you and your firm.

4.4. Discussion

The review of the literature on the topics of marketing, social commerce, social media and hospitality suggests that the mode of action of the companies change according to the emergence of new technologies such as social networks. Since the inclusion of companies in social commerce to the use of social networks as marketing strategies, the evolution and development of these trends in the hotel industry it becomes remarkable. Every day people tend to be more connected, to make the most of your online activities and spend more time on social networks showing the contrast between traditional marketing and e-marketing.

If the actual performance of these companies with which they had some years ago compared, it appears that one of the differences lies in the growth of interaction and communication with customers. At work the contribution of these when co-create value for the company stands (Khansa et al., 2012) and the interest thereon to be part of a community (Williams et al., 2012). Moreover, it is noticed as trust and comments from the users themselves influence than traditional publications (Han & Windsor, 2011) and also shows that the continuity in the management of these trends will cause the hospitality companies have good relationships with their customers and attract new ones (Bentley, 2011). These customers exert influence on the reputation and image projected (Amblee & Bui, 2011) and have a positive influence on the impact and who want to get response from social networks (Lipsman et al., 2012).

It recommends the use of a new and alternative tool in comparison with previous research which are generally addressed the social networks Facebook or Twitter. Finding no academic work in this field and taking into account the success that Pinterest has, the strategies presented are oriented to the hospitality industry and explain the benefits that can be achieved with this network and integrate it as part of a marketing strategy. The success of this network affect both the company and the customer, as companies can increase the presence and traffic to their websites (Miller, 2012) while customers can choose, entertaining and personalized way, perhaps by services They were not even looking (Hempel, 2012). Given the characteristics of the sector, the strategies developed to support the presence of a company on social networks should be based on experience and awaken emotions in your customers. The amount of material visually has the hospitality industry, along with the features of this network, make this sector companies gain a competitive advantage from the use of this.

While the paper focuses on the hospitality industry, this does not address a geographic or temporal area in particular, but it lays the groundwork for future researchers who want to continue the line of work. Neither measuring the impact of social networks in this sector covers, while there are metrics, indicators and tools that help measure the performance of a company in a particular social network, this research is not addressed. As for other possible courses of action to prepare the work it could have considered the development of surveys or studies and not only perform the analysis based on the literature review. The application of more practical research methods could have changed the results, which could have been more specific if the work had focused on a particular area of ​​the sector or in a specific type of company. One of the difficulties during the literature review was the lack of access to certain documents could have been helpful for work and the number of social networks there at the time, since I difficult choosing just one for the study. However, for future work you can select more social networks and even contrast the benefits that one or more social networks bring to the sector.


 

Chapter Five: Conclusions

Work conducted a review of literature on the topics of marketing, social commerce, social media and hospitality and based on the theoretical foundations strategies were generated for companies in the hospitality industry who want to improve their foray into the social networks, specifically options as part of their marketing strategy. The review of the literature shows that traditional marketing became a relationship-oriented people in social marketing communities, but even with this change, a low percentage observed in studies in the area of ​​e-marketing and social networks in the hospitality sector. In a context where companies are always looking for how to reach and increase its customer base, a good marketing concept that revolves around the customer and their needs may be the key. On the other hand, gain a competitive advantage over other companies it will always be important. Elements such as commercial activities, social networks and interactions between the community, allow their activities businesses take advantage of social capital in line offered by social networks and marketing become one of the most important elements in any company service. Many experts think the clickbait is typical of a social system which dominates the content share nonsense and shallow, but as we have seen is a much more complex issue. John Borthwick says that it is indeed true that at one end is the consumer sharing quickly for the sake of notoriety, but that on the other side are those who do approach thanks to quality material clickbait .

Due to evolving technologies and new forms of marketing, the traditional 4P’s model is replaced by the 4E’s where experience, commitment, exclusivity and excitement are influential in promoting the services. As technologies evolve, the behaviour of people also changed, the work shows the remarkable influence and confidence that they can exercise their comments on social networks comments contrast with traditional publications. On the other hand, it is observed that because of the increasing time people in social networks, the presence of any company in these media is significant for good communication with the client and to reach new consumers. It is advisable to promote, listen and engage with customers and making this important part of the company.

Without spending too many resources on social networks, they offer an attractive, unique and novel way of marketing, along with a constant interaction with a specific audience. It is suggested that every company is serious when it comes to generating a real impact through social networks, so the pro-activity and innovation must be key ingredients for the conduct of these resources (Bentley, 2011). Because of the many social networks available, when selecting a network to the raid on the media should consider the ease of use, trust it projects, the simplicity of network traffic directed to other web sites integration with mobile technologies.

The work shows that social networks have changed the way they perform many of the activities of the hospitality industry, from relationships that can occur between customer and company, to how to advertise your services. Moreover, it appears that at the time of entering into a social network, a company must have clear goals you want to achieve and a plan that outlines how it will get and that due to the nature and characteristics of this sector foray into social networks it has to be entertaining, personalized and interactive.

While working marketing strategies generally occur and then expose three major lines on the use of social networks. In general, it is stated that before implementing any marketing strategy a company should be organized to develop and implement a plan that is aimed at using social networks (Bentley, 2011).

It is observed that has options that fit the profiles required in the hospitality sector and the use of this network for companies wishing exposure and brand advertising and having high quality visual content is recommended. The great visual repertoire in each of the areas and services in this sector make it easier representation of the characteristics, beliefs, culture and services of any company, can be used as a visual marketing mainly oriented images. Because of its popularity and growth, its ability to route traffic, ease of use and the attraction it has on specific markets this network is recommended as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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Appendix: Translated transcription

 

— Introduction and greetings —

 

Interviewer: What developments do you feel have taken place in recent years regarding firm competition in social networks?

C: The main issue I observe is that people in companies still have no idea what to do with social networks and how to behave in them. To me it seems that especially the two-way communication is causing problems and employees don’t understand how to handle it. What happens is that people talk back and leave comments, which represents a new way of communication that they simply cannot manage. Often times it’s not the spokespeople that are the most active on social media, but the employees themselves. Nowadays it’s no longer traditional media, but social media where you can observe if a business is not doing well by how their employees behave. When thinking about the competition between firms, I must say I hardly notice it among the big international players and for SMEs it’s their only possibility to really attract attention.  I wouldn’t say there is competition in social networks in the conventional sense. Looking at our end of the market – being start-ups – you naturally have to present in social networks in order to establish a user base. The traditional way of moving forward would be too costly and inefficient here. And if we look at the competition among talents, I can clearly see that job hunting is increasingly happening in social networks. Be it Linkedin or Xing, there are professionals going through these networks every day to source fresh talent. Twitter, especially in Austria, has not quite made it yet and people still wonder what it’s all about.

 

Interviewer: I am sure you are aware of the phenomenon called Clickbait and you’ll also be familiar with sites such as Upworthy and Buzzfeed. Do you think they had an impact on how firms present themselves and publish in social networks?

C: I cannot really judge the impact they may have had, but what I observe is that due to the increasing presence of social media employees are encouraged to be more transparent. I believe that many firms have made a bad experience with social networks, i.e. shitstorms and the like, and that people in firms are neither culturally nor organisationally prepared to take on social media and social networking. I held a workshop for the last two days for a big firm that is the global leader in its industry and they were just used to their product being promoted by their employees and brought to market by a sales force, but when I visited them it became clear that they have no idea what to do with social media and they felt that there is so much happening with regards to social media that they don’t understand. Almost a case of digital ignorance. You may be a digital native, whereas I am a digital immigrant, but most people in those traditional firms have never heard of things such as co-creation, co-design or cloud-based activities. This is something they will have to learn by analogical conclusion. Take for example Nokia or Kodak. Both of those firms have had tremendous losses and are now an example for failure, partly because they were unable to adapt to this new force called internet. This is now dramatically increasing. You are no longer able to develop a product internally for three to four years and then bring it to market or even push it onto market financially. Both financially and time-wise this is now sheer impossible. Now especially big organisations are still in much denial, because they were used to penetrating customers who were then prepared to pay premium prices, which were that high due to the complex and time-consuming work by sales, marketing and other functions in firms. I believe that this time is now over, because of at what’s happening with Tesla for example.  Neither BMW nor Daimler saw them coming and they had no chance to compete. And this is only the start, as Tesla is now already entering and possibly revolutionizing the energy market. The next are on their way, who propose 3D printed cars: Local motors. In the cloud the team is working on design and everything else and you can then 3D-print your car locally. These are developments that on the one hand happen at an unprecedented speed and on the other hand go beyond most people’s imagination. I don’t see Facebook and Twitter’s as simply a channel to promote a product and you somehow benefit from it, but rather it is a fundamental change that most still haven’t understood yet.

 

Interviewer: With regard to Integrated Marketing Communications, would you say that social media is indeed ‘integrated’ in this area?

C: My perception is that it is not. Of course this depends on the size of a firm and the industry it’s in. If you are working in the area of public authority or healthcare you are really behind, whereas when you look at, i.e. the automobile sector, then you can see some engagement. The big issue is that the internal marketers as well as the external agencies often cannot or do not want to see this change called social networking happening.  As an example, when an agency is hired to print and it discovers a quicker, better and more effective way of printing that would only cost the client 10% of current costs, then it’s something they wouldn’t do and it’s the same with the internal and external marketers. They’re playing pick-up sticks with each other, where no one wants to move first. And if they use social media it’s mostly more of the same. That means that the ads they show you on social media are the same that you see on TV or on a billboard, which is of course the wrong approach and is failing them because as I mentioned earlier consumers can talk back and are also challenged to. You cannot say that answering consumers on social media and being present in social networks is a central role in marketing without also fundamentally changing corporate culture, but that’s new and hard to grasp to firms. This shows that integration often happens with the wrong mindset. As an example: the Volksbanken group[1], which I have followed for quite some time. They use the Austrian ski jumpers on TV, on the billboard and on Facebook as well, which has no effect. They present themselves somehow, but they haven’t fully understood how to use it yet. And continuing with this banking example, Erste Bank1 points out in social media that George – their online banking platform – is functional. This is redundant as it’s something you’d expect. Similar to the Raiffeisen’s mobile banking app, that doesn’t rotate the screen when you do it with your device. It’s an outrage and they commit fundamental errors that show that these new methods, social media being among those, have not been understood at all. In my view this will soon lead to a rude awakening, where banks will have to make structural reforms in order to survive, which is maybe a slightly radical opinion. This means that the little activity they have on Twitter and Facebook truly is for nothing, because they still did not comprehend how to behave with consumers. The moment Google, Apple, Facebook, Samsung or any of them offers worldwide payment solutions, banks will be gone. They won’t handle the transactions anymore and they don’t offer any loans. Nowadays people obtain their financing from the crowd, via sites such as Kickstarter or other platforms. So what will a bank’s function be then? Especially when it’s still operating within local or national boundaries. I think this kind of big awakening will happen in most industries in the next three to five years.

 

Interviewer: How efficient is Clickbait and do you think it has future viability?

C: I don’t believe it’s of much use. Generally speaking, the idea to say ‘Hey, I have a good offer’ and then having consumers carrying it forward by sharing their positive experiences is good. It’s also good to have many touch points in the web that draw attention to you and your firm. But if the anticipated service is not present and if you don’t sense that the company can really handle their clients then any efforts in social media can be regarded as pointless support structures. Of course it’s debatable whether there is benefit to it or not, but it’s definitely not integrated and seems insincere. Figuratively, if you have a silo mentality and regard marketing as a channel that reaches   from silo to silo – the customer being on one, the firm being at the other end – then there is no point erecting another silo. I may be radical in my view, but I believe firms should immediately change their structures. I don’t see a point anymore in having a central marketing department. There exists an evolving view that if you still do marketing then it’s probably because you are desperate for it. It means your product is not good enough. That’s becoming the definition of traditional marketing, i.e. PR work. If your product is good and you’re just having conversations with people within your market and target audience then marketing in social media takes on new forms. Your clients will inadvertently be sharing their views on your product in social networks. There’s no need for a mechanism that makes people visit your website, where the content is mostly boring and I don’t know how to get the information I want to obtain. Thinking too short-term is the issue here.

 

Interviewer: Do you generally believe firms belong in social media?

C: Absolutely, I’m convinced they have to be present.

Interviewer: But they have to understand their role?
C: Exactly, I believe the most important thing in social networks is to be present and learn to listen. It’s not happening because most firms are used to do everything themselves and push everything inside-out on the market. They push their ads, their products and their arguments, but they don’t listen. If they don’t sell enough they will push more, which is the opposite of today’s best practice. If firms enter social media then firstly they need to develop their ability to listen. They need to find out the opinions people hold on them and be able to contribute to better-informed consumers. This creates a dialogue that replaces most marketing efforts and in turn creates demand. This is why it’s so important to have a good product and why I’ve been saying earlier that activities such as giving out freebies, glossy flyers and pushy ads to create demand are superficial at best. In reality it’s an enormous waste of money and resources. In my opinion this is coming to a halt, because if you make use of today’s smart technologies then you have no need for that anymore. What social media is left for is conversation. I think this is a next-generation issue. Looking at how generation y and z are growing up with connectivity, smartphones, tablets, 360° videos and action cameras one can conclude that a firm become irrelevant if the cannot get an immediate contact for or response from an organisation. They don’t watch TV anymore, especially not the advertisements. They don’t go to the super market anymore because the vendor doesn’t know enough. They instead obtain their information online, exchange opinions in forums and do their shopping online. It means that if you are selling a commodity you have to be able to offer a good price and ensure great logistics, because information about the commodity will be available online. In consulting-intensive areas – where humans still really have to perform a service – experts are in high demand. But you have to be constantly listening for feedback and engage in conversation so that the market can perceive you as expert. Firms shouldn’t hide an expert behind a functional job description and cannot lack the expertise, but unfortunately many organisations nowadays lack human resources with expert knowledge. This will lead to the market finding you increasingly unattractive and a few superficial marketing efforts in social media and other channels won’t rectify the situation, i.e. doing a give-away on Facebook. It’s nice and of course can be done, but it’s similar to a giveaway in a newspaper where you will only have a handful of people participating at most. This will not cause a fundamental change in your business and is rather insignificant.

 

[1] NB: an Austrian bank

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