Customers of this social media sites WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger, and Viber among others are targeted from different income classes, from low class to high class. Such customers do not just use the services or products provided by these social media owing to their low price, but because they have the feeling that they are receiving value for money and do not care that, they are not given any extra service. To this end, social media has been able to compete with traditional methods of communication because it has enabled them to offer services and products at low cost. Using WIFI and internet bundles, customers are able to chat or communicate with one another. It is noteworthy that paying for internet bundles or WIFI is cheaper than buying airtime and messaging friends or calling them. Moreover, it has also improved the quality of service, thus making them feel that they are getting what they are paying for. With the introduction of Skype and Viber, clients are able to make video calls to family and friends who are located anywhere in the world. A client who uses this service will fill satisfied since he or she is able to talk directly and see the person he is talking to. Besides video calling, Whatsapp, messenger, WeChat, and others have made it easy for their customers to send videos and pictures at minimal cost. Interestingly, even the media companies have started to adopt this form of communication in that they are now requesting viewers to send to them footages of the occurrences that take place, and their reporters were not at the spot or scene of crime to take the videos. For instance, if a terror act happened and customers at the scene of crime get to capture the proceedings with their phones, they can post the content to the social media groups they belong to thus passing a word of information to their family and friends. The recipient can then share the content with their contact list and at the end of the day, millions, if not billions are able to access the information.
Moreover, Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, and messenger among other social networks not only utilize technology but also capitalize on technology, which is sufficient for their business. It uses technology that has proven to work, and it has made it possible for customers to serve themselves. For example, Entrepreneurs for both small and big businesses are able to market their online through various social media platforms. They also offer an online platform from where the customer can purchase their products online. This way, the customer is saved the time and cost of traveling to an intermediary or to the business located in a physical location to purchase the product or service that he or she needs. Moreover, the customer gets more satisfaction because he is not only serving himself or herself but also dealing with the company directly. Furthermore, the self-service means that the customer gets the product or service at a cheaper cost because the money that would have been added to pay the intermediaries or brokers is slashed off (Minazzi, 2014). Therefore, entrepreneurs’ use of social media to sell their products directly to its customers means that it prefers not to sell via traditional or online intermediaries to secure low prices.
The company offering social media networks have been successful for various reasons. Research on social media usage conducted by inSites Consulting in 2011 best explains these reasons. Customers have a high likelihood of listening to their family and friends prior to purchasing a brand or product, and social media as Twitter, Facebook, and Viber among others are used to link with colleagues and friends from the offline world. The study conducted by inSites indicates that 60% of people find a product or brand information posted by a family or friend from their list of contacts to be truthful (Heidi, 2012). Apart from this, many people in Europe claim that they join social media to gather knowledge concerning new and existing products or brands. 51 percent of Europeans follow a brand or product on a social media, and out of these, 35% follow a product or brand connected to traveling (Heidi, 2012). Brand and product information shared in the social media usually concerns the product or brand experiences of those people who are not online, meaning firms that have taken the same path should never forget how they may be viewed in the offline world, since positive or negative experiences has a likelihood of being shared with millions online. Therefore, businesses whose experiences from the offline world are always positive benefit whenever the positive criticism is shared with millions of people online it is received with equal measure.
Marketing has witnessed a drastic shift in the past one decade owing to numerous major factors like the fast changing internet evolution from organizational-generated information to consumer-generated information, which has made many firms less trustworthy (Blair, 2017). Such issues have altered the consumer-buying process, and customers currently resort to friends, other consumers, and family for counsel on an organization’s services or products that are normally done online. In the meantime, the dissemination of various products and brands has also moved from being sold intermediaries in physical shops to being sold on the internet directly through online social media platforms created by companies (Holland, 2016). It is clear indication that the social marketing strategy adopted by individual and business has been successful. The success can be attributed to the fact that customers’ needs, obtaining products and services of high quality at low cost and having the satisfaction that they are receiving quality for their money. A fact that has been offered successfully by Whatsapp, Messenger, and Viber among others.
Blair, M. K. (2017). Using digital and social media platforms for social marketing. Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780198717690.003.0012
Heidi Mariegaard Poulsen, A. H. (2012). A comparative analysis of the social media marketing approaches. Business and Social Sciences , 1-70.
Holland, H. (2016). 8 Social Media-Marketing. Dialogmarketing, 146-162. doi:10.15358/9783800653140-146
Minazzi, R. (2014). Social Media Impacts on Travel Suppliers: Social Media Marketing. Social Media Marketing in Tourism and Hospitality, 77-126.