Existing Platforms–Traction Channel #15

Existing platforms or social media marketing  is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. The websites, apps or networks have huge numbers of users – sometimes in the hundreds of millions – that can potentially leverage to get traction. Major existing platforms include the Apple and Android App Stores, Mozilla and Chrome browser extensions, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as newer platforms that are growing rapidly (Tumblr, Snapchat, etc.). Zynga, a social gaming company, got early traction by building games on the Facebook platform, where they focused on Facebook’s sharing and friend-invitation capabilities. from Traction by Weinberg and Mares Social networking sites act as word of mouth. Social networking sites and blogs allow followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made by others about a product being promoted.  A great example is when mobile video-sharing app Socialcam launched , they suggested users sign up with Facebook or Twitter, promoted user videos on both platforms, and encouraged users to invite. How to use existing platforms or social media marketing In order to integrate Social Networks within the marketing strategies, companies have to develop a marketing model. In a marketing model (SNeM2S) based on Social Networks is provided. The model includes the following steps:

  • Selection of potential Social Networks to use
  • Definition of a financial plan
  • Definition of organizational structures to manage the Social Network in the market
  • Selection of target
  • Promotion of products and services
  • Performance measures
  • Social Networking is used by 76% of businesses today.
Business retailers have seen 133% increases in their revenues from social media marketing. App Stores   With the number of smartphone users well above one billion and growing every day, we’ve seen an explosion of apps reaching millions of users in short periods of time: months, rather than years. The most efficient way for an app to get discovered in the App Stores is through the top app rankings and featured listings sections. These rankings group apps by category, country, popularity and editors’ choice. Mark Johnson, founder of Focused Apps LLC, wrote about how app promotions usually work:
  1. Ads get the [app] somewhere into the charts:
  2. Now it’s in the charts, more people see it So it gets more organic downloads Which makes it go a bit higher up in the charts
  3. Now even more people see it and it gets more organic downloads
  4. People like it and start telling their friends to get it too It goes up higher in the charts
  5. Repeat from 5
Companies use a myriad of tactics to get into the charts initially. They buy ads from places like AdMob, buy installs from companies like Tapjoy, cross-promote their apps (through cross-promotion networks or other apps they own), or even buy their way to the top of the charts through services like FreeAppADay. While none of these tactics are enough on their own, they can help you get the ball rolling towards a ranking or feature. Social Platforms The use of social sites is constantly shifting as people change where they communicate online. Newer social platforms like Snapchat and Vine are adding users at a dizzying pace. Even though keeping up with the evolution of social platforms can be challenging, they remain one of the best ways to rapidly acquire large numbers of users. In fact, it makes sense to focus on platforms that are just taking off. Social platforms that haven’t fully matured also haven’t built all of the features they’ll eventually need; you might be able to fill in one of those gaps. They also are less saturated, as larger brands are often slower to target up and coming sites.  Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and the founder of Hunch before its acquisition by eBay, had this to say about platform-based growth: (from Traction by Weinberg and Mares)
“Some of the most successful startups grew by making bets on emerging platforms that were not yet saturated and where barriers to discovery were low… Betting on new platforms means you’ll likely fail if the platform fails, but it also dramatically lowers the distribution risks described above.”
Add-ons and Extensions Browser extensions (in Chrome) and add-ons (in Firefox) are apps you can download for your web browser. The most popular browser extension is Adblock Plus, which blocks ads on major websites. Other popular extensions help you download YouTube videos, save bookmarks across computers, and save your passwords. There are two basic strategies for engaging the social media as marketing tools: Passive approach
  • Social media can be a useful source of market information and customer voice.
  • Blogs, content communities and forums are platforms where individuals share their reviews and recommendations of brands, products and services.
  • Businesses are able to tap and analyze the customer voice generated in social media for marketing purposes; in this sense the social media is an inexpensive source of market intelligence which can be used by marketers to track problems and market opportunities.
  • Unlike traditional market research methods such as surveys, focus groups and data mining which are time consuming and costly, marketers can now utilize social media to obtain ‘live’ information about consumer behavior. This can be extremely useful in a highly dynamic market structure in which we now live in.
Active approach
  • Social media can be used as a public relations and direct marketing tools but also as communication channels (targeting specific audiences with social media influencers) and as customer engagement tools.
  • There are several examples of firms initiating some form of online dialog with the public to foster relations with customers. Example: McDonalds Vice President Bob Langert posts regularly in his CEO blogs, encouraging customers to interact and freely express their feelings, ideas, suggestions or remarks about their postings, the company or its products”.
  • Using customer influencers (for example popular bloggers) can be a very efficient and cost-effective method to launch new products or services. Example: Narendra Modi current prime minister of India ranks only second after President Barack Obama in number of fans on his official Facebook page at 21.8 million and counting. Modi employed social media platforms to circumvent traditional media channels to reach out to the young and urban population of India.
One of the main purposes in employing Social Media in marketing is as a communications tool that makes the companies accessible to those interested in their product and make them visible to those who have no knowledge of their products. Resources ]]>