Digital Platform Appraisal Post

BMW i3 electric car

1. Definition of the digital platform

Social media is a term used when relating to online platforms that allow people to share information, content and interact with one and other. Social media is often used to refer to sites such as Facebook, Instagram and twitter however there are many other different types of sites that fall under social media an example is Wikipedia, as Wikipedia gives the general public the platform to share content with other users of the site. Breaking down the term makes it clearer to understand, to ‘social’ part refers to how people interact with each other whether that be sharing pictures, sending direct messages or publishing information on sites such as Wikipedia. The ‘media’ part can cause confusion as media is used to refer to the more typical versions such as television and newspapers however in this circumstance it relates to the use of the internet.

An example of a how site that’s considered as social media functions is Facebook, Facebook gives its hundreds of millions of users the platform from where they can communicate with their friends on the site, this can be done by statuses, messages or photos.

2. Explanation of the techniques associated with social media

Social media is used by many different companies as a platform to market themselves or their products towards the consumers as whatever site it be social media has millions of users, sites such as Facebook and twitter make a profit from selling marketing space on their sites to companies such as BMW etc.

When marketing the ‘BMW i3’ social media could play a huge role in the marketing campaign as sites have the access to their users searchers which means they have information on users interests therefore BMW can directly target uses they believe to have an existing interest or are judged as ideal consumers therefore this means that the first technique used on social media is identifying/targeting ideal consumers.

Often companies will launch a competition on social media sites offering the chance to win something in this case we’ll use an i3 as an example and they’ll promote across the sites and then when people enter the competition they then have information on new people who are interested in the product and from collection of that information then BMW have more possible customers they can target marketing towards.

3. Justification for use of the platform

The use of social media in marketing the i3 is justified as there are so many identifiable positives that come from the use by businesses. As I explained in the second point the techniques used clearly show positive results, as clearly any business wanting to be successful in marketing their product has to market their product as well as they possibly cant therefore I find that the fact that hundreds of millions of people use social media in some capacity means that using social media gives businesses a gateway to market their product to a huge audience.

Also social media allows for collection of information on users as the appraisal has already mentioned therefore this information means that BMW can directly target a chosen audience, there is no other media platform that can offer this apart from industry magazines which offer a much smaller audience compared to what social media offers.

Also social media will improve BMW’s site traffic and search ranking as the more shares/views you get on social media results in a higher search ranking which is clearly a massive positive for any business. Also the increase in traffic in whatever capacity is a positive because traffic results in a great brand awareness meaning more of the general public are accessing information on the company and product.

Another reason to justify the use of social media is that you can keep track of competitors, using this reason a business can find out what their competitors are doing in terms of what they offer on a social media platform and who they are being perceived. This can be used to contribute to a business’s strategic plan as from research on social media BMW could develop a strategic plan to counter what they’re competitors are offering and get out ahead of them and be more competitive.

4. Critique platform

One negative factor of social media is that if a business goes ahead and launches a social media presence then that leads to an increase in customer power, therefore if for example a user has a poor review of for example BMW’s customer service then that news can spread very quickly across social media and just as marketing would that news has a huge audience which could reflect in loss of custom and a dip in the company’s reputation.

Social media is such a huge platform it is almost impossible for anyone or any business to keep track of everything said on there, this means that if a social media user publishes negative statements or reviews of the business then in some cases they may go unforeseen by the relevant business which may mean that a response isn’t done and this means that the business haven’t corrected the statements or defended themselves resulting again in a negative reputation for the company.

The use of social media by a business must be done in a conversational way to ensure a certain level of success and customer engagement with campaigns which don’t being not successful. This point means that the business to be successful would have to invest heavily in a marketing team or department to handle such campaigns.

5. Provide an example of how this digital platform has been used in a recent campaign

In today’s world the majority if not all major companies have a social media presence and use the platform to market their products towards consumers. An example of a recent marketing campaign on social media is by Disney and make a wish foundation, they launched the #shareyourears campaign. The campaign was launched across Instagram and twitter with the appeal that every #shareyourears that users did would unlock a £5 donation by Disney to make a wish foundation Disney put a £1 million cap on the campaign, the original amount agreed was £2 but because of wide spread appeal and trend across the globe on social media sited Disney increased the amount because of the appeal the

company was having with consumers. The million the company had to pay out would ultimately pay for itself due to the increase in Disney’s reputation which led to brand awareness and furthermore brand appeal.

6. Summarise the appraisal reminding the client of why they should invest in this digital platform

In summary this appraisal of social media and the benefits of a business using such a platform to market themselves or their products I find that social media should be used by businesses as the benefits much outweigh the negatives.

I feel there is not many better ways for a company to market their products as per month Facebook has 1.79 billion users, those numbers are huge and that’s only one social media site. Such a wide audience and the fact that it’s a cost effective choice of marketing make social media a massively desirable for any business.

One point ill remind you off is that social media allows businesses the chance to collect information on users therefore they know who to directly target, as I said there is no other outlet or platform that gives a business such directness towards marketing their products. Also the huge online footfall will increase a business’s site traffic which as I’ve already stated will increase brand awareness and ultimately that is the goal of any marketing campaign so if social media can deliver such results it’s difficult to find a reason not use it.

Competitors are a cause for concern for any business whatever industry they may be in therefore if there’s a way of finding out information on competitors which social media does then that’s a reason for the use as it may result in said business gaining a competitive edge on their competitors.

So in summary social media gives a business information on consumers and people who have an interest in their products or similar products, it gives information on what their competitors are going about marketing themselves and the fact that billions of people across the globe use social media in capacity it is the decision of this appraisal that social media is a must for company’s who wish to be successful in their marketing campaigns.



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