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Marketing on a tight budget

Traditionally, marketing communications consisted of a single message sent to as many people as possible (the higher the number of viewers, the greater the cost of the advertisement) in the hope that a small percentage of them would actually buy the product - this is known as ‘the marketing funnel’.

Social media marketing works in reverse - by sending an initial message at negligible cost to a core group of supporters who spread the word through their networks via re-tweets, comments, likes, favourites etc. More and more potential customers therefore get to hear about the brand from personal contacts that they know and trust. This is known as ‘flipping the funnel’.

The inter-connected nature of social media means that it is easy to share marketing messages, then listen and respond to customer feedback - often on a one to one basis - and all in public view. This means that other customers can see if someone else has raised a complaint and how well (or badly) it was dealt with.

Social media now have a role to play in a wide range of marketing activities, for example:

  • Engaging with prospects and customers in real time to build relationships and encourage recommendations
  • Showcasing relevant content to raise brand awareness, encourage interaction and build community
  • Resolving customer service issues quickly and publicly
  • Effective, real time internal communications across the enterprise and hierarchies
  • Tracking trends and testing the “zeitgeist”
  • Crowdsourcing of new product development or market research
  • Networking to source expertise or business partners
  • Improving search engine visibility of a website through regular supply of new and engaging content

Can you think of a good example of a successful social media marketing campaign? What in particular made it stand out for you?

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This article is from the free online course:

The Power of Social Media

University of Southampton

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Welcome to the course
    Welcome to the course
    video

    This course explains how by understanding networks better we can exploit social media. Watch Dr David Millard & Dr Lisa Harris tell you more.

  • What are networks?
    What are networks?
    video

    Watch Dr David Millard explore what we mean by a network, and look at some of the examples of networks around us and their characteristics.

  • Recruitment in a digital world
    Recruitment in a digital world
    video

    Watch Dr Lisa Harris, Nic Fair & Sarah Hewitt discuss the role of social media in recruitment from the perspective of employers & potential employees

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