Social media (or social marketing)is the promotional tool used to facilitate conversations among people online. According to Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman, marketing principles that are used to sell products can also be used to sell ideas. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors and typically does so by targeting particular audiences rather than society as a whole. It aims at specific people groups by offering what they want and/or need. The planning process of social marketing takes place by focusing on "The 4 P's of Marketing" which are product, price, place and promotion.
Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks thinks that social marketing is a main component for the company's success. According to him, only companies who focus on social marketing are truly successful. Social media such as Facebook and twitter play important roles in marketing. These are sites used by millions of consumers. Promoting a product or service on these sites can give a huge boost to a company's success. Schultz thinks that old techniques are no longer valid and in order to compete with today's competitors, we need to think critically and focus on the needs and comforts of consumers. He thinks that loyalty programs are another key factor of marketing by because they encourage customers to come back for their rewards or points.
Social media is spreading and according to a New York Times article, it's spreading in countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia. These countries have a very high number people using social networks such as twitter and Facebook. Globally, nearly 90% of Internet users take advantage of social media sites.
According to an article written by Dorie Clark for the "Harvard Business Review", there is less focus on individual benefits of social media but it what is being promoted is the opportunity to in some way become a better and happier person or a better leader. According to Clark, by using social media or marketing companies, we can sell better, listen better and move faster.