Video: SNS marketing on the rise in South Korea
Social media like Facebook are no longer just for sharing photos and news — they're also major platforms for shopping. Companies are able to reach out directly to their customers… and create a buzz through special offers and events. Our Won Jung-hwan takes a closer look at social network marketing. Social Network Services have become the fastest growing shopping platform, outperforming other platforms like TV home shopping or internet shopping malls, and creating a buzz in South Korea. SNS is being used by firms, not just to share information about their products, but to also sell their products directly, and promote them with special offers and events, like one held last week through SNS involving over a thousand companies.
(KOREAN) "The first edition of 12-12 day event was held to build consumer interest within the SNS market and provide users with an opportunity to purchase quality products at a highly discounted price." SNS marketing uses social media platforms to connect consumers with products through virtual communities, and allow firms to interact with customers and provide products tailored to their needs. The CEO of 'MONICA-ROOM', one of the first companies to use SNS marketing in Korea, says that its big advantage over conventional marketing is the ability to adapt to customers' personalized needs. (KOREAN) "We visit our customers' SNS pages, and we communicate with them as they receive our news feeds. If you compare SNS with general online shopping malls, SNS platforms can communicate one-on-one with people, and this can lead to customized sales marketing to each individual" Traditional online shopping platforms are often limited to 'telling' people what to buy, with few mechanisms to obtain customer feedback. But the open nature of SNS allows participants to share their views and feedback on brands, products, and services.
(KOREAN) "On traditional platforms, marketing is often viewed as brand-storytelling. But now if you look at SNS marketing, it is more like 'brand-storydoing', meaning that customers and viewers are actively taking part in selling a brand's products." As customers can ask questions and voice their concerns directly to companies through social media, they can make more informed purchasing decisions, leading to fewer returned products or requests for refunds. (KOREAN) "As we continue posting reliable information, those who like our information visit our products' websites. And a relationship of trust between the buyer and seller forms within the online platform." But there are also costs to marketing through SNS. Since SNS is mostly about one-on-one communication, companies need to hire personnel to handle social media interactions.
And the viral way information spreads through SNS doesn't always work in a company's favor… (KOREAN) "Since SNS marketing often engages through live platforms, any negative reviews or comments regarding a company can suddenly spread to all those people who follow the company." But at the same time, the 'live' nature of SNS can help create a positive buzz around a product and drive social shopping among SNS users. As followers of a product repost comments made by others, a small piece of marketing can reach a large audience. But companies can't sit back and be passive when it comes to social media. (STANDUP) "Nearly 2.5 billion people around the globe use some sort of social media. But a large audience on social media does not always translate into strong sales figures. The real key to success is increasing audience activity and engagement with the product" SNS marketing is trying to break out from the sectors where it was first introduced, like fashion and cosmetics. Now it's possible to buy such varied items as agricultural products through social media platforms.
By reducing distribution costs and allowing people to purchase fresh products, straight from the source, SNS marketing is bringing convenience and efficiency to both companies and consumers in South Korea. Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News..