Viral Marketing – A Use of Social Networks to Increase Brand Awareness

Viral marketing, also known as a "word of mouth marketing", is not any new form of marketing, but it is very similar marketing tactics used to reach out to masses during the ancient times. In fact each of you may have played the role of viral marketer quite a lot of times in your life. Hope many of you has recommended your friends or relative, to go for a particular movie or to eat at a particular restaurant or garment shop; you are getting involved in viral marketing. It is said about the viral marketing that in this form of marketing the product finds their end users by themselves as in other form of marketing we have to identify the possible users and reach out to them.

The same form of marketing tactics was used by Amway during the 1960s. They started to sell their products to a few people andave out some commission on getting more customers to the company. The more clients a person brought in, the more commission that person received. Thus soon this type of marketing strategy was succeeded leading to increased in goodwill of the product and even huge expenditure on marketing was saved in this form of advertising. Such saving can be later used to improve the quality and provide more commission to the persons participating in this form of marketing channel. Looking to all this, many entrepreneur started to adopt these form of marketing strategy, even today the company with the name of RMP has started to adopt the similar marketing tactics and till now it is considered as a huge success.

Let see a popular definition of viral marketing:

"It is the marketing techniques employed by an organization which make use of already existing social networks to increase awareness of their brand or to achieve other marketing objectives through spread of news similar to a viral process".

The term "viral marketing" was coined in accordance with similarity of this marketing strategy with "viruses", which reproduce them and multiply.

Internet viral marketing has been in existence since past days but it was the resource which was kept untouched but now after the launch of big social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter many marketers understand the importance of online viral marketing and started to give due importance to it. In fact many big companies have their own page in Facebook where they keep on updating regular news about the company and invite the potential customers to participate in the discussion. Twitter too plays a great role in connecting a company with their present customers and by the way catching the attention of new segment of people. These form of marketing strategy can be complemented by video clips, interactive flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages.