The two biggest buzz words in the advertising business right now: social media. There is no escaping it. If you have a company, you need to have social media, or at the very least, just an online presence. If you don’t, you don’t exist. But how beneficial is it exactly? And how is one supposed to use it effectively and successfully? Those are the questions every corporation is trying to answer before their competitors figure out the answer. I’m no expert, but I’ve done my fair share of social media perusing and I’ve come up with my favorite ways that brands interact with their consumers as well as how fellow consumers interact with others through the usage of social media. Let’s explore.
Social Media for myself is my own talk show. I use it as a microphone to voice my opinion and see if others relate to it and agree or disagree. I’ll share moments from my day, ask questions for help or for humor, and use it as a medium of communication to those that I might not have access to otherwise, i.e. that cute boy in my communications class that I just can’t muster up the courage to ask for his number yet. I’m on all the platforms. As an Advertising and Public Relations major, I feel as if it’s my job to be on every platform. Even though I have several platforms, each one serves a separate purpose and uses a slightly different voice.
Facebook commemorates the larger milestones in my life, Twitter is a constant stream of my thoughts, and Instagram has become a carefully curated collection of my life in pictures.
As companies begin to learn how to use each platform to their advantage, the companies with social media presence that reciprocate the best with me are those on Twitter. It’s the quickest way to get the companies attention directly for the consumer and seeing other companies interact with each other is always humorous and normally creates a better brand image in my opinion. A Facebook page for a company is almost becoming as necessary as a website, but the posts seem to get lost in the clutter of everything else on the site, making it difficult to communicate with the consumers directly. According to the Pew Research, there are more than 1.6 billion social network users worldwide with more than 64% of internet users accessing social media services online. In addition more than half of the internet users in North America are social network users, (Statistics and Market Data, n.d.). So essentially, if you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist.
As a millennial who is constantly on the internet, my generation reacts different to tactics than other generations might. For example, mobile campaigning is not as effective for the Boomers generation, but millennials are the “most likely demographic to shop online…spending around $2,000 online each year,” (MacLeod 2015). So creating advertising pieces on mobile sites geared towards Boomers would not be very effective, something that advertisers should be aware of before spending thousands of dollars on tactics to entice those consumers.
According to KissMetrics, there are four questions that every company needs to ask themselves when preparing a marketing campaign:
Where is my audience?
Where is my audience active?
Where is my audience searching?
Which niche social media sites are right for me? (Which Social Media, 2015).
Without answering these questions, the company may be completely missing their target audience if they are on a social network that their TA is not on.
As the tactics and the campaigns each company creates surpass the previous, companies are getting smarter and smarter with whom, how, and where they market, because without that it would be as if they were throwing money straight into a garbage can.
MacLeod, S. (2015, November 5). How to Engage Any Demographic With a Social Media Campaign. In Hootsuite. Retrieved from http://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-engage-any-emographic-with-a-social-media-campaign/
Statistics and Market Data on Social Media & User-Generated Content (n.d.). In Statista. Retrieved from http://www.statista.com/markets/424/topic/540/social-media-user-generated-content/
Which Social Media Accounts Really Matter and Why (2014). In KissMetrics. Retrieved from https://blog.kissmetrics.com/which-social-accounts-matter/