Social Media: Marketing Revolution

Written by Emme Spero. Edited by Sam Bishins.

Social media is becoming more and more popular as a marketing tool.

Companies are advertising on social media platforms as well as participating on multiple social media sites as users. The most common social media sites and apps used are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. There are many reasons that social media is being used to market.

Instagram ads let companies promote their products to young people.

First of all, it can help them reach out to their customers. It helps them reach the younger generation. Teenagers use social media for nearly nine hours a day according to CNN. That’s a huge opportunity for companies to expose adolescents to their products.

Additionally, fewer and fewer teenagers are watching TV, and corporations are trying to find new ways to reach these groups.

Social media also boosts traffic for the company’s site. Traditionally, the only way someone could find a company site is if they were to search keywords or specifically looking for the site, but that changes with social media. Someone might find a product through a friend’s post and check out the product’s site.

Social media marketing is a way to cut down on marketing costs. Marketing can be expensive, but creating a social media account is free. This helps smaller businesses promote themselves, even if they don’t have much funding to spend on marketing. In this way, it levels out the playing field. The advertisement that gets more attention isn’t necessarily the one that cost the most money was spent on. This can appear more genuine, in comparison to an ad.

This kind of marketing improves brand recognition. Brand recognition is very important to businesses. It’s the reason why there are TV commercials or billboards. Companies know that a customer won’t drop everything to go buy a product they saw in an advertisement, but these ads have a subconscious effect. People are more likely to trust a brand they recognize over one they don’t. Billions of people use social media, so it gives companies an opportunity to reach out to a mass of amount of people easily, which increases brand recognition, which in turn leads to greater sales.

There are many success stories from using social media marketing.

One example, is Red Bull who used Instagram and Twitter to improve brand awareness, especially for a new product they were launching for the summer.

They used “#thissummer” and got the hashtag to trend on Instagram. Another example is Dacia which is European car company that used Facebook to drastically improve ad recall, which got people more familiar with their brand.

Though social media marketing can be beneficial to companies, it can also have a negative effect on users.

Many social media marketers use bots to follow people and write comments. Even though the idea on paper might seem good, companies need to think about the human aspect. It can discredit social media features such as the follower count and comments from real people.

Botting can mess with people’s self-esteem, as well, if they think that actual people are commenting or if they think that all their comments are bots. Not only is this practice unethical, but it can discredit a brand. Using bots can make a company seem inauthentic, which will turn people away. When using marketing social media, one should always consider their consumer and be ethical, regardless of how much exposure they can get.

Social media has revolutionized the marketing world. It’s now more important than ever to have a social media account for big and small companies. With it, they are given an easy, cost-effective way to reach large amounts of people. Even though methods used today may seem drastically different from methods used ten years ago, marketing is only going to keep changing with newer and newer technology.