IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON ADVERTISING 8
There is no doubt that social media has had a tremendous effect onalmost every aspect of people’s lives. It is essential to statethat social media was not present until some 20 years ago. Notably,the original purpose of social media was to connect and reconnectpeople through the internet. However, this purpose has since beenexpanded to affect many other areas including business. For manyyears, business enterprises have relied on the mainstream medianamely the television, newspaper, and radio to advertise theirproducts (Ruschman & Walker, 2014). Advertising of a product or aservice must be directed towards a market niche that has numerouspeople who are potential customers. With the use of radio,television, and the newspaper, businesses would never know how manypotential customers they would reach. Therefore, many of thebusinesses used to rely on the popularity of certain televisionstations or radio stations to make their advertisements (Miller,2012). However, the advent of the social media revolutionized manyaspects of advertising. On every form of social media platforms suchas Facebook, twitter, Instagram, or MySpace, businesses are utilizingthe connectivity element of social media to facilitate theiradvertisements.
Thesis statement: Social media has had numerous effects onadvertising and many businesses have adopted this form of media tofacilitate their marketing since any failure to do so would adverselyaffect their possibility to compete in the 21st-century businessworld.
Through the use of social media, business enterprises have been ableto reach millions of people across the world at cheap advertisingcosts. Some social media platforms such as Facebook have millions ofsubscribers and businesses make their advertisements through thesocial media attempting to reach out to these potential clients. Incomparison to television, radio, and newspaper advertisements, it isevident that the social media advertisements are extremely cheap andothers are even free. This is on the backdrop of having the potentialof reaching many potential customers. Many businesses andorganizations are slowly moving away from the traditional forms ofadvertising and are adopting social media. However, it is essentialto note that most firms are unwilling to move away from thetraditional means of advertising completely, and they are, therefore,using both the social media platforms and the conventionaladvertising methods in tandem (Kur, 2013). This ensures that theadvertising efforts achieve optimal results. Research has indicatedthat approximately 70% of all businesses in the United States havesome social media presence directed towards advertisement. Most ofthe retail businesses which make their advertisements through thesocial media have experienced 33% growth in their revenues. The costscharged by social media platforms for advertisement are extremelylower compared to the radio or television advertisement fees.
Social media platforms provide an element that enables customers todeliver feedbacks regarding a company’s products or services. Thisimplies that the clients can offer their feedback or feelingsrelating to a particular form of advertisement. Further, consumersoffer their review through the internet of certain social mediachannels. Businesses can use the reviews and the feedbacks theyreceive from the clients to align the advertisements according to theclients’ needs and priorities (Ruschman & Walker, 2014).Therefore, it is important to state that through the social media,businesses have been able to produce advertisements that are uniqueand that meet the expectations of the clients. For example, customerscan complain over an advertisement that seems to demean women. Whenthe producer of such an advert reads such reviews and complaints, heor she will react swiftly to correct it in order to satisfy theclients. Additionally, the presence of social media has made manyorganizations become extremely vigilant and careful while producingadvertisements. This is due to the fact that any advertisement isclosely monitored by clients and any wrong publicity can spreadeasily through the social media hence affecting the reputation of thefirm.
Some advertisements on social media are irritating and social mediausers are oftentimes disturbed by their presence. On Facebook andTwitter, it is possible to encounter numerous pop-ups ofadvertisements from various companies. When an advertisement from onecompany is repeatedly shown on a website, the user can decide toblock (Information Resources Management Association, 2016). Thismeans that businesses must identify their target audience and producecontent that the clients want to see. It is evident that even when abrand that a customer prefers keeps repeating an advert, the clientmight consider it as spamming. Therefore, organizations must learn todevelop their content with the target audience in mind. Social mediasites such as Facebook and Twitter gives the users the power to blockany advertisement that they seem irrelevant. Companies must becreative while coming up with advertisement content to make sure thatit is always relevant to the client.
Another way that social media has affected advertising is throughthe interaction between the consumers and the businesses. The corevalue of social media is to interact and communicate. Businesses mustengage their clients through social media regarding their productsand services. Most advertisers on social media have been termed asintruding. This is a negative message for any business enterprise,and it is as a result of failure to communicate effectively with theclients. Businesses must use influencers and partners to identifyniche audiences (Kur, 2013). It is essential to communicate with suchclients and convince them why they should follow a particular companyor business on social media. Most potential customers present onsocial media will require conviction why a particular company shouldbe followed on social media. This is a clear indication that socialmedia has significantly affected how business enterprises interactand converse with the clients. Traditional advertisement methods didnot provide for such conversations between the firms and the clients.
Since the advent of the social media platforms, there have beenmillions of advertisements seeking to convince people from all overthe world to purchase products and or services from particularcompanies. This form of advertisement has given rise to online brandambassadors and advocates. This occurs when a particular brand hiresa few people through their social media pages to promote their brand.More often than not, companies will use celebrities such as musiciansor politicians who would share the brands (Praise & Guinan,2012). For example, a beverage producing company such as Coca-Colacan use a football player such as Messi and have him share a videowhere he is taking a Coca-Cola product such as a soda or water.Notably, most of the celebrities have millions of followers onFacebook and Twitter and, therefore, any advertisement on their pageswill attract many clients. This is a concept that has becomeprominent in social media. There is no doubt that this concept isearning fruits with companies that have used it recording increasedsales. It is, however, essential to note that the companies pay theadvocates or the ambassadors.
Social media has completely changed the face of advertising. This isowing to the fact that it has enabled what can be termed as totalcontrol over one’s advertisements. While requesting for anadvertisement from television stations, radio stations, andnewspapers, business enterprises must have their advertisementsscreened by the appropriate media or print houses (Ruschman &Walker, 2014). Media houses can only air ads that are in line withtheir policies and ethical standards. Conversely, businessenterprises make their own advertisements and post them directly onsocial media where they are immediately received by the clients.However, this should not be construed to mean that businesses canpost derogatory content and expect to get away with it. All thesocial media channels have their ethical standards, and theirviolation can lead to the close of a business’s page or handle.Television, radio, and newspapers acted as intermediaries between thefirm owners and clients. The coming of the social media wouldtransform this by creating an avenue where the business owner and theclient can easily converse.
Last but not least, social media has enhanced the speed at whichadvertisements reach the target audience, as well as the rate atwhich they spread among the people. This can be demonstrated throughsome features on social sites such as sharing on Facebook orretweeting on twitter. For example, when a company advertises aproduct on its page, and a twitter user retweets the advertisementall the followers of that user will see the announcement (Noor &Hendricks, 2012). This is the same case on Facebook where a user canshare an advertisement from a company hence informing all his or herFacebook friends. Further, when an advertisement is made on a socialmedia channel, it reaches the audience instantly. Therefore,information on a product or a service with a good reputation andpositive reviews can reach millions of people across the world withina few minutes.
Despite the above positive effects of social media on advertising,it is noteworthy that there are a few negative aspects. Due to thehigh rate at which messages can spread on social media, a littledamage to a business can spread extremely quickly and oftentimes itis impossible to recover (Praise & Guinan, 2012). Further,competitors can use social media to post advertisements that paintother companies in a bad light. Lastly, cases of fraud have beennumerous with regards to online advertising through social media.Some fraudsters have created social media pages that use names ofprominent companies and have gone ahead to collect money fromunsuspecting clients.
While concluding, the effects that social media has had onadvertising are numerous. Advertisements can now reach clients fasterand can also be tailored to the needs and priorities of the clients.Additionally, research has shown that social media has enabledadvertisers to interact and communicate with customers where they gettheir feedback. Advertisers have the responsibility of convincing theconsumers why they need to follow them on social media. It is alsoevident that the cost advertising using social media is cheaper thatthe traditional television, radio, and newspaper advertising. Theconcept of ambassadors and advocates gained momentum and prominencewith the advent of social media. There is no doubt that social mediahas had positive effects on advertising.
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