As we already mentioned in the previous post on Online Advertising Link, Social Media Advertising is a very important tool in the constantly growing and expanding world of Online Marketing. For us, the millennials, it is not a secret that our lives pretty much revolve around social media platforms. We use them every day, several times per day even, which is exactly why the main focus of this blog is placed on this topic.
Social Media Advertising or Social Networking Advertising is a form of Online Advertising where companies, individuals and organizations use social media platforms to advertise their products or services online in different kinds of ways. Furthermore, marketers use these platforms to analyze behaviors, needs and preferences that consequently help them reach their target audience more effectively.
Social media in general can be described as computer-mediated tools that offer people the ability to share and create their opinions, ideas and information with other users in virtual communities and networks Link.
These communication channels are dependent on community-based input, interactions, content-sharing and collaborations. Blogging, social networking, and social bookmarking are also among the different types of said media Link.
Well-known social media websites/ platforms nowadays are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr and many others.
Social media platforms like these ones provide marketers with information through users’ “Likes” and “Dislikes”. Thanks to them, businesses can better understand their target audience and market.
Different ways of advertising products or services to consumers can be enabled by techniques like COBRAs and eWOM Link.
Consumer’s online brand related activities (COBRAs) is when products or services of brands are shown, thus advertising those websites through the consumers. For instance, when you buy a new jacket from Zara and post a picture of it on your Instagram or Facebook page. Quite frankly speaking, it`s free advertising for the company.
Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is when the company’s product or service is promoted through C2C interactions on different social media platforms. This, for example, can occur on one hand through blogs where people rate products or on the other hand through websites, such as “airbnb” or “tripadvisor”. People that stayed in a certain hotel during their last vacation can rate the accommodation, service etc. and moreover, upload pictures as evidence. Picture source
Despite all the attractions, there is also a lot of critique regarding this form of advertising. Many skeptics doubt the justification and the economic benefit of Social Media Advertising. They ask whether social media marketers make money while killing communities and helping people become more and more distant. People have less real conversations with each other; nobody bothers to be friends in real life; dating already changed so much, that most people are unable to meet anyone offline. Moreover, many critics say that people post cruel things on these platforms to gossip around or bully others. Platforms for conversations and interactions on a respectful and professional level are becoming rarer each day.
Furthermore, others say that some companies and organizations make use of people’s openness and willingness to share to get the information they need. Based on this, the privacy of users has become of major concern, especially in regards to teens and young adults.
But in the end of the day, it should be stated that social media and, more precisely, Social Media Advertising is considered an important tool in the world of Online Advertising. Although the benefit of it is really tough to measure, it has to be clarified that IT IS measurable and IT DOES have an economic benefit for companies.
Social Media Advertising, for instance, is not only a very cheap or even free tool to promote the company and its products, but also a more efficient and engaging way to analyze customer behavior and react to feedback Link.
However, before these tools of advertisement can be used properly, companies have to analyze how to measure them in order to understand how they can benefit the business.
To conclude, Social Media Advertising is not only cheap, but more importantly: interactive, relevant to modern society, and measurable.
We, as an Online Advertising agency, have to admit that despite the negative implications, Social Media Advertising is the new way of marketing.
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