The Increase of Social Media
Please welcome our new blogger, Jennifer Brackett! Jennifer is our newest intern at Oya, a GenY young lady who is going to be blogging about social media, how it impacts her, and how she uses it in her life. Think of her series as a perspective directly from the inside of the Social Generation. And now…take it away Jennifer!
In today’s society, we are surrounded by social media and networking. We are encouraged to “check in” at locations with friends to let everyone on Facebook know what we’re up to. Twitter allows us to be outspoken and voice our opinions with cliché hash tags to gain followers. And you wouldn’t dare to post a picture without applying a filter onto it with Instagram first. We are woken up by the ringing of a smart phone instead of a clock, we depend on a digital calendar to plan out our days, and we find our way home with turn by turn directions from a monotone voice. Our phones have become a vital part of our lives and many people to do not realize how much consideration marketing executives go through in order to advertise the social media networks we utilize everyday. A recent study has found that within the next 12 months, the majority of advertising and marketing executives expect companies to increase their marketing of social media platforms (Nanji). This does not come as a surprise; more and more people are engaging with social media and it is beginning to replace the generic and personal interactions.
Companies greatly benefit from using social media as an advertising outlet. It allows them to reach a greater demographic while also being able to target a specific audience if that’s what their brand seeks. On Facebook, for example, there are ads plastered on the side of the webpage that reflect your personal interests based on what you have “liked” or searched for online. Personally, the only time I click on to one of these ads is when it is on accident. Facebook is a place where we can reconnect with old friends and see what people are up to. In my opinion, the ads may catch your eye but with all of the information on your newsfeed about friends, it is highly unlikely that users will click on the ad and leave the Facebook website. However, once the brands you have “liked” on Facebook create a page of their own, their postings are embedded into your daily newsfeed.
After liking the Nike Women’s San Francisco Marathon on Facebook, I began seeing posts with pictures and information about running, Nike products, and training tools that race participants could utilize. Nike shows crisp and high definition pictures of both their running shoes and GPS sport watches that allow you to track your training progress. These types of posts catch my eye with their simplicity. One of the hardest parts of preparing for a marathon is finding a training schedule, and Nike uses this to their advantage by informing people on Facebook about their training specific products. If I had not liked their page on Facebook, I would have never seen their training app for my iPhone. Liking a page on Facebook, usually means that I am interested in becoming more knowledgeable about a brand or company because I know ahead of time that I will be exposed to some type of marketing and advertising.
Brands on Instagram and Twitter try to engage with their consumer base by posting pictures and asking followers to repost the picture along with specific words with hash tags in order to make the post gain popularity. They often supply an incentive, such as free products, to a user selected at random that reposted the information. As our econ teachers in high school would tell us time and time again, people respond to incentives. There are days where my Instagram newsfeed is full of reposts from fans of companies giving away free tickets, make-up, and clothing. Only a select few of these thousands of people will actually receive the products, but the company will benefit greatly with all of the free advertising. I will scroll past most of these posts because I go on Instagram to see pictures that my friends have taken themselves. It gives me ideas of what restaurants I need to try, where to go on a great hike to find a breathtaking view, or where to vacation next. I may repost a company’s post if I feel like I need the product that they are giving away, but I tend to not repost something I see already reposted, thinking that too much time has passed and the giveaway is over. Since the majority of people these days use some form of social media, it is a smart move for marketing executives to further their use of such social technologies as long as they use it in a certain way that will grant them success.