We are now living in an age dominated by technology. As technology continues to expand, so does social media. In today’s society social media has become a part of one’s everyday life. As social media grows in popularity and accessibility to people of all ages, so does its influence on advertising and marketing. With such a widespread audience, many companies now turn to social media to promote, market and advertise their product/brand; but whether this is a good form of advertising is a topic up for discussion. The articles “Why Social Media Marketing?” and “5 Reasons Social Media Is Ruining Marketing” discuss the pros and cons of social media marketing.
Social media according to Webster’s dictionary is defined as “forms of electronic communication as web sites for social networking and microblogging through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content as videos.” A survey conducted in the year 2011 shows that social networking sites such as Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr are used by 41% of adults ages 18+, and 81% of teenagers ages 12-17. 59% of all internet users use at least one social networking website and 56% of social networking users are reportedly women. These percentages have grown approximately 26% since the year 2008. These statistics are used by companies to decide how large of an online campaign they will have, what social media platforms they are going to use, which social networking sites are used more by their target audience and so on. A study called the “Digital Youth Project” found that with the constant increase of technology in our world and the constant communication provided by social networking websites is helping promote the development of useful skills. The study concluded that the digital world is forming new opportunities for people to explore interests, develop various skills and find new forms of self-expression. More than 25% of teens report that social networking allows them to feel less shy, be more outgoing and feel more confident. It gives them a place to make friends and be more vocal. It is however recommended that parents keep an eye on who their children are communicating with on these networks for safety precautions.
Social media has greatly affected the way people receive news today. 50% of people get their news via social media and online news forums. Since 2012, revenues produced by online news has far surpassed that of printed news. Many news companies have moved from the traditional newspaper to virtual news. Though this has led to job cuts, it has opened up an entire new field of work and has led to company saving.
In the 2012 election, social media and social networking played a major role in shaping the current political landscape. Both the democratic and republican parties had social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook where their team posted constant updates. More than a quarter of U.S voters under the age of 30 reported that they obtained information about the 2008 Presidential campaign via social media. 30% of social media users claimed that they were encouraged to vote due to online posts. Facebook users reported that they will be more likely to vote if they see that their friends did.
Our age has been declared as the “technological age” and therefore it is essential for anyone growing up in this age to grasp the concepts of technology and all it has to offer or they will be left behind. Technology and social media will only continue to expand and affect the way we live our lives on a daily basis more and more as the years go on. The key to gaining all the positives of social media and protecting oneself against the negatives is to simply be aware. If one is mindful of how they promote themselves via social media they will unwittingly or even intentionally be able to go very far.
The article “Why Social Media Marketing?” starts by presenting a short video conveying the message of social media building metaphorical bridges, allowing messages to be received by the people in even the smallest areas of the world. Due to technologies growth, marketers are finding new, innovative ways to deliver messages through social media. “Social media marketing is the way to use that technology to build relationships, drive repeat business and attract new customers through friends sharing with friends.” The author of this article gives step by step break downs of how to get social media to make a big impact on your business, and the most effective ways such as emailing marketing.
“5 Reasons Social Media Is Ruining Marketing” opens their argument with “Social media is one of the worst things to ever happen to the discipline of marketing.” The author believes that social media marketing makes for “lazy” marketers, and causes companies to focus more on the quantity of followers than quality of followers. Marketers believe that by using social networking sites as a platform for marketing that they are increasing customer relationship, and sales when it in actuality does the opposite. Survey shows that majority of people do not feel comfortable making a purchase through Facebook and do not pay attention to the ads shown.
Both articles admit that social media marketing is growing and becoming a very important form of marketing as the years go on, but that’s about all they agree on. Whether social media marketing is effective or not, it is without a doubt something that will inevitably take over. With many jobs steaming from new technological advances, and increased usage, social media marketing is creating a new dynamic in the world of marketing. It is important to understand what kind of business you are trying to promote, and the best way to do so. Proper social media marketing can take ones company to the very top, but what may work for one company may not work for another. It is up to the company to decide whether they should place their focus on social media marketing, or traditional marketing.