Ways social media has changed advertising

Social media has had a significant impact on society. Initially, the platform was a way for people to connect and/or reconnect with one another, but over the course of time the concept has expanded to so much more.

Businesses have found social media marketing to be a very viable marketing channel and a good number of companies are heavily focusing efforts into social media. As a result, this has trickled into the advertising approaches businesses use to reach consumers. No longer are marketers looking solely at traditional forms of advertising such as print, radio and TV. Over the years they have been increasingly been navigating to the Internet as a means to reach consumers and social media has provided a ripe ground for attracting buyers.

Image credit: Pixabay

Social media statistics

Nielsen reported in March 2009 that two-thirds of the world's population visited social networking sites, and this data was collected back 2007 - 2008. Social networking has significantly grown since that time and in 2010, Facebook alone had over 400 million members. Fast-forward to today and Facebook now boasts more than 1 billion members. One billion! 

Couple that with the number of people using Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, blogs, and the thousands of other social networks (let us not exclude social bookmarking sites), and this is a staggering amount of time people spend on social networks by a huge percentage of society. And, you figure, that’s just one social network. It is anticipated that 2.95 users worldwide will be on social media by 2020. 

No wonder advertisers want in. It makes perfect sense to strive for visibility where target markets are hanging out.

Value of a strong social media presence

Social media isn't overly expensive, while it takes significant amounts of effort and theoretically time is money, it is different than shooting commercials and buying air time or spending money taking out ads. What it does take is time, however, with diligence and patience, establishing a strong social media presence can pay off. However, this time consumption can be offset by reducing costs of advertising and redirecting marketing efforts to the online platform.

A two-way communication street

Change is inevitable as one of the few things constant in life is change, and the Internet has revolutionized the way businesses can reach out to the consumer market. Businesses are no longer aloof corporations only visible on billboards and TV and out of reach for consumers to interact with. It's no longer a one-way street., today's companies are directly communicating with their customers and focusing on building relationships. This is probably one of the biggest changes of all in the last decade.

Social media marketing is where it is currently at because today's world is people centric and social media effectively fulfills this desire by providing a way to encourage ongoing connections and relationship building.

Socialization and consumerism are rapidly blending as the offline and online worlds continue to collide. The majority of businesses that do not hop on the social media train with a solid investment (a vague presence is not enough) are likely to find themselves losing a competitive edge to others in their market in the long-term.


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