Advertising in the Age of Social Media

Social Media has changed a lot of society’s practices (shocker!), one being the way products are advertised.  Long gone are the days of the Mad Mean philosophy “Advertising is based on happiness.  We make the lie, we invent the want.”  Consumers want the truth, and social media has made it easy to find.

Today people easily share reviews, opinions, and thoughts on products through their social circles.  Whether the opinions are positive or negative, they spread like wild-fire, and because of this advertisers have to be “transparent” and honest about their products.  Consumers want advertisers to be sincere, helpful, and knowledgeable, not pushy, deceptive, and desperate.

Social media platforms allow the professional communicator to get up close and personal with their potential consumers.  They can build relationships which encourages brand loyalty and consumer interest.  Marshall Loeb a writer for Wall Street Journal wrote “With the growing popularity of social media platforms, businesses are embracing the technology to build community and strengthen consumer interest.”

For advertisers there are few steps they could follow to ensure their social media campaigns are effective.

  1. Know the Platform:  advertisers should have an understanding of who is using social media and the best practices for specific platforms.  For example, advertising on Twitter and Facebook are very different.  Knowing the differences and best practices allows advertisers to promote their products more effectively.
  2. Be Transparent:  Consumers want to know the company behind the product.  The more they know about the people or ideas behind the product, the better the connection.  In the same token, always be honest about your products, even recognizing the negative feedback.
  3. Engage:  Consumers are honest and they can give great feedback.  Not only should advertisers listen actively, but they should also inform their audience that they are listening by providing feedback.
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