Is social media a waste of time, effort and money for marketers? Well Mark Ritson says yes, yes and yes. He believes that marketers who rely on social media advertising are “poorly trained idiots” and the traditional forms of marketing avenues such as tv adverts, newspapers and billboards are the path to go down for a successful result. Ritson argues that social media is meant for human-to-human interactions and the traditional media outlets should be for businesses to promote themselves.
I agree to Ritson to an extent; my parents are the money spenders in our family they are the ones who will get the new car, new insurance and new air-conditioning unit. I will only buy the small family necessities such as clothes and shopping occasionally, my point being they do not use social media and there is no point advertising to me about this stuff and would be more effective advertising on television or even the radio.
Mark Ritson states that the traditional medias are still the top dogs with 66% of Australians not following a single brand on social media. However, I believe these statistics will continue to change in the future as social media becomes more and more prevalent and traditional media outlets less; so, investing early into your social media campaigns may be a intelligent idea. The change from old to new is inevitable and hedging your bets by investing in both traditional and social media is the ideal scenario.
In conclusion in my opinion, it completely depends on what you are selling to decipher whether social media advertising or the classic forms of advertising would most benefit your business. Rule out neither as traditional media is still performing to a higher viewership level, the changeover into social media overtaking the viewership numbers is bound to happen and will continue to shoot ahead as radios newspapers and free-to-air television will phase out in time.
How many times have we seen an ad on our Facebook page, Instagram or just on the internet that is creepily accurate to what we enjoy or have researched recently. I for one have received over 100+ advertisements about becoming a member of the Western Bulldogs AFL team because I follow them on Instagram. This is the prime example of how advertisement agencies plant the relatable repetition seed in our mind in this technological society we live in where everything is tracking everything we do. Through the use of our search engines and social medias businesses can optimise their budget for ads by only putting their ads on pages where the people reading would actually be interested in what they are selling.
CIO Australia released an article in 2014 by Jennifer Schiff outlining the 7 steps to create a successful integrated marketing campaign and one point stood out to me which was “Not everyone needs to be on Facebook… be ruthless in selecting … It’s better to concentrate on the more effective channels than trying to be everywhere”. This is very accurate as Facebook is not always the most effective platform for marketing, for example if you were selling knitting wool, it’s likely advertising in Vogue Knitting would be a more effective way to increase sales.
After watching Dunkin Donuts Flavour Radio advertisement and reading Jennifer Schiff published article in CIO it made me contemplate, what is easier to advertise too; a customer who visits your coffee shop every now and then as they swap between shops or a completely new customer. Focusing on locking down your regular customers to ensure they do not go to any other coffee shops and only go to your store can be a much more effective digital marketing campaign then trying to attract a new customer who already has their mind set on an alternative coffee store. An integrated digital marketing campaign when done correctly can be the most effective way to engrain the message into the potential customers mind as it uses many platforms. These platforms can include getting exclusive member sales sent to your emails account, social media updates and even newsletters in the mail. It ticks off different areas where customers could otherwise have been missed as not everyone has social media or an email account.
When someone says tracking device I automatically think of a GPS and google map tracking for traffic on our roads. But this new kind of tracking which has been around for a while in the form of Tile the tracking device designed to ensure you never lose anything again.
Trillion-dollar company Apple has just released a small tracking device called Apple Airtag which can give you the exact location of an item plus give you directions on maps to take you to the lost item. Whilst it seems a safe enough method of finding your important possessions it could be using the information off the tracking device for all sorts of reasons that an everyday person wouldn’t even imagine.
A man by the name of Yuval Elovici spoke on Ted Talks about ‘Internet of Things’ devices and he made an example of a smart fridge which I found fascinating. Smart fridges can track heaps of helpful information about food groups, expiration dates of food in your fridge and get up recipes using the contents in your fridge. Yuval made the point about these fridges and said “somebody will not give me an insurance because they know my eating habits” which is frightening information to think that insurance companies are able to see what food you are buying and consuming and therefore not give you insurance benefits because of the food you are eating.
Imagine missing out on thousands of dollars of insurance benefits because you bought an ‘IOT’ device. that would never of crossed my mind and would never of thought about that and it gets you thinking what other smart devices are tracking information about us that we would not allow if we knew the truth behind it. Maybe insurance companies will see through the tracking on Apple Airtags that we left our wallet in a high-rate robbery neighbourhood and therefore they will not give us compensation for our loss or that we lost it at 3am when we were out drinking hence as we were inebriated, drunkenness does not cover us under our Insurance package.
The first step on the process of making an idea go viral is to have a strong basis you can show to others before you even think about digital marketing advertising. For example, if you are the creator of a cool invention such as a levitating desk light you need to actually make the item and show how it works and how successful it is before the planning process for advertisements begin. Whilst it may seem simple; jumping the gun and showing off the plan can lead to many problems including a big waste of money if the product has no interest with close friends or family; prototypes are key.
The second step in the viral marketing strategy for you cool idea is to get the backing of a celebrity in the form of any social media. ‘Celebrity’ is a broad term for anyone with a following on any of the social media platforms, for example you could get someone on tiktok to check out your item, make a video on it and give it an honest review. The cost would be minimal in terms of advertising fees, as you would send the tiktokker the item, they would get content for a video which they would make money off and have a cool item. The benefit of tiktok is that anyone can go viral overnight by posting one cool video as you do not have to be an A list celebrity to catch the attention of the tiktok community. If things go right in the video and you catch the attention of the community, you could be joining this list of ‘tiktok made me buy it products’.
The third and final step is to ensure your product is given the proper recognition it deserves and the tiktok influencer actually links the item you gave them. This is to guarantee that future customers have easy accessibility to your items shop and do not have to look up the item manually. Tiktok is a rapid app with only short videos of and teenagers want to get things done quickly without partaking in unnecessary steps that only waste their time as that is where they will lose interest and discontinue their purchase.
Digital consumers, communities and influencers download and create social media accounts for many different reasons. Some digital consumers download social media in order to play games, others to catch up on what friends are doing while business owners use social media accounts to promote their products to as many potential customers as possible.
Discovering the reasons WHY digital consumers are downloading these platforms is the best way of understanding more about the target demographic. Identifying the age group of the customers using social media sites and the reasons why they download is of great benefit to companies wanting to advertise their products on these platforms and to work out which platform would best suit their target demographic. Snapchat, for instance, is used by a younger demographic. Companies and social media influencers are unlikely to advertise life insurance or retirement plans on Snapchat and more likely to use it for McDonalds or laser tag promotions.
Instagram influencers and content creators, such as Kylie Jenner, know the exact demographic of their followers thanks to the use of statistics and data. Companies who wish to collaborate with Jenner are aware of her target audience and community and align their products and promotions to maximise success. Makeup, clothing and other accessory brands advertised on Kylie Jenner’s page have the potential to be been seen by her 220 million loyal followers. Companies have successfully promoted products to targeted social media users who are likely to be interested in buying these advertised products. This targeted exposure is seen as a good investment for the fees incurred.
On the other hand, targeted demographic promotions may not always hit the mark. A recent (2021) advertising campaign on Facebook, saw users disengaged and resulted in a negative backlash. Facebooks ad services allowed content which advertised joining the army or military services. This campaign was targeted at Facebook users who were following Call of Duty (COD) pages or other action/shooting games. The ad campaign encouraging Facebook users to enlist was developed on the assumption that young individuals playing these graphic games were familiar with guns and violence and would be interested in and a good fit with the military. A misguided assumption and subsequent campaign that was regarded as ‘distasteful’ rather than successful.
3.96 billion people use social media on a regular basis of which 99% of these people access their accounts using a mobile phone. It is clearly evident and safe to say that social media has world influence and possesses the power to create friends or enemies out of people, cities and countries.
Take the current coronavirus pandemic for example. Toilet paper became as valuable as gold and this took the media by storm. Prior to the invention of social media, this would never have happened. But due to 2.7 billion active Facebook users word can spread quicker than wildfire. For example, one content creator and Instagram influencer posts a selfie with the caption “bulking up on toilet paper for lockdown”. This has the facility to spread to that person’s friends which spreads to that person’s friends until everyone and their dog has seen that toilet paper has become this rare commodity and no one wants to be without toilet paper during a pandemic.
It truly surprised anyone and everyone, during this unprecedented time when there were so many things to talk about, that all we could muster up was chatting about toilet paper sales rocketing, and people hoarding toilet paper and on selling it. Facebook supplied the news; twitter supplied the debate and Tiktok supplied the laughs. In Victoria you’d open Facebook and there was Premier Dan Andrews asking people to stop being selfish with footage of people fighting in supermarkets over toilet rolls. Open twitter and there’s 100+ threads on a post of people blaming the Chinese and exclaiming how they have lost all faith in humanity. While on Tiktok and there’s content creators pretending to use their white fluffy dog as a replacement for toilet paper. Toilet paper sales in the US spiked an unbelievable 845% during this time. This relates back to my previous point on how much power social media possesses – toilet paper companies could only dream of such sales growth from their own marketing campaigns. Who is to say they didn’t plan this? It’s a radical suggestion and likely untrue but how will we (the general public) ever know. It would not be that hard – fake a film set where people are panic buying toilet paper, pay Facebook to pump in these news articles and information on their site and all the other social media platforms will fall like dominoes and everyone will be duped into mass buying toilet paper they do not need.
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