Online marketing has been forever changed by social media. Some would argue that the very concept didn’t exist until the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn came along, yet it still incorporates a wide field that is driven in large part by these applications.
So how influential has this been over the past 10-12 years and what lessons can brands learn from this cultural and philosophical evolution? It is a practice that has been forced to adapt to a changing landscape and this has been the result of that change.
Forces Stronger One-To-One Communication
Should you happen to deconstruct the very term “social media,” you begin to understand the core principles behind the concept. The idea is to allow individual users from all corners of the globe with internet access the chance to see, click, share and engage with people, communities and brands like never before.
Enterprises that put themselves out there into this landscape can reap great rewards but it comes inherent with a risk and responsibility. Consumers who ask questions and leave feedback (both positive and negative) are giving the organisation a chance to be proactive, reactive or noncompliant. That pressure should be embraced as it offers a public insight into your level of professionalism and customer service, a facet that can be a force for good.
Before Facebook, Instagram and YouTube were on the scene, digital marketing was a fairly placid and generic environment in which to operate. You had to tick some essential boxes from a Yellow Pages listing to having your business information presented on Google. Outside of that there wasn’t the appetite or requirement to push boundaries and deliver content that was enticing and interesting. Social media has pushed those boundaries to new heights as the increase in domestic and foreign competition has put the onus back on brands to think and act progressively with their endeavours.
Expanded Marketing Avenues
That once generic environment was something of a safe space for large corporations who could dominate a niche simply by having more capital and brand awareness. Social media has since given small to medium enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to illustrate their expertise and potential by using the tools at their disposal.
If Facebook was too competitive, then Snapchat could be utilised. If Twitter did not speak to their core audience, then Instagram was available. The expansion of marketing channels is the best of what the free market was intended to be and social media is a driving force behind this modern revolution.