By Janette Leon-Speyer, Web Success Team
“It’s just Advertising!” It’s the only phrase that comes to mind when my clients ask me “How does Social Media work?” More and more I am finding that we are doing the same job we did years ago when we worked in traditional advertising.
Historically, for the last century advertising has sought to build corporate reputations through branding and image recognition without directly appealing for sales. Return on investment was subservient to building your brand. Social Media acts quite similar in that the medium is the message. If clients are looking solely at ROI, then social media is not the first place to look. If harnessed, it can be the right place to deliver your message and help gain exposure.
Traditional advertising agencies are in the business of developing campaigns to sell a client’s products and services by buying advertising space in local newspapers, radio, television and magazines. Their creative is then placed in the platforms most likely to attract buyer attention. Agency types use to muse: the agency brings in the client, the art director knocks the client over with creative and the account executive picks their pockets. Well the dynamics of advertising has dramatically changed. In part due to economics and in part due to the new digital medium.
Today Social Media is attempting to enter the traditional advertising arena although it is not quite as well defined.
Bridging the Gap. My Predictions:
Here are my predictions for the Social Media world and how the dividing line between traditional and new media will eventually be blurred.
1. Websites already represent your company in the online space in a similar way to the yellow page ads or a company brochure. They are replacing the brick and mortar stores and are becoming the face of an organization.
2. SEO, Search PPC and ever changing search engine algorithms will soon have to come to terms with each other and we will have to pay for it all. Just like newspaper ads and television are now segregated by location or by trade, in a few short years the web will be a costlier environment as more engines find new revenue sources.
3. Social Media Platforms will become more and more targeted to specific audiences integrating with mobile apps and users will have to pay to get prime spots and views.
4. Email marketing will completely replace direct mail. The cost to print and distribute will continue to drive marketers and clients to email marketing and reaching target markets through the Social Media.
5. Facebook will offer businesses more growth opportunity by opening its database to select marketers and corporations. Eventually you will have to pay for Facebook and its plug-in services. The amount will be nominal, but the revenue generated by Facebook will be astronomical to keep costs to consumers down.
6. The People’s Voice will be a stronger motivating factor in buying decisions. Shoppers will rely more on previous shopper experiences with brands, products and services. More shopping advice sites will be in vogue and people will look to the Social Media for user experience and recommendations.
7. Linkedin will play an even greater role in making business connections, sharing information and conducting business. The let’s meet for lunch will be replaced with video conferencing. Why drive when you can communicate via computer in the comfort of your office.
8. Twitter will be the medium of choice for up-to-the-minute press. However, it is already getting saturated by too many mundane posts. I predict a Twitter fallout where people will rely less on Twitter as a business vehicle and more as a pure means of verbal rants, entertainment and sensational viral posts.
9. Blogs will continue to be a major means of communicating views and expressing opinions. They will become the new publishing medium and play an even more pivotal role in promoting products and services.
Social Media will continue to grow in popularity and play a more significant role in our purchasing decisions and influencing our opinions. Traditional media will of course play a role in our lives, but at a greatly reduced effect. As Social Media matures, I predict it will have a greater impact than traditional advertising. People will continue to rely on Social Media for their buying decisions and influence their habits.