Social media is changing the world… We have been hearing words like these quite often in school, marketing seminars, conferences and exhibitions. And of course everyone can feel the influence of social media in our everyday lives. If you think social media does not have on impact on you then just ask yourself how many times a day you check your Facebook, how many times you ‘tweet’ or post pictures on Instagram? My personal answer would be ‘most of the day’. Consumers of social networks like you and me mostly use them to chat with our friends and to be up to date with news. At the same time for marketing professionals social media is a strategic tool that they use in order to reach their customers.
Think about it. You can see lots of free advertisement posts that appear on your Facebook timeline every time you’re scrolling your news page. Most of these ads are not random – rather you were searching some things before on your computer or you recently updated your profile and additional information about you became available not only for your friends but for marketers as well. From consumers’ point of view it could be uncomfortable to know that someone use your personal information in order to offer you some particular products. From marketers’ point of view social media is a perfect tool that is created by consumers themselves where you do not need to search additional information to target your audience – people tell this to you by themselves.
So is it good or bad that social media users are so vulnerable to marketers? As for me, I can’t give straight answer to this question. I think it is logical way of social, economical and technological development when consumers move to digital media, businesses follow them. Earlier marketers promoted products via traditional media (such as TV, radio or press) now they do it online. Earlier marketers were searching for their target audience, now this process is simpler for them. At the same time it is now easier for consumers to find particular information they need about specific products. Moreover, they can use Internet for the whole process of consumption – from getting an idea on what do they want to buy, to find the product that will satisfy their choice and to make a purchase. So it seems like two-way communications where both sides are satisfied.
Of course it is unusual how the world is moving towards digital media, and how relationships of customers and businesses have been changing because of that. But it seems comfortable for both sides, isn’t it?
This blog is written by Olga Makiievska MA Marketing Communications student
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