I have been using social media on a casual basis since AOL came out in the 1990s. The first message I sent was on AOL chat and soon thereafter, I discovered subsequent sites with forums and even FTP file sharing. Electronic spam was yet to surface then as the modern replacement for standard junk mail. Hardly comparable to a modern social network, it was the beginning of wireless communication in a generalized sense.  I got used to sharing information in this way, so I was one of the many users on MySpace and Flikr when they were introduced in the 2000s. After mobile phones became Android empowered in the 2010s, social media took off in a dramatic way.

Followed by Social Media Trends to Follow

Friends using smartphones to browse social media
Friends using smartphones to browse social media

Of course, I followed the millions of other users by subscribing to these platforms and tried to use them for better communication with friends, family, coworkers and even genealogy connections. This was fascinating at first, but major corporations and small businesses alike use these and other platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to capture the majority of market attention. This drives business by offering an endless amount of product promotions and updates. It is an instant way of introducing strong messages with big potential in terms of market growth. 

By capturing the attention of internet subscribers, businesses are able to send simple messages online with links to related web pages, discounts or even free add-on items. It is a convenience for shoppers that otherwise become routine local customers with limited selection and supply of goods that are not always true to the demands of modern life. Since technology has evolved, companies need to reflect this change in society to better enhance user experience, create growth potential, conserve energy, use less resources and test run items for future markets. This means using social media as a catalyst for long-lasting relationships based upon trust and improved market confidence.

Familiar with an Audience of Strangers

Male user pressing the like button on social media network
Male user pressing the like button on social media network

Social media advertising is very effective since it may target specific sectors of the economy, before or after feedback and results. Likes and shares on social media give generalized assumptions about status or income in terms of interest levels for products or services that are designed for such market sectors. There is profit to be made by understanding these factors that somehow make life easier for users by introducing and promoting products. On the other hand, business and personal services continue to demand information from users to better understand what goes wrong in terms of ease of product use. Lastly, all of these factors play an important role in the development of technology as a whole. 

I subscribe to many e-commerce sites on my Facebook feed and like to know when there are updates. For example, it is handy to know when the local computer store offers a lower price on things I may use like inkjet refills. Afterall, I may buy a similar or same product cheaper on Amazon, but it is again cheaper on Amazon just seconds after purchasing. Whether or not sales increase for any vendor is not dependent upon social media, but it is overwhelming at times for comparison shopping. Whether or not it is worth returning an often detrimental product to recover cents on the dollar, depends upon the consumer and if businesses are not current with the market trends, it is more difficult to recover when even minor changes take place. 

Ignoring Social Media is a Major Risk

Group of young adults walking past sidewalk advertisement
Group of young adults walking past sidewalk advertisement

There is market research data filling some of the gaps for monetary purposes, but it is impossible to know what companies are going to really do when it comes to unveiling products in high demand markets or even markets with greater interest despite a lack of affordability. Consumers unable to afford luxury sports cars are just as likely to click a sponsored link for items they are able to afford and still get a sense of satisfaction, albeit one that is less influential. This means that experiencing a luxury sports car may in some ways feel similar to drinking Coke products after seeing a dramatic Coke ad or event kiosk. Per click advertising adds up just as do small sales in great quantities. It is too risky to ignore social media in all industries and for consumers, it is a beneficial relationship of monetary value. 

Built by Television

Social media usage depends upon data influx and achieved perception. Identifying motivations behind user behavior is a fluid process, responding to trend. It is harder to determine what drives such social movements and requires a further look into targeted advertising methodologies. What causes people to switch onto social from more traditional means such as television, in terms of advertising? Adults spend over 6 hours accessing digital media per day, so this activity comprises nearly half of total waking hours for this population segment.

Graph depicting daily hours spent with digital media per adult user in USA
Graph depicting daily hours spent with digital media per adult user in USA. Bond Report

Social media depends upon user-guided patterns to change the way data is interpreted. User information creates adaptations to methodologies in place by participating in activity tracking mechanisms. Not only does digital media enable users to exercise greater control over what they see, it forces media outlets to outperform competitive entities in terms of capturing a better sense of user needs and wants over time. Users may be able to switch information providers as once able to change channels on the television. With both digital television and social media, users find a more satisfying experience if overall service is not performing up to expectations. Considering that television and mobile usage rates just crossed paths, there exists a time in our recent past when society reflected a true changeover into digital media.  Television is still a successful medium for entertainment, news and information, but mobile devices have conquered this traditional form of communication with social media.

Graph depicting television and mobile daily time spent in USA.
Graph depicting television and mobile daily time spent in USA. Bond Report

What do you think of the marketing impact of social media? Let us know down in the comments.

This article was originally published on GREY Journal.