It would not be in any way hyperbolic to state that we are living in an age dominated by social networking platforms. As society has become more and more networked online, private companies running social media platforms have gained huge influence. Very few areas of human life have been left unaffected by the encroachment of online networking. In his seminal 1956 short story ‘The Last Question’, writer Isaac Asimov speculated that human society would merge with technology in order to form a hyper-networked singularity. Like so many of Asimov’s speculations, hyper-networked society looks set to become a reality thanks to the dominance of social media.
One of the areas of business most tangibly effected by the rise of social media is marketing. Traditional marketing strategies have had to be adapted and in some cases scrapped altogether in favor of techniques more suitable for the post millennial era of social networking. Here are some of the ways in which the seemingly unstoppable rise of social media has changed marketing.
Multi-Platform Marketing Is Essential
Social media is not entirely monopolized by one platform – although Facebook have tried to consolidate their position through the acquisition of platforms such as Instagram. The majority of social media users have accounts on multiple platforms. According to data collated by Statista, the average American had 8.5 different social media accounts in 2018.
More than ever, marketing strategies need to take into account and target multiple platforms so as to gain the most reach. Targeting different platforms can help a marketing team reach out to different core demographics and gather data from specific groups.
Inbound Marketing Relies Upon Adaptability
Inbound marketing is the practice of tempting potential customers onto a site using interesting and relevant content that goes beyond advertising. In order for this approach to be successful, there needs to be some kind of easily accessible connection between the social media output of a company and its website. Traditional web design makes it rather hard for companies to quickly make their websites compatible with changes in the social media landscape. Growth driven design specifically incorporates a high degree of instant adaptability in a website’s architecture so that companies can keep up with social media trends. A GDD and inbound marketing approach is very well adapted to the age of social media dominance.
Influencers Are Invaluable
If you have ever listened to a popular podcast, followed an Instagram celebrity or flicked through TikTok, you will know just how prevalent influencer marketing is on social media. Companies have always harnessed the power of celebrity, but in the postmodern tumult of the social media age enterprising businesses are relying more and more upon self-made influencers to spread their message. This has partly to do with the inherent directness with which an influencer can talk to a demographic. For a marketer, social media influencers offer something akin to gold dust: a direct mouthpiece through which to talk to their chosen audiences.