Last month Business Week released a short blurb talking about advertising and online marketing, saying that only 5% of Americans claim that social media has a large influence on what they buy and 30% claiming that it had only some influence. The percentages shift slightly amongst millennials, but not a great deal. Some feel that this might validate skepticism towards online marketing despite some $5.1 billion being spent on media advertising in 2013, but let’s hold our horses for a second.
The article then switches halfway through with information from a new report stating the opposite as far as the potency for online advertising and social media. While people put less trust in social media ads and more in word of mouth and consumer opinions, one has to wonder – isn’t that what social media is? I rather like following my favorite companies and brands on Facebook, and I like it even more when they have representatives managing the page and posting live responses to compliments or complaints (especially the latter). It shows me that the company is invested, even if only somewhat, in getting to know their customer base on a more intimate level, and in a world where everyone’s pretty much caught up in themselves, that small step speaks volumes.
Example: Early this year I downloaded a month long free trial of the software Camtasia – a screen sharing/recording software that allows for a lot of editing capabilities. (The software itself is almost $200 so you better believe I’m testing this baby first!) Towards the last few weeks the recording side got a little buggy, and while I’m certain this was my computer and not the software, I posted a joke about it on Twitter, not even tagging the company. In less than an hour I had a reply from Camtasia’s Twitter account asking me what the issue was and what they could do to help! This is, by far, the most amazing example of customer service I’ve seen on any social media platform. I wasn’t bashing the software, I wasn’t calling them out on a shoddy and buggy demo, I simply made a joke. There was no real reason to save face, yet they wanted to help. I’ve yet to see Comcast, Walmart, or any other company however big or small make this sort of effort. Honestly, this makes me want to buy the software simply because the creators obviously care about how their creation works and how happy their customers are. If I have a problem I can rest assured that it will be addressed.
Maybe this is the reality of online advertising? Not sponsored ads that are just waved under your nose upon login, but the actual ability to reach out to someone on the other end of that consumer/seller spectrum with a helping hand reaching back.
So maybe advertising, or advertising alone, is the wrong way to look at things after all but I don’t think this justifies not having a social media presence or putting your company out there. Here at Show Your Logo many of the sales and marketing team manage our social media platforms. It’s a great way to get different personalities across while still wholly representing ourselves, and allows for a more personal conversation with our customers who wish to post, comment, or just drop us a line or compliment.
I therefore think it’s safe to say that if your company is already on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or anything else, you’re already advertising. How you choose to follow up with that advertising and those ads (which I recommend – just make sure they look professional) is what will ensure your overall success with any online marketing.
Facebook image obtained from http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Shopping bag image obtained from http://www.ju.edu.jo