The creation of social media has played a role in changing the dynamics of modern day society. Social media is directly linked with creating changes in both popular culture and business. Social Media has exposed businesses to the public sphere more so then ever before creating a chance for both opportunities and problems. CEO of Ambassador a referral marketing platform stated that "71% of customers who have a positive service experience via social media are likely to recommend that company". It is statistics such as these that are promoting change within many industries.
The marketing industry is key to any business, it allows them to promote their brand to their target audience and increase their customer base. Marketing is regularly confused with advertising, but it is only a component of the marketing process. Marketing consists of advertising, community involvement, customer service, distribution, market research, market planning, product pricing, public relations and sales strategy (University of California Riverside, 2009).
Has Social Media Created a Change In The Industry Professional, Clientele Relationship?
"The introduction of new media, specifically social media, has changed the world of marketing and how business professionals communicate with and market to consumers" (Demoss, 2014). Because of the integration of social media, consumers are no longer passive and the expectation for quick, reliable access to information is more common. Rather "The people formerly known as the audience are simply the public made realer, less fictional, more able, less predictable" (Rosen, 2006). More traditional marketing methods ( e.g. print, tv, radio) although are not completely irrelevant are no longer enough to be successful on their own. The marketing industry has been forced to adapt to compensate for the more modern ways consumers are communicating, connecting and consuming information.
The introduction of networked public's has had a major effect on the relationship between industry professionals and consumers they are marketing towards. Networked public's share similarities with other common public's but also introduce new ways to interact, which ultimately leads to a new dynamic between consumer and industry professionals. The consumer has more access to express opinions on the business then ever before because of the way social media is constructed. This creates a unique opportunity for the industry professionals because they have direct access to thoughts and opinions from those they are trying to market to. Although this has its benefits with the blurring of public and private being existent in almost all forms of modern media it also causes the possibility for issues and this should be taken into accommodation when businesses interact with their consumers. Because consumers have a form of expressing their opinion for the greater public to see they ultimately have the power to shape popular opinion and change economical value. This is backed up by the Nielsen and NM Incite recent social media report which states the most preferred source for product and service information is user ratings.
How Social Media Has Created An Emphasis On The Brand Being A Community
This event created by Nike is a great example of creating a community event to make their consumers feel like they are apart of the company.
Social Media has created a more convergent system, this has had a major impact on the way in which modern marketing is constructed. Convergence in the context of media and communication is the inclination of separate media technologies, cultural forms and /or social practices to intertwine and create new hybrid media systems. The interlinked systems now allow for consumers to more readily access information then in the past and as such businesses must adapt their marketing strategies to accommodate for this. When investigating the top brands on social media it is common to find they all have a community aspect. The emphasis on connecting with your audience has become more relevant with the connectivity social media platforms provide. By establishing a community connected via multiple platforms, your audience will naturally grow over time as the community creates user generated content. This community aspect of social media provides consumers a direct link between them and the company on a level not achieved in the past. The business is given direct access to fan opinions and ideas, this can be used to shape marketing campaigns. Additionally by creating this networked public the business is opening themselves up to unique marketing options such as gamification( encouraging users to perform desired actions by creating a game like approach) and other interactive marketing options such as competitions. These forms of marketing exploit free labor but because they have a enjoyable aspect the consumers don't feel like they are being taken advantage of but rather they feel apart of the brand and this creates loyalty, engagement and revenue.
Has Social Media Facilitated Change In The Marketing Profession?
People who work in the marketing industry are responsible for creating, implementing and executing marketing plans for their organisation. To work in this field a specific skill set is required, which includes an intimate understanding of traditional and emerging marketing channels, excellent communication skills, ability to think creatively and innovatively, budget-management skills and proficiency and analytical skills to forecast and identify trends and challenges (Paladin, 2017). The educational background that is acceptable for those who wish to work in this field is broad with degrees in marketing, communication, business and job specific fields are all regularly seen within the industry. New media and social media in particular has opened the marketing industry up to an ever increasing network of possible marketing opportunities. As a result of this those who work in the marketing industry now must have a good understanding of these new platforms and how to best use them to connect with their consumers. Although the qualifications to get into the industry hasn't changed the nature of the job has become increasingly difficult to keep on top of new trends and channels which are emerging at an ever increasing rate. According to the 2012 social media marketing industry report "94% of all businesses with a marketing department used social media as part of their marketing platform". Social media has become so important to the industry that their are marketing positions now dedicated to social media, such as a social media manager. These positions are solely focused around managing the brands public image through social media outlets and creating a successful cross media or transmedia profile which will allow for audience engagement and brand recognition.
Social media is an ever evolving platform and as it continues to evolve so must the way in which marketers produce their content. With public opinion being more accessible as a result of social media it is important that people in the marketing industry continue to take advantage of these new forms of information to better please their consumers. Social media has proved it is no longer a fad or faze and now has the capability to shape popular culture and because of this it not only has the ability to affect the marketing industry but many other industries also.