The Influence Of Social Media on Businesses And The Way They Do Marketing. Haylee Salter

The introduction of new media and social media platforms have had a significant impact on the way the world as a whole now operates, these new media platforms have facilitated a change in the way we as a society communicate, collaborate, consume, and create. The business industry and more specifically the marketing industry is an industry that has taken on these new media advances and adapted them to suit the changes within the market. This article will explore how social media marketing can be both beneficial and detrimental to a business and how these new media affordances influence the nature and tasks of the industry.

More and more marketing is being done through new media technologies and systems as opposed to the more traditional mass media model that consists of marketing through television, print and radio (Fuchs, 2014, p.2). Jenkins (2009, p.3) explores the technological social media affordance that is searchability and how it effects the social media marketing industry, he notes that one of the main characteristics of these platforms is that the content is spreadable media that consumers play an active role in spreading especially when the content is meaningful to them. With the notion that social media encompasses a very participatory based culture along with the affordance of scalability and searchability, word of mouth spreads at a much quicker rate through these social platforms. Negativity towards a company has the tendency to spread especially fast on social media therefore it is imperative that businesses know how to deal with the implications and communicate with consumers in a way that will halt or at the very least slow down the negativity.

Dove, Choose Beautiful campaign, 2015.

There are a number of different companies who are a step above the rest in the social media department by having used social media campaigns to effectively market their brand and communicate with consumers. Dove is a stand out company who is a perfect example of how to use social media to a businesses advantage. Dove’s choose beautiful campaign is an admirable example of how a company can use the scalability of social media in a positive way. The video that accompanied this campaign went viral for all the right reason, the video shows women of all diversities choosing which door to walk through, one labeled beautiful and the other labeled average, you can check out the video below. Catalano (2014, para.3) states that the video has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube and has been shared countless times though all different social media platforms. Dove has witnessed the positive outcomes of scalability as their message and brand has been and continues to be shared through millions of people on social media.

While Dove have done an excellent job with their social media campaign, they are not the only company who is doing well in the social media department. Check out a list of companies that are hitting home runs with their social media campaigns here:

While most companies seem to have a grip on their social media, there are a few company who have witnesses the negative aspects of scalability on these platforms. The company American Apparel has received widespread criticism for their social media blunder where they decided to use the devastating 2012 Hurricane Sandy to market a promotional deal that offered 20% off everything for anyone who was “bored” during the storm.

American Apparel, Hurricane Sandy Sale, 2012.

Sieczkowski (2012, para.2) explains that the company has received a plethora of negative feedback on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter with most users writing that they will be boycotting the company due to their insensitivity. Although the promotion came from a good place and was not intended to offended anyone the company’s response to the negative backlash also contributed to the detrimental effects already coming from the initial promotion. The companies CEO Dov Charney replied to the negativity by saying that she believes that her marketing team did not make a mistake in their advertisement choices. (Sieczkowski, 2012, para.3).

American Apparel isn’t the only company to receive this type of negative backlash from the social media community, here is a full article on 7 of the worst social media marketing fails:

The technological advances that social media has undertaken have contributed to significant changes in the nature of the marketing industry and the jobs of traditional marketers. Before the rise of social media, marketing a business was done through traditional mass media such as advertisement in newspapers, over radio or television (Fuchs, 2014, p.2).

Social Media vs Mass Media, 2015.

With the introduction of social media platforms and the rapid growth of these websites that followed, businesses started to dabble into the world of social media marketing and using social media as a tool to connect with consumers, increase brand recognition and build a rapport with users. It is now greatly beneficial for companies to hire specific marketing teams and managers who are in charge of creating and managing social media campaigns in order to successfully use these new media platforms to their advantage. There are numerous benefits of social media marketing but without someone to manage these social media sites the benefits generally decrease and can even create a negative impact on the business. Hiring a professional to assist in the management of these platforms is important as they possess the skills, experience and resources needed to help a business establish and maintain a healthy social media campaign (Jasinski, 2014, para, 2). Running social media campaigns these days can’t be done just by the office receptionist, to manage a successful social media account a strictly defined social marketing strategy needs to be created and the best person to do that is a social media marketer.

Qualman, K. 2012.

Gone are the days where social media is just a small afterthought for businesses and more specifically marketing departments, social media is now an established technological platform that requires an experienced team to ensure the smooth running of it in hopes to benefit the company. As highlighted above social media campaigns are a great resource for businesses but if done incorrectly can cause serious backlash therefore negatively impacting the company. When social media is done correctly the scalable and searchable affordances of social media will allow a company to increase its brand awareness, improve their search engine rank and build connections with their current and potential consumers. If now in 2017 your company does not have a social media campaign and someone to manage these platforms your business will be at a real loss. Social media can no longer be a second thought for businesses.


Catalano, S. (2014). 5 Companies Doing it Right on Social Media. Retrieved from

Fuchs, C. (2014). Social Media: A Critical Introduction. Retrieved from

Jasinski, K. (2014) Why Hiring a Social Media Manager Will Benefit Your Business. Retrieved from

Sieczkowski, C. (2012). American Apparel Hurricane Sandy Marketing 'Not A Serious Matter,' CEO Dov Charney Says. Retrieved from

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Haylee Salter

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