Social media started out as a baffling “network” of strangers with tiny square photos and an odd assortment of interests. Today social media channels are accessed by nearly half of the world’s population (one study suggest 42% of the world accesses social media in some facet). These numbers are expected to continue to rise and surpass 50% of the population of the world by mid to late 2016. All of that simply means this: social media matters. Social media has also had a big impact on blogging in the last few years.
Social media has impacted blogging for the better in most ways but it has also put a strain on relationships between blogs and the brands they represent. Because social media plays such a huge role in how individuals access web pages and information it is the main focus for many corporations and their marketing teams. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to drawing in new readers, clients, and customers and that is where social media has set up shop. Social media outlets are the future of penetrating data, knowledge, and campaigns. You can have the best ideas in the world but if you can’t get them in front of people who will buy them the point is moot.
The game has changed as far as marketing is concerned. Social media means that traditional ad campaigns are seeing less eyes while campaigns aimed at a variety of social media channels are popping up for an increasingly wider audience. These targeted campaigns are making a splash not only because they are relevant and catchy but also because they are visible, consistently and constantly. There are companies and campaigns out there are doing social media the right way. They are playing to the strengths of each platform in such a way that they can reach even more people than they would with a typical billboards and commercials type of approach.
Companies like BuzzFeed, Kylie Jenner Cosmetics, and Hotels.com are using social media in obvious ways to promote their brands to the audience that is always listening. Social media has for all intents and purposes created a group of users that are always aware and always able to be reached. You can run ads online in the middle of the night that will still reach thousands because of the constant contact and reach of social media sites.
Branding is perhaps one of the most important things for any successful company, bloggers, individual, etc. Social media has made branding easier than ever. Take BuzzFeed for example: they have mapped out a social media presence that is branded so well that as soon as a video starts you know where it came from. The first three seconds of any video and you can say “Oh this came from one of the BuzzFeed stites” and in doing so they have made their brand accessible from an endless variety of angles. They cover pets, food, parenting, travel, beauty, financial information, education, kids, and more without diluting their effectiveness. They stay true to the branding in each of these subsections and that is what ultimately keeps them moving upward and onward. They expand without losing their main voice by keeping their branding focused.
Another important aspect of social media success is reach. You can only go as far as your longest chain will take you so it is important on some level to be constantly building your contacts on social media. That being said, one share on a social media platform no matter how high the reach, is not going to make or break any campaign. One share among more than 5 billion per day is not going to mean anything at all.
As of May 2013 it is reported that on Facebook alone, more than 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared on a daily basis. In this HUGE bucket of data (from just one of many successful social media outlets) one lonely share is in itself, entirely useless. That is why companies like Kylie Jenner Cosmetics and Hotels.com have incorporated numerous social media sites all promoting the same types of campaigns to their users and audience members. They are taking a unanimous approach to their channels which, like branding, helps them reach more people than they would with just a single share or post.
Finally, social media is where people feel comfortable. Social media is where users let their minds wander, where they go when they feel anxious, sad, excited, or curious. Social media is how the world gets a majority of its information. You can sell people anything, things they didn’t even know they needed, and they’ll thank YOU for being the one to sell it to them. In the end it is all about putting the information, products, sites, etc. that people want, where they can find them. Social media can put anyone in front of their target audience because they are already going to be there: all anyone (brands in particular) has to do is show up and sell them the things they already want to buy.
Meagen is a newlywed, animal lover, book enthusiast, who loves to write and create DIY projects in her spare time. She lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband Dustin, their two dogs, and a massive variety of other small animals. You could on any given day catch her singing off key to random radio tunes or reorganizing her bookshelves by spine color. Connect with her on her blog, Millennial Beauty Sisters.