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Is social media home to the new age of advertising?

According to a Doing Business article, BusinessMark is organizing a conference, “Social Media Business Forum”, in order to discuss how to effectively leverage social media in today’s modern society, focusing specifically on Romania. This conference will also mark the launch of a study conducted by Ernst & Young Romania and TotalSoft  on the connection between Romanian business environment and social media. Some big name companies that will be attending the conference include Raiffesen Bank, L’Oreal, Carrefour, and Spada.

Currently, 78% of companies in Romania are leveraging social media to promote their business. Facebook serves as the primary source of advertising, followed by Youtube and Linkedin, respectively. The conference will focus on topics such as how marketing through social media can be used to increase business as well as how the needs of customers can be addressed through social media.

In today’s society, we often neglect to understand the true power of social media. From the growth of radical terrorist organizations to campaigns for presidency, social media has the ability to change popular opinion with just a simple click. I always used to believe that what I posted on Facebook would go unnoticed, and that there would be no point in expressing my opinion online to some friends, random acquaintances, and distant family.

However, it is these posts that are driving business today. The simple fact that almost 4 out of every 5 business in Romania rely on social media to increase business demonstrates how valuable we, as consumers, are to contributing to our economy.

Businesses have begun to understand that the competition is growing fervently every day, and the only way to truly reach consumers is through the one medium that serves as our favorite pastime and even addiction: social media. Advertisements that appear on my Facebook news feed and even on the side of my screen detract my attention away from conversations with my friends about the party they went to last night, and tempt me to explore the sales opportunities that these businesses are providing online.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user of Thomas8047.

One clear example of a business using Facebook to target me is Abercrombie & Fitch. A&F never fails to appear on my newsfeed with a huge sign for a sale of 60% off, often forcing me to drop what I am doing and browse the website online. Subconsciously, I do not realize that A&F is leveraging my addiction against me, but that is what works in today’s economy. Advertisements on TV are often fast forwarded through my DVR and go unwatched, serving no purpose for me. Social media, on the other hand, is always watched closely and never “fast forwarded” through because each keen detail is important to its user.

However, taking advantage of social media does not stop there. In fact, in a UK article, a recently developed startup in the United States, Niche, has taken this idea of social media advertising to a whole a new level. The startup focuses on matching brands with some of the biggest social media celebrities online. With the help of a celebrity’s Vine or Instagram, companies will be able to reach a consumer base of almost 24 million people.

Ten years ago, it would be hard to imagine how big of an impact social media would make on the daily lives of its user, let alone a country’s economy. With the rapid growth of social media, perhaps other industries will also be to reap the benefits of the world’s most highly prized addiction.

Featured Image courtesy of Flickr user Maria Elena.

 

 

 

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