Is Social Media the New Premiere Form of Advertising?
It’s certainly no secret that the Internet is becoming the go-to way to advertise and release media. Newspaper subscriptions are dramatically down, while Internet viewership has been skyrocketing. As more and more people connect to the Internet, particularly social media like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, conventional forms of marketing become less and less visible. Yes, print ads and billboards and all the typical forms of marketing still exist. And yes, video marketing like movie trailers and commercials are still a huge part of any advertising campaign.
But one potentially untapped market for advertising lies in social media itself. Considering that more and more people use networks like Facebook (especially amongst younger demographics, where the percentage of users skyrockets amidst the new media generation), the quickest way to advertise is often the easiest: over the websites. Some bigger companies, such as Marvel promoting the release of an upcoming blockbuster, use Facebook games and apps in order to promote awareness. These are a lot cheaper ways to advertise than a big advertisement in print media or playing a movie trailer on a network. Some upcoming films even promote the film’s Facebook or Twitter handle rather than an actual website.
Not only that, but it makes it easier for the “little guys” in the advertising world to spread the word about their products or business. For example, I’m a member of a college sketch comedy show. When it’s time to promote one of our weekly shows, Facebook is the go-to for all of our advertising. Since the vast majority of our audience (college users) use social media every day, it is an obvious benefit to use Facebook events to get word out. We don’t have the money to spend money on traditional advertising on Cable television or Google AdSense, so social media has been nothing but a benefit.
Not only that, but social media makes word of mouth spread quicker. It’s extremely easy to use social media to share a link, and people do this often. When combined with sites like reddit.com that redirect thousands of users to interesting links, word of mouth has never been easier to spread.
I think this shows a universal truth about social media: it is an effective form of advertising, regardless of what the advertisement is for. Whether it’s the “little guys” promoting tiny events at small venues, or the “big guys” promoting their new major media release, there’s some sort of benefit for anyone looking to use social media to expand brand awareness.