Evolving Role of Social Media In Business

In business, advertising is often critical to success and companies will go great lengths to promote their product(s) or service(s). These days, no matter where consumers are, advertisements are everywhere. From billboards to buses and even their own phones, consumers are constantly barraged by advertisements, whether they like it or not. With the dawn of social media in an age of information, companies have found ways to incorporate themselves into consumers’ very lives, with their incessant need to promote as strong as ever.

Faced with a new arena in which to compete for the attention of consumers, most companies have been quick to adjust to widespread digital trends such as the use of sites like Facebook and Twitter. On each of these sites, most companies have (at the very least) pages dedicated to their very own product(s), if not the company itself. Specifically, Facebook’s “Like” feature allows for an unprecedented amount of exposure, as consumers who opt to “Like” a product or service inadvertently showcase it to their friends and family.

As always, word of mouth marketing is priceless, and it’s for this very reason that social media has become increasingly popular to companies, both large and small. On the subject of “large and small,” it should be expressly noted that small businesses can receive the same sort of acclaim larger ones do, so long as they’re tapped into such sites. Due to this fact one would be wise to assume that some small business owners rely entirely upon social media to promote their work, and one would have a hard time blaming them considering what it costs to run a television commercial or even put up a sign. However, sites like these do allow for advertisers to pay for further exposure, which can mean the difference between several hundred and several hundred thousand views.

Back to Facebook, advertisers who pay to advertise not only cast an ad here or there, they show up right in the consumer’s newsfeed next to their friends’ posts as well as their own in some cases. Consumers can even tag companies and products they enjoy or loathe in their posts, just as if they were tagging real people. As one might already be able to tell, these sorts of tactics are no doubt effective, but one could argue that they’re also invasive.

As social media has grown there have been more than a few debates regarding the nature of said sites and their respect for human privacy, but social media doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and it sure doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. However you’d like to look at it, there’s no escaping the fact that in the modern world consumers have become, now more than ever, walking billboards bursting at the seams with accidental information that their peers misconstrue as evidences of their individuality.

That said, there could be nothing better for business than the incorporation of corporations into private life, where little to nothing separates the private rants of consumers from small-scale advertising.

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