Social Media Evolves Into Advertising Hub... Whether You Like It Or Not

Social Media Evolves Into Advertising Hub... Whether You Like It Or Not
By Alyson Beaulieu // Published on Jul 08, 2016

Advertising has been around for ages, but only just recently has it taken over a new form: social media. Not more than a year ago could you scroll through your Facebook news feed with no interruptions. Not more than 9 months ago, you could scroll down your Instagram home page without seeing accounts that you had no recollection of following, that being because you don’t follow them, they are actually paid promotions…

Social media used to be a way that people could connect and stay in touch with others that they wouldn’t have otherwise. Everyone and their mother has a Facebook account, and even platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are beginning to grow in popularity. In fact, Snapchat is the second widely used app to Facebook for American millennials.

These social media paradigms utilize business to consumer (B2C) marketing, which allows these social media organizations to be differentiated amongst themselves. They can also gain customer loyalty, and understand consumer needs easily through this type of marketing. All of these benefits that social media businesses already exhibit through their B2C nature makes each of them the perfect place for advertisers to infiltrate. 

In a recent Bloomberg article, it was said that in daily usage metrics, Snapchat has surpassed Twitters numbers in a massive way. “Snapchat Inc. has 150 million people using the service each day, said people familiar with the matter. That makes the four-year-old messaging app more popular than Twitter Inc. by daily active users.” Sarah Frier stated.  

That being said, Snapchat has evolved from being a “10-second lasting” photo messenger app, to a promotion paradise for all advertisers alike. When it comes to the act of promotion, it is all about getting the right message to the right consumer, in hopes of gaining their likeness. By having a social media platform that captures up to 150 million peoples’ attention daily, there is a great and competitive market for who gets their messages out, and it comes at a hefty price.

What exactly does it cost to advertise on social media? Well, as far as the revenues are concerned, social media ad spending is expected to rise to $11 billion in 2017, and that only accounts for 1% to 10% of major advertisers. So, to answer your question, it costs a lot. Despite the high cost of getting content onto mainstream social networks, the opportunity is infinite, and produces a great profit for advertisers.

One of Snapchat’s most infamous features is the “story,” which allows users to post a photo or video that will last for exactly 24 hours. This quality enables people to see what their friends, or even celebrities are doing around the clock. So while scrolling through content, you could see that your colleague Sarah is in Boston for the day, having brunch on Newbury Street, and with a simple swipe to the right, you could see that Kim Kardashian is taking a slideshow of “selfies,” per usual. The way that advertising comes in to this mix is that as you scroll through, you’re likely to be interrupted by a video or photo promotion. For example, just today I was snapping, and I had no choice but to watch a trailer for a new movie that is coming out in theaters soon. This type of advertising does not allow an opt-in / opt-out feature, making it so consumers have to view their messages, whether we like it or not.

In opposition, websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow the consumer to either opt-in or opt-out of an ad, that being because although your screen is flooded with promotions, you have the choice as to whether you would like to click (or not). Smaller, more niche apps such as Tinder even enable sponsored content. Now on the simplified dating app, while you are swiping through potential “love” matches, you may be faced with a video advertisement rather than a hopeful-romantic, partner named Nicole.

Regardless of the platform, advertisers are getting their campaigns out, and a lot of eyes are seeing it. Snapchat, being the social media king for the moment seems to be the advertising king as well, due to the nature and placement of the content. So, what’s next? Where will advertisers take their future antics… 

Tagged Under: Marketing + Shared Greatness
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