by Jessica Howell
Consumerism with A Twist
When you think of social media advertising, what comes to mind? I kind of have a perspective from two sides, the consumer side, and the marketing side. But if you want my honest answer?! For me, it’s seeing the ads from previous browsed items pop up in my Facebook news feed.
It kind of creeps me out a bit. I mean, I am just scrolling along looking at everyone’s “Facebook happy”, and bam! There is the dress I was looking at that wouldn’t fit my left thigh (or at least that’s my thought, because the model is like a size 2), or there is the kitchen utensil that I want, but have no room for. Amazon prime is a money trap. Those are usually the ads I see, and don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is a great reminder to go back and purchase those items. But, is that truly good for my budget?!
Around the holidays was fun, it’s kind of like Facebook was my own shopping stalker. Although, what should I expect, I mean, I am usually on Facebook stalking other people. Anyways, holidays are over, and I have only really been browsing for getaways, and formal gowns for an event coming up. Guess what’s popping up on my Facebook feed?! The groupon ads, because let’s face it, I am obsessed with that site, visit Gatlinburg, airbnb, and the amazon search for the dress I need at the end of the month. I’m holding out and procrastinating like always, but I will find a dress. I’m sure there are more advertisements, but these are the ones that are on my radar.
Its kind of like a post note that I didn’t have to post myself. I am one of those people who are always in their heads, and have so many thoughts a day. I feel like if I stop thinking about one thought, I will forget it completely, so it stays in my head on a repeat until I am satisfied with the outcome. I need to free my brain space, because its already limited. After having two children, and a man child, plus the small “zoo” at our house, I’m surprised my brain functions. I really would benefit by making lists, or having a journal, but I keep forgetting. I guess that’s why I was given children, since having them I have become more organized. My family, and their schedules keep me on track. Anyways, the ads really do help remind me that I was thinking of planning a trip to Gatlinburg for next New Years Eve, or that I really need to get this dress ordered. Which then may just insert anxiety, and my brain turns off, (because if you haven’t picked up on it, I am not a dress person). Or I think, “I still have time…” Well, being a prime member only does so much magic!
Another huge trend now is direct sales. Social media is prime marketing for direct sales companies and consultants. Believe me, I have signed up for my fair share of them. Come to think of it, one of them that I signed up for, I saw the ad on my Facebook wall. My love for wine must have flagged me as a great target, and I took the bait. I didn’t know anyone in that market, but it seemed right down my alley, and it was for a little bit at least. I myself, then, started using Facebook as a marketing tool to get parties booked.
After using social media for marketing, myself, I noticed advertisements pop-up for sources to up my business success. They offer training courses to build your social media friends, or to train you to be more profitable. Most of them have webinars, or short courses that they claim will help you build your business. These individuals are using their techniques and skills to help others get ahead in the marketing industry.
Social media is brilliant for direct sales though, or sales in general, it’s like the new age door-to-door salesman. Remember the vacuum salesman coming to your door, which, they still do that, and it shocked me when we had one come over the summer. The biggest benefit to social media, is that you can reach more people in less time. You can even reach people from all around the world. There are more benefits to advertising on social media, but one of the cons is the disconnect. It’s not as personable as when you are face-to-face connecting with someone. Which can lack the emotion or personality behind the sale. The key is to find a way to connect to others with authenticity and uniqueness.
While taking courses in the field of communication, I was able to take some classes that explored into the world of social media and marketing. This opened my mind into more of the marketing side, and why its good for businesses. To keep a business growing, you must get more clients. In an ever so changing world, sometimes it is hard to keep up, so using target marketing helps companies stay in the competition. It seems everything has its price, and there are individuals that are extremely good in the marketing field. These people are paid to find targets, and get ads out that will lure them in.
In all honesty, most everyone is on social media, so this is a great target zone. This is where most people spend a good chunk of time, and are exposed to the ads. It’s kind of like kids watching a cartoon channel on the weekends, then a commercial for food comes on, “mom, I want <insert food item here>”, or a toy, “Mom, I want this toy!” Subliminal messages! They get ya!
Although, it is a little creepy at times, my thoughts on social media marketing is that they exist, and it is a brilliant strategy. I have grown more aware of them since studying communication courses, but they still get me sometimes. Individuals are responsible for themselves, and it’s the consumers choice whether they want to buy into the advertisement or not. In the world of direct sales, sales, or even marketing, you need to develop “thick skin”. This skill will help you in your career. The door-to-door salesman must have heard many no’s, and social media isn’t different from that. However, social media advertising can be flashy and colorful, and use visuals to snag their customers. Whereas, if you dressed in a flashy suit and went door-to-door with colorful visuals, you probably wouldn’t get a lot of people to open their doors.
NOTE: This is a an article that took part in our Essay Writing Competition. It was selected to be one of the essays that compete for the second prize. Congratulations!
Name: Jessica Howell
A few words from the author: pending