The nature of advertising is changing, just think about your online experience and how companies interact with you. In the 90’s companies set up websites and hoped for traffic. Later, they started to use email marketing. Next came the ever-so-popular pop-up ad, and now companies are able to purchase ad space on websites and social media. Using data from the user’s browsing habits, companies are able to target who they think will be interested in their product, thereby maximizing the effect of their advertising budget. The most effective use of social media based marketing occurs when companies stop using static methods and start marketing directly to the consumers.
However, companies are still learning how to take advantage of social media advertising. Just like websites of the early 90’s, companies are aware that they should be represented on social media but are unclear on how to be successful. In many situations, companies simply do not have the time to devote to an effective social media advertising campaign. Drive Social Media was started to help companies that want to use social media but do not want to manage it themselves.
Drive Social Media is a full-service Internet advertising company that provides everything from websites, to Facebook and Twitter advertising. For my internship I handled the Twitter listening and brand monitoring aspects of the marketing mix. This consisted of using advanced search methods on Twitter to look for people talking about the desired brand, and then talking to those Twitter users as the official Twitter account for that brand. I also used the same search function to look for people talking about items related to the brand. For example, as a craft beer brewery, you are interested in finding people that are talking about craft beer, hops, hard cider, tours, tastings, etc. If done properly it is a great-personalized pitch that will get the customer to consider buying the brand. If done with some humor you can get the user to push your marketing efforts for you. If you send a funny tweet as a brand to someone and they retweet you, now you are in front of all their followers and friends. Do that enough times and you can start to gain national media attention.
Ultimately, mass advertising is the best way to get in front of a lot of people, but it is still push advertising. The consumer did not ask to see what you are pitching and you have to hope that they want your product. With Twitter marketing, you already know the customer has a need and you can address them directly. If you can get them to talk about your brand for you, your push marketing has become pull marketing where the customer is driving the conversation and engaging their friends in the conversation as well. This is the most useful skill I have learned during my time at Drive Social Media.
My internship has also let me gain some insight into the changing marketing climate. Every year that goes by the TV advertising market share decreases while the Internet advertising market share increases. Think about how the way that your perception has changed over the last ten years, and now add into that the younger generation that was raised in this environment.
“If you really need to know if Social Media Marketing works or if Twitter is valuable to your business, show someone under the age of 21 a pound sign and they will call it a hashtag.” – Drew Thompson, Graphic Designer at Drive Social Media.
The nature of marketing is changing and I had the opportunity to intern with a company that is moving with the current rather than against it. I’ll put it another way. If you had invested $10,000 in 1998 in a little start-up company called “Google” where would you be today? If you took that same $10,000 and instead invested in IBM where would you be today? You can move with the current or get crushed by it, but you cannot stop it.
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