The Effects of Social Media on Traditional Marketing and Advertising

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The Effects of Social Media on Traditional Marketing and Advertising Social media is not new. Facebook has been around since 2004, YouTube since 2005, and Twitter in 2006. What is new is how social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are affecting the way businesses market their products and services. Never before in our history have consumers been able to communicate so effortlessly with each other and with the businesses they frequent. Never before have businesses been able to interact and react to customer feedback so quickly and efficiently. However, just because businesses have the ability to use social media for their marketing and advertising efforts, does not necessarily mean they should. This paper intends to answer the question of how social media has affected the way businesses market their products and services. This question is significant not only to the business, as it directly affects not only their profit, but also their brand, their image, and their reputation. It is also significant to consumers, because as a consumer you will be able to see how you have the power to shape a company’s products and services, as well as shape a company’s image and reputation. No longer can a company run an advertisement on television or radio promoting how ecologically friendly they are and assume people are just going to believe them. 10 years ago that might have worked. Now, consumers can research to see if that company is in fact ecologically friendly and if they are not, consumers can start a Facebook group, a Twitter profile, a YouTube channel, and endless other social media profiles in order to spread the word about the company’s false or misleading advertising. The reverse is also true. If a company creates an amazing quality product which solves a consumer’s need at a fair price, that company may have to do very little traditional advertising as consumers would spread the word about the products through their vast social networks. Social media has forever changed the relationship between business and the consumer and this relationship affects the way businesses market their products and services. In order to see how social media is defining the way businesses have traditionally marketed their products, it is helpful to look at case studies of multiple businesses and social media marketing experts. This paper will center on multiple different businesses and how they are using social media effectively to market their products and services to consumers. According to “Corporate reputation in the era of Web 2.0: the case of Primark” published in the November 1, 2009 issue of the Journal of Marketing Management, Brian Jones, John Temperley, and Anderson Lima draw from the work of multiple authors from multiple publications. Using the multitude of resources the authors draw from, they answer how companies, specifically Primark, position themselves on the internet in order to build relationships, control their image, and build their brand and reputation to indicate that the new era of company reputation is built not only by the company, but rather by both the company and the consumer. According to the authors, “the new rules for engagement on the social web are explored in relation to how they contribute to, damage, or improve corporate reputation and brand image.” (Jones 927-928) What these new rules mean is that, “management of corporate reputation is a two-way, top down and bottom up process.” (Jones 928) This means that not only are companies trying to portray a certain image through social media, but that also consumers are projecting their own images on to these companies through social media as well. This information is useful because it shows how social media allows consumers to shape a company as well as how companies can use social media to shape public opinion.

According to “Marketing in a Hyper-Social World” published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Advertising...
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