The Future of Social Media is Advertising
Thoughts on How We Use Social Media Now That They Are Mature Platforms
By Larry Mogelonsky President & Founder, LMA Communications | February 22, 2015
Whoever said that advertising is dead is either horribly misinformed or merely drumming up controversy as part of a self-promotions agenda. This article is a rebuttal for all those naysayers and managers who are slashing their advertising budgets in favor of newer and supposedly cheaper methods of building their businesses. The fact is that advertising is thriving – and will continue to thrive – through online platforms, social media included. Yes, traditional mediums have slid from the limelight, but digital channels are more than ready to pick up the slack.
Once we have long passed the initial fervor surrounding these new digital channels, we will come to see that social media is simply another form of 'media' and paid advertising is but one tactic for using said media alongside public relations and customer relationship management. The adjective 'paid' in that last sentence is an important modifier because the conversational nature of these peer-regulated websites essentially transforms all forms of communication into advertising. Paid advertising – what we now define as traditional insofar as contractual agreements with money changing hands in exchange for services rendered – is what's directly quantifiable and active in the pursuit of consumer awareness while all other actions are forms of passive marketing.
In the future, all online activities undertaken by a brand will function as advertising, whether direct, passive or somewhere in between.
Now that these social networks have expanded their reach to global and billion-user proportions, we need to take a big collective step back and look at how we interpret our usage of these digital channels. At the present, it's fashionable to classify or pigeonhole channels by specific purposes; for instance, defining one social platform as a relationship management channel or another as a personalized sales channel. Instead, it is wiser to deem all social media and electronic areas of consumer interaction as capable of handling a spectrum of distinct objectives.
The future of social media is not one of segregation of goals and objectives by individual platform, but rather a holistic integration of all networks where, as we are progressively realizing, content will be king. The back-end programming for blogs and social networks will soon be completely seamless so that posting on one platform automatically forwards and adroitly adapts content to fit all channels. Gone will be the days of social media experts and gurus; all that will matter is what value you give back to your fans and how you sway potential consumers through focused advertising.
Explanations Through Examples
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