Social Media…The Future?

social-mediaSocial Media is a big thing now. Not just for general consumers, but for ad agencies as well. We have moved from offline advertisement over to online advertisement, but social media holds a very specific and solid position in the ads industry. More and more businesses are promoting their services on the different platforms. As a result, more and more agencies are getting involved with this area.

First things first: Any type of exposure is good. Even if you work on PR, that is good too! In my opinion, we should never be focusing (both as ad experts and business owners) on one specific aspect of marketing. In other words, it’s probably a good idea to keep things mixed up and have variety in everything we do. Also, not all industries are made for all types of advertisement and marketing: some business models may work better offline or with some presence on Google Adwords and another may perform better strictly online.

From this, you probably get that you need to audit your business and come up with a characterization. You need to identify “where you fit.” You can’t be hanging out in the 80’s club if you are listening to classical music (if you get what I’m saying.) So identifying your business personality should be your first step.

Having said this, I think it is foolish for all businesses to try and get on social media. A local plumber can definitely benefit from social media marketing, but only if he can afford the luxury. Because in certain industries, social media can really be a luxury and not a necessity. If you have a specific budget set aside, and you are a small business owner, I would hope that you are budgeting and managing your “ads money” wisely. And I am not talking about the percentage of revenue you should be investing and all that talk. I’m talking about selecting specific areas of marketing to invest in, depending on where you stand as a business and business owner.

Title of this post obviously wonders if Social Media is the future. I can tell you this: it’s the presence. Many businesses have benefited from social media (including mine) but many others haven’t. Why? Well because they weren’t in an industry that fitted in social media. Social media used to be a friendly and consumer fulled place – now everyone is advertising and promoting there. It has become overcrowded. So if you don’t come up with something that will set you apart, you will be wasting your ad dollars on peanuts. In fact, if you invest in peanuts, you’ll probably be better off.

I don’t want anyone jumping into a trend, just for the sake of it. Have some respect for your business and even your family. Be wise about everything you do. Don’t be a copy-cat. Or be one, and watch your bank account drain with minimal results to show for. All I’m saying is “be careful.”

My personal opinion (to give a straight answer here) is that social media will be around for very long time but it will constantly change its form and image. For example: a few years ago, Snapchat didn’t exist or it wasn’t as powerful as it is today. Twitter never had serious competition issues a couple of years ago, and until recently Facebook (and other platforms) didn’t have live video. So to what extent will – what we have today – remain the same in the future, is unknown for me. All I know is that Facebook isn’t going anywhere, and they will only grow and expand further. That’s because Mark Zuckerberg is a genius.

So it’s pretty obvious that new platforms may exist and older ones may die off. But social media as a concept, will probably exist for a very long time. What’s the challenge? Keeping up with all the changes. Marketing agencies and even the businesses, need to always be up to date, with the hottest new gadget and way to promote their business. And competition is getting stronger and stronger by the minute: it’s a nightmare. And because some people believe in luck, I’ll quote that famous saying: The harder you work, the luckier you get. 

Before you jump into work, step one is that you identify your business and whether it should be on social media or not. Then after you do that, step two will be to carve out a marketing plan and see whether you will benefit more off organic work done, social media ads, or both. The complexity of this all is great, but hang on to your specialist and you should be good to go. In any case, be honest with yourself about your goals, your capabilities and whether or not you need it. Do you need offline advertisement anymore? Check it out. Are Google Adwords effective for your business? If not, move on.

Don’t just stick to a trend, to look fancy. Fancy pays the bills. 

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