Our generation is accustomed to seeing advertisements everywhere. Beyond magazine pages and billboards, advertisements are now infiltrating our social media accounts and browser pages. At times it can be annoying (no, I have no interest in a male enhancement drug), but then we contradict ourselves by choosing to follow certain brands, essentially signing up for their “advertisements” to mix in with our other posts. Yesterday’s class discussion got me thinking – how important is it that brands have social media accounts? And also, what differentiates their posts from advertisements?
I have to admit, I have an online shopping addiction. To me, it makes more sense to search through pages of clothing from the comfort of my home rather than tackle the messy racks in malls. Due to this addiction, I follow many different brands on Instagram, or at least check up on them regularly. I follow all of my favorite stores so that I can see the new arrivals they post daily and keep up with the sales. However, I have never been annoyed in the sense that I am at advertisements.
In today’s digital age, it is not only beneficial, but essential for brands to manage several social media accounts in order to further establish relationships with consumers. The posts go beyond the selling of merchandise by incorporating quotes, non-brand photos, etc. to the point that I feel a stronger tie to the brand, while simultaneously increasing my interest in the products themselves.
These posts don’t resemble an advertisement so they aren’t necessarily an eyesore on my newsfeed. For example, on Instagram the brands I follow tend to blend in with similar posts to that of my friends. Although the post may be marketing a specific clothing item, the account manager will make it visually appealing and not solely focused on the product itself. While only a small percentage of the tens or hundreds of thousands of followers of each brand will actually go purchase something from the site that day, they still establish a connection with the company and are more willing to consider the brand in the future.
No matter what the product is, a brand’s social media presence is essential in order to keep up with the competition. Account managers just need to understand the fine line between advertisements and social media posts and be careful not to cross it.