Within the last decade, the advertising game for organizations has changed immensely due to social media. There are many factors including positive benefits for organizations to use social media as an advertising technique for their company. One study from NorthWestern University shows four main factors from “our review of previous studies of social media use in organizations uncovered four relatively consistent affordances enabled by these new technologies: Visibility, persistence, edibility, and association”. Social media is visible to anyone with a smart phone or computer access, which most people have and use daily.” It’s easily available for organizations to consistently post advertisement for their company on a social media site such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s convenient for editorial purposes to post advertisement online rather than in a print format, because it can be easier to catch and correct a mistake early on. Using social media as an advertising tool can also help create an association with different partners for an organization. For example using a hashtag on twitter or “liking” a post or another organization on Facebook can create a form of association which can create a positive outlook for your organization.
An in-depth study at Harvard Business Review features many interesting statistics about the 2,100 companies they surveyed in regards to social media usage. According to the research findings only “fifty-eight percent of companies are currently engaged in social networks like Facebook, microblogs like Twitter, and sharing multimedia on platforms such as YouTube”. Of those fifty-eight percent, merely “12% of those firms feel that they are using them effectively”. Organizations use social media as an advertising tool, mostly for “The majority of these efforts (50%) are geared towards increasing awareness of the organization or brand”. In order for organizations to gain consumer interests, they use social media to promote their products, services and brands.
Both studies show that organizations are not using social media to its full potential. Harvard Business Review has stated in their study that “a large percentage of organizations are still hesitant to get serious about social media. Two-thirds of users had no formalized social media strategy, and just 7% had integrated social media into their overall marketing strategy”. These statics are shocking considering it’s 2014 and social media is becoming such a large part of our society. Further, North Western University has stated in a study that “despite the increased adoption of social media by firms, the implications of these new technologies for organizational processes are not yet well understood by communication researchers.” Social media is a network many people are still discovering for themselves, in which organizations are slowly adapting more to the idea of using social media for advertising.
Mark Smickiklas – Social Media tool vs. strategy, October 24, 2009