By: Tess Buchsbaum
In recent years, the growth of digital marketing has heavily increased, making its influence widespread. The increase of personalized ads, search engine marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing have contributed to a company's reliance on digital marketing as a whole. Even with all of these strategies, one seems to stick out the most: social media marketing.
Businesses use social media in order to promote new products. This has progressed into the main communication between producers and consumers. Social media marketing has the power to increase customer loyalty and sales. “A 2017 survey of roughly 6,000 marketers concluded that 69% have developed loyal consumers to their brands via social media marketing” (Shaw, 2018). Consumers build better connections to brands they recognize, and this knowledge comes from viewers' interaction with social media posts. Violet Rohlf, a Client Service Consultant at IRI Worldwide, which is a global, leading provider of marketing data, analytics and insights for consumer packaged goods and household panels. Rohlf finds that social media impacts consumers' loyalty heavily. “Social media has greatly impacted marketing. Good or bad, it makes consumers talk about your brand. This means marketers have to keep up, and are doing so by starting to shift the focus from traditional marketing to social media. If your company doesn’t have a current, constantly changing, Facebook or Instagram site, for example, then consumers will go elsewhere. Your image among them will decline, and your brand won’t be relevant” states Rohlf. Rohlf finds that social media in this way has changed marketing as a whole, and encouraged brand loyalty among consumers, as without the use of social media, these brands would lack customers to begin with.
Whether it be a clothing company promoting products on Instagram, or influencers promoting products on TikTok, social media marketing is everywhere. “Globally, digital ad spending was projected to total $537 billion, which accounts for 64.4% of global ad spending in 2021”(Adgate, 2021). Delilah Downes, a Lane Tech student currently studying sports management, finds that social media is so prevalent in society that it’s often overlooked. Downes states that “Consumers sometimes don’t realize they are watching sponsored videos. There are so many businesses looking to reach the younger generations who have grown up in this digital age and their knowledge of this has increased social media's influence on consumer actions to new extremes.” Downes has learned the basics of social media marketing through her management of many Lane Tech sports teams’ social media accounts. The increased use of technology further increases the chances of users encountering social media marketing. This spreads the influence of businesses and opens an entirely new and vast retail for them: the online market.