A study done by Harvard Business Review revealed that the rise of new technologies was detrimental to brand advertising because it allowed audiences to opt-out of ads from cable networks. Then, social media just arrived to make things worse.
Social media are the online means of communication and collaboration among interconnected and interdependent networks of people, communities, and organizations.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram turned each user into a potential competitor and advertiser. When those platforms started being accessible to every person through their phones, the result was explosive. In the last ten years, those communities proved to be more powerful than any marketing agency.
An Addicted Generation
According to Simon Sinek, “Technology is the New Nicotine”. On average, we check our phones between 30 to 100 times daily. Teenagers are addicted to the instant pleasure of “likes” and “views”. Likewise, entrepreneurs or influencers profiting from social media can check their phones as much as once per minute. I’m guilty too. My income depends on those notifications.
The website Narconon.org explains that this is happening because now “entire careers are built off of these platforms.”
The technology addiction triggers a syndrome called FOMO: Fear of missing out.
To explore how to be competitive, marketers researched why social media is transforming the way we buy.
The phenomenon of Crowdculture refers to social media users who join tendencies by following highly entertaining content. Usually, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter users form crowds that support “trends” or subcultures like: ‘coffee lovers’, ‘DIY enthusiasts’, ‘luxury car fans’, ‘make-up professionals’, you name it! Those crowds bind together, no matter the geographic zone or language.
Forbes.com recalls that as a response to those crowdcultures, brands started hiring creative agencies to “sneak their way onto Instagram” and social media influencers.
For instance, during the summer of 2013, Mercedes-Benz USA started an ingenious campaign. They hired five Instagram photographers with about 500,000 followers each, to post their road trips driving the new ‘Mercedes-Benz CLA’. There was an additional incentive: The Instagrammer with the most ‘likes’ got to keep the car for three years. The revolutionary marketing idea was called the CLA Take the Wheel contest.
Since then, many other brands are also capitalizing Instagram’s word-of-mouth or crowdcultures.
Instagram is OrangeTheory’s primary online marketing platform for advertising. Their strategy is encouraging customers to post testimonials with the hashtag #OrangeTheory and #TransformationTuesday, accompanied by before and after pictures.
Adidas Original partnered with Snoop Dogg, Desiigner, and Stormzy, who made viral the hashtag #ORIGINALis.
No marketing campaign can compete and be more effective than those communities because crowds trust word-of-mouth in their community more than they trust direct advertising. The result of marketing through social media is a higher amount of conversions.
If you have any experience in this matter that you would like to share, please, let me know. I’m here to listen.