When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from the Harvard University campus back in 2004, the platform was merely used for inter-campus communication among the students, and their ware very few who guessed about the magnanimity of the platform to this scale. Similar to Facebook, other social media platforms started taking their first step from early 2000 as the internet became cheaper and widely available, and the cost of owning a smartphone also gone done and came within the reach of the common people, the usage of social media also rose to a significant level. There were rejections of the medium at some level but eventually, the popularity of social media beat all the odds and tightened its clutches among the different layers of the society. What made the social media even more useful is when the marketers started seeing a pool of opportunities to reach out to their target market easily through the social media and began using this medium as a centre of communication and promotion for their brands. Gradually, over the decade, the medium became one of the most potent ways of commercial communication for the advertisers which allowed them to reach out to their potential group of consumers with multiple hit points. The interactive nature of the medium allowed its users to be glued to this medium for a longer period, given the advantages to the advertisers to push their message in between the entrainment. The e-commerce sites have gone to a step ahead and link their sites and apps to the social media sites while flashing the recent search items, provoking and reminding consumers to take the final purchase decision. While most of the advertising platforms require monetary investment to slip the message into the platter, social media allows to advertise free of cost but obviously, the investment will take the message to a much wider range of audiences while aiming to a desired and a targeted pool of audiences.
According to the “Diffusion of Innovation” theory developed by E. M Rogers in 1962, an idea, behavior, or product while launched in a society, passes through different layers of acceptance before getting widely accepted among the people. The adapters are ranged from the ‘Innovators’ to ‘early adopters’ to ‘early majority’ to ‘late majority’ to ‘laggards’. As the product reaches the laggards at the end of the acceptance channel, the advertiser tries to encourage its enlisted and loyal consumers to purchase another product from its line of offerings. The theory is well accepted and applicable for a social structure while social media gives an ultimate social stratification to apply the theory while launching a product through social media. There is always a small group of ‘innovators’ who wish to try out newly launched products and also influence ‘early adopters’ by sharing their experiences. For advertisers, social media platforms can be an appealing option to lure the innovators out of their lair to experience the band while capturing the attention of a larger pool of prospective consumers by sharing their pictures, videos, comments, and experiences on social media. Because of the flexibility and broader reach of the medium, the advertisers are prone to use social mediums as an extensive part of their promotional strategies where they can also keep a tab on the progress ambiguously. The omnipotent nature of social media enables the marketers to approach the consumers located across the world while the platform algorithm allows them to set the advertisements in different time frames focused on a diverse pool of consumers.
Usage of social media platforms comes to a pick during the global pandemic of COVID-19 when people around the world are stranded behind their doors and barred from physical interaction to stop spreading the deadly virus. The pandemic left no other ways of interactive interactions among the people leaving the social medium as the only way to keep the communication alive among the friends allowing them to share pictures, videos, adios, and even video calling facilities. This also showed the advertisers a way of survival when other modes of advertisements were not an option and allow them to promote their brands with minimal investments. This also provides the flexibility to approach a large group of audience who are primarily concentrating on social media with a relatively low investment. The pandemic also forced many bands to take the shelter of social media promotion who earlier used to believe in the traditional mode of promotions since the diversion and proliferation are lesser due to the global pandemic that barred people to go outside. The circumstances also worked in favor of social media where the production of the advertisements does not always need the involvement of the physical location while the placement of the advertisements is done virtually. The social media was among the few options that kept people connected during the severe situation and also helped the brand not to lose out the communication with their valuable consumers. Now, when the virus spreads are being controlled and life is getting back to its usual accord, social media still helping the society to get back on to its feet. Interestingly, both the government and private organizations have taken the help of this wonderful medium to propagate their message while some of them were meant human welfare and some were to achieve the commercial accomplishments while the medium remains stoic with unparalleled benefits.
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