Thursday 1/22

Social media is everywhere, always combating for our attention. It seems like everywhere you go, no matter what, something will be there battling for your share, like or tweet. Take the most recent advertisement for Eggo Toaster Waffles for example, it features a family of five sitting down to enjoy breakfast, but instead of a knife and fork in each hand, each individual is glued to their phone, arguing over who will be the first to share a picture of their waffle on social media. It paints a grim but all-too-true picture of modern times.

Social media is here to stay, whether some of us like it or not, and it’s prevalence will only continue to grow as we move forward. Sites like twitter and Facebook promote constant contact between people and businesses, allowing consumers to have their questions or concerns addressed faster than ever before. These sites also foster an easier way to understand and reach your consumer, as everything online is logged and tracked, it allows businesses to analyze exactly what their customers are interested in and where they spend their money.

This means ads on your social media feeds are tailored to exactly what you have been looking for lately. Say you were interested in buying a new pair of shoes off of Eastbay but didn’t pull the trigger, so you go to twitter or Facebook to kill some time while you think about that purchase. As soon as you load your newsfeed, 9 times out of 10, there will be an ad for the shoes you were just looking at, enforcing your decision, and triggering a response in your mind to buy those shoes.

Social media is also a great way for businesses to promote their products or services for little cost to the business. MOZ described this in their ebook as “Like-Love-Defend” which can be broken down like this: A customer shows interest by liking/sharing something about your product, that action is displayed to each and every one of that customer’s friends, increasing awareness of your product. Then the customer buys that product, and if they turn out to love it, they are most likely to share that they love it with everyone they can. If they truly love your product then they will promote it and defend it as well. A process that results in a cycle of promotion for your product, with very little input from the company itself.

For what it’s worth, I figured the people behind Buzzfeed to be some evil lizard-people that require mindless clicks on recycled content for sustenance. Turns out that it is actually run by a very savvy, and innovative businessman named Emerson Spartz. The site’s infamous titles and headlines are actually the product of a careful analysis of the modern Internet user and their habits. Content is screened to users with a process similar to A/B testing, in which a bunch of headlines are tested and the one that does the best sticks to that article. Sure some of their content is recycled, but it is just business to Spartz, as content that has already been seen can still generate ad revenue.