Instagram, Pintrest, Foursquare, QR Codes, Wikis, podcasting, Google+ and StumbleUpon. What are do all of these have in common? They are all social media platforms. Social media platforms originally are for the average person to use. People at home connecting with friends, meeting new friends and even just sharing their thoughts/pictures with the world. But now, social media is so much more than just connecting with your friends. Now companies are using these platforms to catch consumers eyes, interest them in their product and then get feedback. All of these social media tools have changed the way companies advertise. It used to be that a company would have commercials and billboards, there was not too much feedback from the customers, but with all of these new tools and windows companies have to reach the public, it has become a two way street. Companies can now advertise, show their products and get feedback all on the same website.
If I were to advertise for my company today with one of these companies, personally I would use Instagram and Google+. Instagram is a rapidly growing social platform where anyone with an android, iphone or ipod touch can take pictures of anything using certain filters and borders to customize it to their liking. For companies, this means that they could show their product in many different angles with color filters to make it appealing to their customers. For example, if you are a sports memorabilia company, trying to sell hats, jerseys, etc. What better way to show a variety of signed football jerseys then in a shadow box on your home page for all of your followers to see, You can put up pictures off all of the best memorabilia you own so that all of your avid followers can see what you have, new or old. Personally, as a huge sports fan, who likes to but the occasional hat or jersey would love to have a local company that would do something like this just so that I could see what the latest lines of football jerseys and hats were that they got into the store. It would let me see what they have and when I saw something I like I would be going there as soon as soon as possible to pick it up.
Google+ is very different from Instaram, in a way it is more like Facebook, but it did not catch on in the same way. I have had a Google+ account for a few years and never really used it, but when I go on it the odd time, there are usually some interesting things to see. On the home page, there are always the latest trends and news articles that are big in the world and being talked about. Also instead of Facebook where you just have all of your friends, in Google+ you can sort your friends into “circles”. If I were to follow companies on Google+, I could put all of the companies that I follow into one circle, and this means that when I go into this circle, all I would see is the posts from the companies I have placed in this circle. This would be useful because it organizes things in a way that Facebook doesn’t. Someone can have all of their school friends in one circle, work in another then companies. Once again in the sense of sports memorabilia, you can post what you are getting in your shipments, the latest line of Green Bay cheeseheads you just got in, and when you post this, everyone who has you in a circle would be able to see these, then comment on them so that you could see what the public is showing their interest in. With this feedback you can change the way you order and realize what is in demand. You can really refine the way you order to meet the customer’s wants and needs.
In conclusion, all forms of social media are growing in this day and age. Most people are getting their information and looking for information online and not as much in newspapers and on tv. This changes the way that companies have to advertise and reach out to their customers. The companies that are not keeping up, are falling behind. Therefore these examples in this blog post are just very small ways that companies can use social media platforms to reach out to their customers and show them what they are doing with their company, and in return the customers can comment and help improve the satisfaction level. I do not personally use many of these social media tools, but I know many people that do. A lot of people that I know using these tools as well find things that they like and make purchases because of that. So I do not know firsthand how effective this is, but I have seen it working in action, and it truly is the way that advertising will be moving towards in the future.