We already know that social media is a powerful tool in the realm of advertising and promoting a brand. Companies are able to buy advertisements that show up on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Whether or not you find it obnoxious or love the introductions to new brands, the advertisements will probably only increase and spread to more social media sites. Personally, I typically find the ads annoying but every once and awhile, they lead me to a new site. Now, a less interrupting way to promote and communicate a brand is by creating accounts on these social media sites. Companies are able to build their brand identity and communicate with their target audience. As consumers, we can follow the brands on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. if we choose to do so. We can, in a sense, choose which brands communicate to us and which brands we form a relationship with.
The importance of social media in communicating to a target audience cannot be overlooking. The medium, social media, through which the content or message is presented, plays an important role in the message the brand communicates. As theorist Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” The frame in which the communication occurs has a great impact on the actual message. Brands such as Pepsi have used social media to communicate with brands in a modern way. Staying relevant to their target demographic allows Pepsi to continue building their brand. Brands using social media suggest that they are open to two-way communication and connecting with their target audience. The social media avenue they decide to take also impacts the message. With Twitter, businesses can “quickly share information with people interested in their products and services” using no more than 140 characters. Using Pinterest as a medium, businesses use photograph’s linked to other sites. These pins can represent the brand’s personality to its followers. Amongst his ideas, McLuhan points out the importance of technology and the medium of communication in how it affects our society.
In terms of social media, McLuhan’s theory applies. The brand communication that occurs because of social media is unlike communication that occurs through any other medium. However, it is important to clarify that the message displayed for the world to see on social media sites is vitally important. We have seen and heard our fair share of social media mistakes that require a full cleanup crew.
In our technologically savvy and social media buzzing society, I think we can agree with McLuhan that media alters our environment. Using social media is another step in brand communication.