Good afternoon and welcome back to the blog! Whether you’ve lived in Wilmington 3 months or 4 years, there is a ninety-nine percent chance that you have come in contact with some sort of advertising from local businesses. With multitudes of college students, these advertisers must gain the attention of these newcomers to the community earlier than their competitors. Coupons, mailing lists, and magazines embedded with promotions are prominent ways of capturing new customers for local businesses. However, smaller and newer companies are starting a new trend, a cheaper trend, which is using social media to interact with potential customers.
This method of advertising has been crucial in recent years in expanding rising businesses awareness. In South End Surf Shop’s case, social media has a moderate effect on local residents, but, in the summer months, social media becomes a modern-day word-of-mouth to the flood of tourists visiting Wilmington’s amazing beaches. Social media is unique in that people affiliated with a company (i.e. like, follow, or share a business’ content) are providing free labor to that business; when an individual shares, likes, or follows a brand, there is a curious, global audience waiting and refreshing their timelines to find their next purchase or destination.
The Social Network Theory (SNT) is directly aligned with South End Surf Shop’s method of advertising. South End specializes in surfing equipment and accessories. The SNT suggests that South End Surf Shop’s network of surfers and skaters is beneficial for these networks during South End’s social media campaigns. A network of surfers are likely to know other surfers or consumers that are unaware of South End Surf Shop’s content; therefore, when avid South End Surf Shop customers share the company’s content, there is a continuous process of sharing to other network’s of people, that is potentially endless for the brand’s reach.
But, what is so unique about this surf shop as compared to the other 2 surf shops in the area? Both Sweet Water Surf Shop and SurfCity Surf Shop have social media platforms, and similar advertising techniques. According to Forbes, there are several benefits that social media marketing can bring to a business. However, they key is to make something unique within at least one of your platforms. This is what South End accomplishes. Due to their unique location at the south end of Wrightsville Beach, where no other commercial stores stand besides the infamous Oceanic restaurant, South End Surf Shop takes advantage of having a daily video surf and weather report that is displayed on their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The owner has not missed a single day in posting this daily report, and this is what is unique. None of the other surf shops do this, and so they gain a competitive advantage over the other shops because now the current and future consumers can affiliate themselves with this unique aspect, creating more brand recognition and loyalty for South End Surf Shop.
Social media marketing is the new and upcoming way that small and large businesses need to take advantage of. Take the time to think about a company you affiliate yourself with. Do they use social media effectively or poorly? Give us your thoughts and point us into the direction of some good examples of solid social media advertising. Have a good week!
-Colby Cummings, Connor Gold, Chase Seymour