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Like, Like Me Do: Social Media and Marketing

Think social media is simply for insufferable holiday snaps, cyber stalking exes, and selfies? Then think again! While yes, of course it’s a great way to keep tabs on the boy who broke up with you 3 and a half years ago and already has the audacity to get another girlfriend (does he seriously have no sense of decency?). Social media is actually an excellent tool for businesses to market themselves, it allows them to raise their profile and tailor their marketing in a more personal way.

Twitter and the Consumer

Twitter is an invaluable platform for businesses and with hundreds of millions of users the possibilities are extraordinary. 500 million tweets are sent each day, which for context is the equivalent of the entire population of the United Kingdom sending 7.67 tweets each, every day! Twitter allows disgruntled customers to complain about a business for all to see which can have extremely damaging effects. The BBC program, The One Show, conducted an experiment to investigate whether companies responded faster to complaints if they were via Twitter. And they did. The fastest response time was three minutes and the slowest was 1 hour and 10 minutes. After 24 hours only one company had responded to the complaint via email. The public nature of social media makes companies more inclined to respond to grievances lest it damage their reputation and deter potential customers.

One irate consumer took to Twitter and used a promoted tweet to complain about the customer service of British Airways. Annoyed with the way that the airline had handled his father’s lost luggage, Hasan Syed paid for a tweet that was specifically targeted to the UK and New York markets. The tweet urged passengers not to fly with British Airways due to their customer service. Shashank Nigam, Chief Executive of aviation consultancy ‘SimpliFlying’, found Mr Syed’s approach interesting, “These tools are easy to use and brand detractors have the same access to them as corporations. I’d guess that this cost less than a thousand dollars to buy and Mr Syed targeted it smartly,” Mr Nigam told the BBC. In the opinion of Shashank Nigam, airlines will have to start running round the clock customer service in order to deal with the advent of social media.


15 Minutes of Fame

Andy Warhol once declared that, “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes”. The rise of social media has encouraged Warhol’s prophetic quote: platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allow for the promotion of one’s self if only in a superficial manner. The relationship between self-esteem and social media has been investigated and many believe that social media can breed self-esteem issues through the desire for perfection, or at least the portrayal of perfection. Certainly ctree-200795_960_720elebrities such as Kim Kardashian would not be afforded the position they are were it not for social media. The Kardashian brand is highly lucrative and various members of the Kardashian klan can command thousands of dollars for promoting a product via their social media channels; Kim can reportedly charge up to $300,000 for a single Instagram promotional post. The use of hugely popular celebrities to promote products helps marketers get round the various ad blockers that are employed by internet users. Recently, however, the Federal Trade Commission has been cracking down on posts they believe to be deceptive about their nature as an advertorial, and as such it is not usual to see the following hashtags of #ad, #sponsored, or #spon appear alongside a post. Followers, however, are not receptive towards posts that acknowledge themselves as adverts. Jaclyn Johnson, President of Creative Services at Small Girls PR, notes that engagement is lower on posts that are identified as adverts, “ audiences have a very visceral reaction to ‘#ad’ or ‘#spon’ or whatever it is, where they don’t want to know people are getting paid for stuff even if they are,”.

Social Media Specialist

And while most of us are not #blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with the ability to command six figures for a single Instagram post, social media is providing millions with a wage. As of August 2014, more than 5 million people on LinkedIn described themselves as social media professionals. As with most roles, a coupling of experience and qualifications are required in order to be successful. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds, be it generalist marketing, digital marketing, journalism, find themselves heading down the route of social media and now universities are offering degrees specialising in social media.


LinkedIn can also be described as a social media platform, albeit one that is used less for selfies and more for searching for a new role, although a vein of self-promotion runs through both. LinkedIn users performed over 5.7 billion professional searches in 2012 and the platform has over 2 million different groups. While previously networking was conducted largely at industry events, the meteoric rise of the internet has created new options. If the prospect of schmoozing with industry associates at events is too cumbersome to bear then LinkedIn offers the opportunity to network from the comfort of one’s own home; no RSVP required, dress code: discretionary.

At Spotlight Recruitment, we find the use of LinkedIn and other social media platforms to be integral to the way in which we recruit – to keep updated on the latest vacancies and other news follow us on LinkedIn and have a look at our job vacancies page on our website to kick start your job search!