Working in social media exposes me to a lot of information… constantly. From viral videos and celebrity news, to politics, memes, and #InsertNationalSomethingDayHere, I see it all. And that’s not including the posts about my neighbor getting engaged, cousin Susan’s twins on the first day of preschool, and a funny video of that guy from college who was in my sorority sister’s finance class.
There’s no doubt we live in the age of information sharing, most of which we owe completely to social media. New ideas and opinions can be found every time you log in. Social Media is an amazingly powerful tool – so why is it so beloved, yet so hated? So exciting, yet so overwhelming?
To understand social media in the advertising world, we have to stop looking at is as solely a form of media. Before business pages, sponsored posts, and ads that interrupt viral videos like commercials interrupt a TV show, Social Media was built for the everyday person as a virtual form of friendship.
Though terms like “friending” and “unfriending” have been replaced with “like” or “unfollow”, the core concept of social media still exists. Everyone is on social media to stay connected – to the news, to celebrities, to trends and, ultimately, to the people we care about.
Our instinctual addiction to human connection is what made social media the sharing superstorm that it is. So really, brands/companies shouldn’t strive to represent themselves on social media, but instead should represent a human personality that their target audience would want to be friends with. Sometimes this social media personality looks a lot like their current brand, and sometimes it looks completely different.