The Social Media Era of Advertising

Social media is the latest platform for advertising, but it does not provide clear data regarding return on investments (ROI), a matter that marketers appear to be fixated on. However, is ROI really worth worrying about when using social media for marketing?

Until recently, the main forms of marketing were television, print, and radio. These are the traditional approaches. Up until now they have been the preferred marketing mediums because firms can predict the outcome using these methods and are able to rely on it more heavily because of its consistent past, but most importantly because firms are able to determine their ROI (Weinberg, 2011). However, social media is not able to generate ROI in dollar form, making way for uncertainty and generally leaving marketers uneasy because they do not know how well their campaign strategy is working; in comparison to what they are familiar with and what marketing budget to set for the future.

What Weinberg chooses to point out is that although the ROI for social media does not come in the form of dollars, it can be generated by social currency, which occurs from the relationship investment made by the company with its consumer. Unlike traditional methods, this can create long-term benefits rather than short, drastically saving costs since consumers on their platform comment, share, like brands’ social media posts, which all their friends will be able to see, giving the company exposure without them having to really work for it.

At the end of the day though, it falls down to how well the company markets itself (social mix), as different social media platforms are needed depending on the purpose and objective of the company (Weinberg, 2011). Not only, but in order to maintain this effective standard, mission control centers need to be set up to allow marketers to monitor activity on their social platforms, engage with customers, collect and analyze data received from these interactions and apply them to their business and improve. Therefore, if they wish to continue to grow, their customer activity must be noted and applied.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 8.45.25 PM

(Social Media Mix)

Hoffman shared very similar ideas in regards to firms needing to stop fixating on the traditional ROI, and instead measures customer’s social media investments because that is where the long-term benefits will come from (Hoffman, 2013). Hoffman focused on the 4 c’s: connections, creation, control and consumption, which are all coordinated by the consumer. It is up to the firm to ensure they stay up to date based on these four principles because it is the consumer that is exposing the brand to new audiences and most of all, the value of posting one simple tweet could prove to be of great worth to the company (Hoffman, 2010).

In 2008, technology company Cisco proved just how useful social media marketing has become. Instead of advertising their upcoming product launch on traditional platforms, they chose to solely focus on using social media. As a result, Cisco saved over $100,000, ninety times more people show up to the event than ever before, one thousand blog posts were published along with forty million other online comments and the event resulted in an award for Best Marketing (Hibbard, 2010).


  • Hibbard, C. 2010. Social Media Launch Saves Cisco $100,000.
  • Hoffman, D. L., and Fodor, M. 2010. Can you measure the ROI of your social media marketing? MIT Sloan Management Review 52(1) 41-49.
  • Weinberg, B. D., and Pehlivan, E. 2011. Social spending: Managing the social media mix. Business Horizons 54(3) 275–282.

7 Steps to Successful Social Media Marketing

Blog Post Inforgraphic

For this post, I decided to integrate two aspects of this course: application of a tool and external research on social media topics. I found an article in the MIT Sloan Management Review that discussed 7 steps that can help a brand reap greater rewards from their social media campaigns. I have summarized the findings of the report in an infographic, one of the tools discussed by presentation groups in our lecture.

Social Media Power – The HeForShe Campaign

Emma Watson, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, delivered a speech on declaring the official launch of the HeForShe Campaign at United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 20, 2014. The HeForShe Campaign is led by UN Women and aims at “putting men at center of activism and dialogue to end persistent inequalities faced by women and girls around the world”.

The speech video was posted on Youtube through the HeForShe official Youtube channel. Only 4 days pass, the video already got more than 862,900 views on the channel, which means everyday the video reaches at least 200,000 people all over the world on average. What a big number! Since the video gets vrius online, other social media platforms of the HeForShe Campaign also get boosted a lot. According to the numbers sent out from Ogilvy, a famous PR agency in the world, HeForShe saw an 82% increase in Twitter followers within 24 hours of the Saturday launch, a 305% increase in Facebook likes, and a 3,500% increase in Instagram follower. It is a dramatic increase of social media attention in general on the HeForShe Campagin in such a short time period. It is also very interesting to see that all the social media platforms are quite connected in a sense that one platform’s attention can lead to another one and another one. Personally, I only found out this campaign few days ago after the Youtube video was posted. However, when I went to the HeForShe Facebook page, I found out that the page already joined Facebook since 8th March this year. In this sense, maybe Youtube Channel or video channels in general are more popular and easier to reach out audience than Facebook page?

After the HeForShe Youtube video goes virus online. More and more people, even celebrities participate in this movement. The most active platform so far is Twitter, every user can use #HeForShe to join the conversation and express their opinions on feminism. According to the blog posts from BuzzFeed, ELLE and PRNewser, celebrities such as Russell Crowe, Simon Pegg, Chris Colfer, Tom Hiddleston, Douglas Booth, Matthew Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt all respond to Emma’s HeForShe Campaign, which boosts the whole Movement to a new peak level. Social media and halo effect are absolutely tightly attached with each other. On the one hand, celebrities use social media to promote certain images about themselves. While on the other hand, celebrities use their personal influences based on popularity to draw more social media attentions on certain issues. In this case, the participations of celebrities including Emma herself, also contributes to the partly success of social media promotions in my opinion.

So do you think Youtube Channel is more influencial than Facebook Page somehow? Or in this case, if Emma is not a popular celebrity in the first place, maybe the HeForShe will not even popular in the first place? Whether social meida is the key to success of the HeForShe Campaign launch? Share your thoughts with me. 😀


Successful Marketing Campaigns on Social Media

During class today we discussed about successful social media marketing campaigns like Starbucks, IKEA and Target Corp. By curiosity I started searching on the web looking for more social media campaign examples. There are a lot of awesome ideas about how to use social media for your company!

One of my favourite I want to share with you guys is from Dunkin’ Donuts.


I also found a funny commercial from Evian. This was a remarkable campaign, because most companies first air a commercial on TV and then post it later on the internet. Evian unleashed a funny viral video campaign online and it packed out really good! Their online campaign gained a huge amount of positive reactions on youtube. Now (or not anymore, because it’s ‘old’) you can see the commercial on TV.

Seeing this, it looks like online campaigns have more or less (or even more!) the same  effect than TV. And considering the fact that maybe the costs of using the internet is lower, do you think companies are going to use online campaigns instead of TV? Or will broadcasting on TV be just as attractive in the future? I hope the first one, than I can watch my programs without any disturbances of commercials!!

Ps. In my reaction I promised to post the commercial about dangers of chatting I referred to. Click here to see the youtube video! It’s a dutch commercial, so I hope the internationals among us understand the message of the video :-).