A Reflection on Social Media in Advertising

I knew that social media was going to play a big part in my future career but I truly had no idea how significant it would be until after learning its influence and power in my advertising technology class. Before this class I had the idea that social media would be as much a part of my career as I wanted it to be, depending whether I wanted to work more closely with social media management or not. I had no idea however that these platforms are not just an extra tool for companies but a necessity. I was not aware of the massive advertising campaigns that companies sometimes only launch on social media platforms. As a young adult I was also unaware of the great influence social media has on us as consumers. I strongly believed that as a technologically advanced society we had better power in mediating the constant flow of advertisements that are present on social media platforms. This is not the case however after taking this class very clear that pushing a product or company the right way on these platforms can mean significant sales and influence. Another misconception I had, was that companies spend little money on social media management because they are all free so therefore social media advertising must be relatively free as well. I had no idea the scale and incredible (and expensive) tools that companies utilize to appropriately monitor and push their social media content such as the hootsuit platform we worked with in class. As someone that has always been on the consumer end of the screen, I had a poor grasp on how brand social media advertising worked. I thought that content was posted and created by one individual much like a personal account, with no grasp on the analysis and planning that goes into each post. The final thing I believed before this class was that as much time that we spend with technology today it is not something that has the power to influence or define us.

After taking the advertising technology class at GVSU I strongly feel I understand social media better in both the aspect of a consumer and a brand. With out a doubt technology and social media will most defiantly play a huge role in my future career. I now understand that because this field evolves so quickly that there is a possibility that the career I will have may not even exist yet. Social media is fast paced and as much as we wish to understand and manipulate it there may not necessarily be an accurate way to prepare for a job year from now. After this class my weariness of social media has been intensified. Before, I enjoyed Instagram on occasion I appreciate all the beauty and connection that is made but now like many in my generation I feel a need to distance myself partially from social media. It can prove to be draining and now the idea of social media management seems like a tireless ambition. That isn’t to say my career may not start in social media, because as it grows so will the funding and positions available. Companies are more willing to push money into something that is more likely to be seen by their target audience and social media can do that precisely. I further understand that my career in advertising will most likely be focused less towards print and television advertising and more so in direct brief videos and coordinated images that deliver a concentrated message to consumers. Recognizing brevity as essential to the advertising of the future was a key understanding from this class. Personally, as much as I know social media will be a major part of my career I feel worn out and overwhelmed by it at times and this is concerning to me. I value genuine interaction and creatively constructed content so I hope I can reach the point in my career where I can produce for the brands and individuals that identify with these concepts.

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