Marketing students typically have all sorts of opportunities at their fingertips—from knowledgeable professors to promising internships. However, there remain some professors that are reluctant to elaborate on the changing landscape of marketing, particularly the rise of social media and the decline of traditional formats. It’s simply something that they have little experience with in their own professional life.
As a result, marketing students should anticipate the occasional outdated professor by taking into account the five social media essentials below.
5 Social Media Essentials for Marketing Students
1. Online and Social Media Advertising Is Rapidly Growing
2013 marked the first year where online advertising surpassed newspaper advertising spending. It’s doubtful that there will ever be a year again where newspaper ads are more lucrative than online ads. Online ads are here to stay. So is the infusion of advertising into Facebook and Twitter, where users can promote posts or tweets by paying a fee.
To maximize profits, Facebook limits the reach of posts for a Facebook page. For example, if a Facebook page has 6000 fans, a new post will only reach several hundred of these users unless engagement is immediate or the page owner purchases advertising, which Facebook refers to as “boosting your post.” This type of advertising format for social media giants appears here to stay.
2. A Social Media Presence Is Important for Job-Seekers
Savvy companies are recognizing the necessity of social media prowess among newly hired employees. Marketing students should work on expanding their own social media presence immediately. Participating on everything from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn can show prospective employers that you’re more than just a one-trick pony it the social media game.
3. The Older Demographic “Gets” Twitter
The fast-paced nature of Facebook may be too overwhelming for those newly acquainted to social media, especially the 55-64 year-old demographic. They’ve taken a liking for Twitter, though, likely due to its concise 140-character delivery and easy-to-follow single home page. When attempting to tap into an older demographic for a marketing campaign, students should prepare to think outside-the-box in utilizing Twitter to reach its growing older demographic.
4. Social Media Engagement Matters More Than Sales Pitches
When separating the difference between marketing and sales, it’s important to note that marketing is more all-encompassing in convincing consumers to engage with a brand, even if it’s done subtly – such as posting an interactive quiz, niche-related link, or fun contest via a brand’s social media. By engaging users in fun discussions or features that do not scream out “buy this product!” they become more immersed in the product and won’t feel forced when purchasing it.
For example, a business in the finishing industry can host a contest offering free finishing services, link to an article about the benefits of finishing or ask social media followers a question pertaining to finishing. This engages followers and potential leads without coming across as desperate; desperation, after all, is a characteristic that all great marketers avoid.
5. Email Remains a Useful Marketing Tool
While the rise in social media has decreased the popularity of some mediums, such as newspaper advertising, the same cannot be said for email when used as a marketing tool. In fact, 68% of marketers claim that email remains an integral part of their marketing campaigns. In fact, many successful marketers encourage social media users – on social media – to subscribe to their email newsletter and vice versa.
The landscape of contemporary marketing continues to change, but not so rapidly that marketing students can’t keep up.
By keeping in mind the 5 social media essentials above, marketing students can have a step-up on their peers when seeking employment in the near future.