In my series of blog posts, I discussed how social media is used as a marketing platform in the fashion industry and now the next question and final of my blog posts is very logical – What is the future of marketing and advertising through social media? Is social media going to stay a primary platform for marketing?
In order to answer this question, we first look at the fashion bloggers. Where are they now and how dependent is their profession on this current advertising strategy. Well, fashion bloggers are adaptive and proof for that is that naturally a couple of years ago, all of their advertising was going mostly through their blog/website or YouTube channel, eventually through Facebook and now mostly Instagram. As long as the social media platform supports pictures and maintains a good layout for it, bloggers will be interested. Not only fashion bloggers are adaptive, but also now that this is an actual job for many, a fashion blogger is quite dependent on social media if they want to make a living out of it.
How about social media platforms? Well, they are making money out of advertising now. For example Facebook, tracks in some way what online stores I visit, so very often I get an advertisement on my side bar in Facebook, which advertises this same website I visited. Facebook is probably paid by the same company to put the company’s banner on my profile, because I have shown interest in their website. Also when buying or even just browsing certain web shops, you are obliged to make a profile, which is very often connected to your Facebook account. It does ask you – Do you want to share all of your information? – The thing is even if you only share your profile, without providing information, Facebook knows your profile is connected to this certain website. You are basically providing client data information, but you probably forget every time that there is usually a third party involved that also receives your information. We are not getting into the privacy issues here, however this is how advertising through social media works and both the social media and the company benefit.
Instagram is another example of how a person gets advertisements, specifically chosen for the user, because of client data information algorithms or other profiling techniques. The social media has found a way to track what types of pictures do we like, who do we follow and when you open your ‘explore’ page, you get all these suggested pictures. Some of them say they are suggested based on someone you follow, or based on something you have liked before. The social media has 400 million users and more than 80 million pictures are shared every day. Now imagine they must have a great filtering system, because your suggestions for pictures are being refreshed very often. Their new feature for already a couple of months is advertising, similar to the Facebook ads on the side bar, Instagram advertises on your ‘news feed’. It just adds a post of some company that they think you have interest in and how do they know which ad to put on your news feed? – Instagram checks your location; they check the people you follow, certain interests that you show in your posts or pictures you like.
*you can notice on the pictures up right, it says gesponsord,
indication that it is an ad
So marketing and advertising through social media are in full strength at the moment and in the near future things will stay relatively the same. My only prediction is what we least desire – the technology in collecting data from our social media profiles is getting better with time. This means one thing, we the users, will be bombarded with advertisements, which we don’t necessarily want. The ‘good’ news is that because of the microscopic targeting by social media on your interests at least the things that will be advertised to you will mostly be things you are actually interested in. In the end social media is for social interaction, or at least that is why it was created and now it has changed its purpose.