Social Media is Changing the Face of Marketing

The TEDx series brings the spirit of TED’s mission into a more focused local community that concentrates on local voices. To date, close to 50,000 talks have been given at 10,000 events since the program launched in 2009. TEDx has been host to some of the most notable and popular talks of all-time including Simon Sinek’s ‘How great leaders inspire action’ (42M views), Cameron Russel’s ‘Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model’ (25M views) and Thomas Suarez’s ‘A 12-year-old app developer’ (8M views). 

Out of all the topics that have been discussed, perhaps one of the most fascinating discussion of late is the topic of social media, particularly, how it affects marketing. In this talk, Teresa Heath-Wareing, an international speaker and social media consultant walked its listeners through the many facets of social media and how it changes the face of marketing. 

Our editors here at Content Capital loved the simplicity and honesty of the talk and went ahead to transcribe it for your reading pleasure. While many of you might enjoy the talk, an accompanying text would be great to completely capture the ideas and make it a more meaningful content experience. 

Below is the transcribed version done up in an article format. Happy Reading! 

Social Media is the fastest moving industry in the world

Michael Stelzner who’s head of social media examiner once said that social media is the fastest moving industry in the world. I love the fact that businesses can find audiences, can grow their wealth and their knowledge by reaching out to different peoples all over the world. I love the fact that I can see my friends’ children growing up or what my friends do on their holidays. And I love the fact that I can be connected to people all over the world without ever having met them.

This guy is called Tony, and Tony lives in the Cook Islands. And Tony and I started to connect over Instagram because we share the same passion for social media and follow the same people.

What a nice guy. Tony is a lovely guy and I think the fact that I can show you a film like that is phenomenal. I had no idea where the Cook Islands was when I started talking to Tony and I had to Google where it was. That’s where the Cook Islands is. It’s in the middle of the ocean on the other side of the planet and we know each other because of social media.

The beginnings of a social media career

So, to start my story, I want to take you back to 2004. Facebook had just launched and I had just graduated from this very University with a BA Honours in Marketing, and I couldn’t wait to get started to do my first marketing job where I could put into practice all those amazing theories I had learned and build a marketing strategy and do all those cool things. And my first job as a Marketing Assistant was mainly spent doing things like franking letters for direct mail campaigns and sending fax campaigns. You heard me right – FAX. For the younger people in the audience, someone’s got to explain to you what a fax is.

However, after 10 years in marketing, four years ago, I decided I wanted to start my own business. So, I was going to specialize in social media for businesses and I immediately came up with two problems. Problem number one – every man and his dog was doing social media and they weren’t necessarily doing at the level that I wanted to do it at. The second problem was, businesses just didn’t take it seriously at all. They often chose the youngest person in the office to do their social media strategy. They looked at a person who would occasionally send a tweet or had some friends on Facebook and decided they would hand over their entire social media strategy to them. They just didn’t see that it was part of marketing and therefore they didn’t take it seriously at all.

When I started my business, I started with the main aim to not only educate but teach businesses to not only just do social media but to love social media.

Half the world population is on the Internet – 2.4 billion of those are using social media

Let me bring you up to present day, it’s 2018 and there are currently approximately 4.1 billion Internet users, 54 percent of the globe’s population. To put it into perspective, 2.46 billion of those people are social media users. With this in mind, I want to explain the two ways in which I think social media has changed marketing forever.

Social media improves the quality and reach of our communication

First off, in communication and how we communicate. Social media has encouraged us to share everything with the world. I want to tell you what I had for breakfast, where I went for dinner last night, and how many miles I’ve run. I’m kidding! I’ve never ran.

This is more like the stuff I share on social media. And if you can’t read it, it says: “working from home means I can start drinking earlier.” That’s a fact. But in all seriousness, social media has opened up to worlds that we never knew about, causes that we could never understand until social media came along.

Also, we no longer just talk in text, we no longer just send a text or send an email, we now have these amazing innovative lovely ways in which we can communicate. There are emojis and bitmojis and the most amazing face filters from Snapchat that my daughter and I just love.

You can go live in seconds to millions of people across the world and you can share with them some of the most amazing things that happen. And in terms of businesses, we have changed the way in which we communicate with our customers. We use platforms like Twitter in order to communicate with them.

Social media enhances customer service

This is Tesco Mobile and they use their Twitter account as a customer service tool. So no longer, if you have a complaint, do you need to pick up the phone, fill in a form, do some long arduous process. You literally send a tweet and then wait and hopefully within a fairly rapid amount of time, they’re going to tweet you back to deal with your problem.

Social media is a hotbed of research

Also, social media is now a hotbed of research. Gone are the days when I first finished my degree where we had to do focus groups, or long questionnaires, or telephone interviews. Now, if you want to know something, head into a Facebook group that talks about that thing and find out the problems that those people have got. Put a tweet online to find out what issues people are dealing with. If you’re thinking of starting a new product and you’re not sure what color to do it, put it out to the world of social media and ask them and wait for your responses to come flooding back.

Social media enjoins us to be more creative

Also as a marketer, we’ve had to change who we are. Not only are we just marketing the products, we’re having to become creative and innovative content creators. We’re having to put together blogs and podcasts and videos in order to keep you entertained, to keep you coming back to see us.

Social media is an amazing tool for targeting customers

The other area that I think that it’s really impacted on is the reach that we now have in the world. Let’s take Facebook for instance. From a business point of view, I swear it’s the best thing I have ever seen. Their advertising platform is phenomenal. So I can put an advert out today and I can target you not only based on how old you are, what sex you are, and where you are in the country or in the world, I can actually target you on what salary you might earn, I can target you on what job title you have, if you have children and if so how old those children are, and I can target you if you’re a saint to be shopper and you like playing netball at the weekend. It really is an amazing tool from a marketer’s point of view.

Also, Facebook have a pixel – this is a bit of code that you can put on your website so they can even track who’s visiting your site and you can mark it back to them. And what this has done in terms of advertising spend both on the Internet and TV is crazy. The line going from the bottom to the top, that’s internet advertising spend, and that’s plotted against TV advertising spend. In 2016, it overtook TV spend.

The rise of influencer marketing

Another way to reach your audiences is in the growing phenomena that is influencer marketing. This is where a person sets up a profile on social media and shares with the world what interests them. And they start to gain followers and people start to be interested in their life and what they’re doing. They get to a point where they’re so big that businesses and companies and brands want to come and work with them so that they can help them share their product and message out there as well.

Take Zoella. Zoella worked with WH Smith. She did a book club where she showed a load of books on her channel and it’s reported that the books that were featured within her book club saw sales increased by 11,000%. It’s just a phenomenal trend that I could only see it’s going to keep growing.

Going viral can accelerate your business to the next level

Another way in which you can reach big audiences is by going viral. Granted, this is a little bit harder to do and you can’t necessarily guarantee this is a marketing strategy. However, when it happens, it can accelerate your business to another level. So, this screenshot here is of a video on YouTube from the Dollar Shave Club and I urge you to go and watch it because I swear it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

But basically, these guys set up this video and it costs them four and a half thousand dollars to do this video. Not a massive amount of money in the scheme of things. They put the video online and within 48 hours they had received over 12,000 orders. That video has now been viewed 25 million times and that accelerated their company overnight.

As you can see businesses that really take hold and enjoy social media can really reap the rewards.

“As you can see, businesses that really take hold and enjoy social media can really reap the rewards.”

Social media is not going away. At least, not anytime soon.

Now, I said at the beginning, this is one of the fastest moving industries in the world so it’s not going to stop there. We’re only gonna keep going. We’ve got amazing things coming up like more personal marketing, advertising into Messenger, AI, chatbots and easier and faster ways in which you can shop online and it’s phenomenal.

So, if you’re going to take one thing away from this talk away today, this is it – social media is not going away, in fact, it’s only just started.