One of the most used online social media websites is Facebook. The popularity of this website has grown rapidly over the last ten years and is now used by one billion users worldwide. This vast audience makes it appealing for businesses to utilise, allowing them to gain access to millions of potential customers.
In years before the internet began, advertising was mostly on television, on posters, newspapers and on the radio. These advertisements would be seen and heard by a wide audience, but not necessarily the target audience. On Facebook, adverts are now tailored to suit each person individually depending on each person’s interests and which pages you have “liked”.
Nike is a good example of a business using these kind of social media platforms. They have various pages on Facebook, each page referring to a different sport or hobby. This allows participants in these sports to receive news about new Nike products directly to their news feed that is relevant to their interests. Personally I use Nike Football, and I am the first to know about new team kits, football boots and other items due to “liking” this page.
You can see the brand profile is raised as they also have created a series of videos for YouTube and Facebook, based around a Nike football competition, allowing customers to connect with the business in a new way. Competitions are also used frequently. Entrants merely have to “like” or “share” a photo; this is an example of how the customers are now the engine behind many online advertisements and are responsible as to how far the message will spread. This has led to more research into what makes people want to “share” and “like” posts on Facebook and therefore spread the messages. A large contributor is comedy, and so now many videos that become viral on Facebook are humorous. One business to capitalise on this is the sports betting company Paddy Power. They are renowned for creating humorous and therefore viral adverts, spreading the name of Paddy Power globally for little cost, whilst making people smile along the way. It is almost the perfect way to advertise, but only if humour is deemed suitable for your business. Nike do not use this route as they are seen as a competitive sports brand where humour is not deemed essential. For this reason Nike produce informative posts that capture the audience by explaining how they may better themselves at their chosen sport, possibly with the aid of their brand new football boots.