The future of advertising is social

Advertising has always been a lucrative business and it will be the case for decades to come. Advertising is so powerful that can even change behaviour on sociological and psychological levels; but it seems 2014 is the year for advertisers to change their behaviour. Jan Rezab, CEO of Socialbakers, rightly said “everything with a social context is better” during his speech at Engage London 2014.

People are paying more attention to their smartphone these days. Only if the battery of their mobile devices is flat they’d watch TV or look at billboards. Mobile has definitely changed how people interact with each other as well as with advertising. For example, based on 1,000 people surveyed by Twitter in the USA, 60% said they purchased from SMBs because of Twitter.

 Ehsan Khodarahmi, EKSays, social media, social business, PR, digital marketing, public relations, social sales, advertising

Although social media and mobile are around for many years but most businesses still don’t really get these; the bold CEO of Socialbakers discussed this at Engage London 2014, in front of some of the world’s leading brands and agencies. Over 4,000 people were following Engage London 2014 online and over 400 people attended the event. According to Socialbakers 80% of mobile time spent is social. Social media changed the way people communicate with one another but undoubtedly mobile changed the way people communicate with each other on social media.

There are many job titles out there (not all of them make sense though) with millions of Pound/Dollars/Euros just being wasted; simply because of lack of in-depth understanding for audience psychology and behaviour. This is all about being socially native according to Socialbakers:

Ehsan Khodarahmi, EKSays, social media, social business, PR, digital marketing, public relations, social sales, advertising

KLM is a great example of a socially devoted brand; a brand that fully understands the ultimate value of social media and mobile. KLM is committed to respond to all customer queries within 60 minutes 24/7. Do they really need advertising? Just imagine the power of positive word of mouth and customer loyalty they receive as a result of delivering on their brand promises.

KLM, social media, ehsan khodarahmi, social care, customer service, social business, social ads, native advertising, native ads, eksays, social pr, public relations, pr

Customer feedback is priceless and there’s no shortage of technology to interact with customers. So many brands are reluctant to deal with customer queries on social media but if they Google alternative solutions; they’ll probably find  few solutions such as Frontreport; for one-to-one interaction between the brand and customer. Customer service is the future PR and social media is leading the way; hence the future of advertising is social.

As we all know advertising alone cannot help strategic brand positioning; hence customer service and audience engagement must go hand in hand with advertising. Customer service may not be a sales channel but if they treat customers as people; people would spread the words (the ultimate purpose of any PR and advertising campaign) and brands will see the direct effect on revenue. It is all about people and delivering on promises. The best way to spend advertising budget is to create quality content, hire the right talent to engage with people and build relationships and as a brand compete on collaboration and identifying influencers to amplify your content. Of course you need to run Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads and Facebook ads; but keep balance, relevancy and meaningfulness in mind at all times.

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Ehsan has been working in social media and digital PR since 2006. He is a keen blogger and has over 40 published articles. He has spoken about social media and digital branding at the British Chamber of Commerce, University of Westminster, University of Milan and numerous startup communities in Europe. Michigan State University and Miami University have referenced his work in their study of social media in 2012.