Social media has brought about many digital trends and has crossed several niches. But one unexpected cross-market has to come with social media's influence on the consumer market. Now more than ever, there is a burgeoning market full of consumer-friendly products being specially marketed to target audiences. It's easier than ever to create a shop, sell products, and move to have your marketing complete to the right audience.
But is there an unexpected consequence to having this market oversimplified like this?
According to the Washington Post, we're now entering an age of productivity gains where “the average grocery store carries roughly 50 times as many products as 80 years ago”.
Social media, with it's trend-setting and direct adaptability based on users' whims, make it the perfect testing market to see what consumers are looking for. It also has become the unexpectedly perfect landscape to give consumers direct access to testing out and influencing marketing for products. With the popularity of YouTubers and digital influencers, the line between marketing and consumers are more blurred than ever.
So, what could possibly be the downside to this? Well, authenticity is at stake when systems and apps oversimplify large industries.
While consumers – especially young, female, teenage markets – are susceptible to advertising methods, they also respond well to familiarity. Including media personalities, celebrities, and brands that they are familiar with dramatically increases the likelihood of them purchasing that product being sold. But, in the current consumer market guided by social media trends, consumers can't find that line between advertisement and inauthenticity anymore. And when that skepticism is allowed to permeate their thinking, that could mean a decrease in sales.
Social media has allowed for so much change in the consumer market and digital advertising in the last few years that could have taken decades to occur organically. However, we have to be careful to not let it override too badly our key decisions within digital advertising. No matter how advanced technology gets, the best business tool we have in our possession is our authenticity and instinct as consumers first, innovators second. By creating products we would like to buy and following business tactics that resonate with us first, we're on a surefire trail to succeed.
Image via Flickr / Georgie Pauwels