Social media is a vital product derived from the development of the Internet age. Especially since entering the 21st century, a large number of people in the world have become loyal users of social media. They rely on these social platforms to produce and discover information (Berkman, 2013, para. 6, cited in Lipschultz, 2018). Meanwhile, Lipschultz (2018) pointed out that social media has spread rapidly in just a few years, and it was changing the role of a series of media practitioners. Whether it is news, public relations (PR), advertising or marketing practitioners, they all need to know how to use and operate social media effectively to help them achieve their goals. In other words, based on a series of features and unique advantages of social media, media practitioners should utilize social media as a powerful tool of communication to achieve effective interaction with potential audiences. Given this, compared with traditional media, this essay will discuss the unique role of social media in the online media campaign.
Social Media in Online Media Campaign
In the current information age, many electronic products are focused on mobile communication. Lipschultz (2018) mentioned that this dynamic, evolving technology has made social media more popular throughout the world. Besides, he also referred that combined with the high interactivity, the importance of user identity formation and the openness of shared content across cross-border communities, and these characteristic makes social media more advantageous than other applications. Through the social media platforms, users could create online identities to interact with others while they have not met each other in reality, and may also participate in online communities, activating other users to respond to the information he has given them. Thus, social media offers new opportunities for sharing events and news. Specifically, the companies or organizations transform social media users into its followers in a series of ways and then leverages the influence of social media users themselves in specific communities or groups to advertise news or events to more people. Lipschultz (2018) emphasized that getting information on social media is a significant activity, but it’s not the only thing that can be done. Users process photos, texts, and other communications. These stimuli are consumed and sometimes lead to spontaneous reactions. To prove his argument, he gave a series of examples, such as the functions of Facebook “likes” and “shares,” Twitter “favorites” and “retweets.” More importantly, at the same time, users who publish new content or share content may cause reactions from others. In this act, social media users are both consumers of brand advertising, and they are invisible as producers. This concept is defined as “Produsage.” Meanwhile, it has given a lot of inspiration to media practitioners. Also, it encourages them to interact more actively with social media users to increase the impact and trust of the online media campaign.
Based on this, our media group is mainly focused on enhancing the attention from social media users when planning online media campaigns for SANE Australia. In maintaining the relationship with social media users, we need enough patience in the early stage. Baer (2013, cited in Lipschultz, 2018) mentioned that the premise of successful online media campaigns is to compete for the time, attention and loyalty of social media users through continued marketing and information. Thus, it is necessary to make users believe the authority of the organization through media group publishing a series of essential information of the organization. After the organization has a particular base of attention, our media group decided to preview the upcoming media activities in advance, and give priority to the core concept and significance of the event. In addition to the text, using a variety of visual communication, on the one hand, are more likely to attract the attention of the users. On the other hand, it will also become a supporting materials to help users more directly understanding the content of the activities. For example, memes are simple tools that quickly draw the user’s interest. In a broad sense, Lipschultz (2018) claimed that it is understood as a cultural message from one person to another, but gradually expands into a common social phenomenon.
In the 21st century, Ferguson and Perse(2000, cited in Lipschultz, 2018) believed that the Internet had become a functional alternative to televisions. Moreover, according to the statistics from Lipschultz (2018), more than two-thirds of consumers use social media. Besides, 57% of consumers prefer brands on social media. This fully demonstrates that social media has the potential to become an advertising platform that replaces television and shopping websites. Advertising is often defined as a paid, one-way communication medium (Tuten, 2008, p.2, cited in Lipschultz, 2018). However, social media is a two-way consumer and brand communication. Online advertising is more about dialogue, connection and sharing control than passive packaging. Additionally, Vaynerchuk (2013, cited in Lipschultz, 2018) defined that great publicity as having a native platform. ” Native to the platform” is a vital concept in media practice. Although it may be similar to the selection of social media platforms, different social media have different styles and characteristics. For example, a photo posted on Facebook may not be suitable for posting on Instagram. While it may be useful for media practitioners to use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to organize social media conversations, specific social platforms have certain media temperament. Content managers should publish specific content according to different social platforms. Given this, our media team selected four social media including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr through surveys and research, and selectively published specific content according to their different media characteristics.
(Source: Left: Twitter Account @AustraliaSane Right: Instagram Account @australia. sane)
The Importance of Media Literacy
Media literacy is one of the core skills that media practitioners need to master because it is easy to expose problems in social media communication. Lipschultz (2018) pointed out that culture and stereotypes not only exist in traditional media but also in social media. As a cultural intermediary, social media has the more extensive influence on users than traditional media in modern times, especially for young generations. As a result, online content managers need to carefully review their content and consider the consequences that might arise. For instance, the organization that our media group serves is sane Australia, a nonprofit organization that focuses on mental illness. And mental illness often caused a passive impression to the public. So in release related online activities, our media team need to pay attention to the words so as avoid a negative impact on the organization. Meanwhile, Lipschultz (2018) emphasized that media practitioners’ views are likely to be imitated by teenagers. Therefore, in order to play a useful demonstration role for the young generation, enhance their media literacy, and eliminate stereotypes, media practitioners must be careful about what they publish.
As a platform with infinite value and potential, social media may not be as demanding as traditional media for media practitioners. But that does not mean it lacks rigor. On the contrary, because it is more open, online content managers need to rethink their media strategies and tactics. Besides, Lipschultz (2018) mentioned that in the era of big data, all activities on social platforms could be quantified, which urges media practitioners to timely follow up feedback from users and conduct the effective evaluation. In this way, the organization could continuously find the deficiencies in its social media communication to improve the future online media activities.
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). Introduction to Social Media Concepts Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (pp. 1-38). New York: Routledge.
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). CMC, Diffusion and Social Theories Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (pp. 39-66). New York: Routledge
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). Social Media Metrics and Analytics Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (pp. 157-182). New York: Routledge.
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). New Mobile Media Technologies, Innovation and Investment Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (pp. 183-206). New York: Routledge.
Lipschultz, J. H. (2018). Future of Social Media and Information Literacy Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (pp. 319-344). New York: Routledge.