After taking this Introduction to Public Relations course, we have learned a lot about utilizing online sources to connect with the people around us. Today, many of the advertisements we see for any brand are online. Social media is becoming one of the best practices of advertising and promoting a company. I predict that eventually the majority of advertisements will be online and through social media. Other forms of advertisements are incorporating the use of Facebook and Twitter in their ads. For example, many billboards will include a hashtag on them so that people will look at the Twitter for the brand.

Tom Kelleher discussed some of the lasting concepts for changing media in his book Public Relations Online. One important concept he discusses is contingency interactivity. Kelleher explained this as “a process involving user, media and messages in which communication roles need to be interchangeable for full interactivity to occur” (Kelleher 11). This interactivity and communication from certain brands to the public allows potential customers to share their thoughts about these products by writing back to the brand through Facebook or Twitter. This also helps these companies to get both positive and negative feedback from the public. Customers now have a chance to also promote their favorite brands by retweeting or sharing on Facebook the posts made by the companies. Brands are collaborating with the public to give the customers what they want.

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There are many companies who are utilizing social media branding and I believe that will only continue to increase. According to a Forbes article, Subway, Google and Target are top brands that are utilizing social media branding. The article stated, “Subway continuously manages to sell promoted deals without pushing the advertising theme too far. Things like Subway’s ‘Flavorizer,’ which lets users build and name a sandwich, promote brand identity with its followers.” Since Subway is promoting these deals, they are now connecting with their customers which will lead to a stronger relationship with them. Subway lovers are now able to receive deals that they never had before and can give Subway feedback both positively and negatively. Subway is using Kelleher’s idea of contingency interactivity and they will only continue to grow as a brand. Through interacting with their customers they are benefiting both their brand and their customer satisfaction.

The future of brands could be very beneficial and successful for those who utilize social media to promote their products. They will be able to target a larger demographic and interact with both current and potential customers. Social media is continuing to grow and brands that are utilizing these sites will grow along with them.

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