Social media has become a powerful advertising tool for businesses all over the world, leading some to create specific positions for “social media managers”— professionals who aim to build a business’s brand across social media platforms.
Courtney Buckwalter is a social media manager based out of Tempe, servicing multiple businesses all throughout Arizona.
Buckwalter discovered her passion for creating branded social content while working for a gym in Oro Valley, Arizona. She spent months creating numerous posts and stories for the gym’s social media, and eventually decided it was time to make a career out of it
Three months ago, Buckwalter formed her own company titled “C Cole Social.” She now works as a social media manager for eight different businesses across Arizona, with six potential clients in the works.
“There is free marketing on social media.” Buckwalter said. “It doesn’t keep you in one area, it can go global.”
Buckwalter said social media alone may not be enough to always close the sale, but it provides customers with a starting point to inquire more about the product or service, which can be half the battle when it comes to advertising.
“During a (business’s) soft opening, we had 40 percent of all people come in from social media and digital ads.” Buckwalter said. “People can tap and click as much as they like, but that isn’t what makes the money. It’s about showcasing the product or service on social media, to have people buy it.”
While scrolling though popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or X, many users will encounter numerous advertisements. Whether they come in the form of strategic product placements in photos, or blatant company promotion, social media is home to a plethora of advertisements.
None of the aforementioned is merely coincidental, as modern-day advertisers have not only adapted to, but mastered the algorithms social-media platforms present— all with the intention to slip their product or service into the minds of those doing their routine “social scroll.”
Valerie Renfrow works as a social media manager for Rumble Boxing, a popular boxing gym in Tempe. She said Rumble’s social media presence is one of the business’s most important traits when it comes to attracting clientele.
“(Social media) is how a lot of people find the studio.” Renfrow said. “Especially being in Tempe, a lot of our first-time customers are these college kids whose social media is their newspaper.”
*Renfrow said her biggest goal is to produce diverse, authentic content, since Rumble’s Instagram is typically one of the first impressions made on customers.
“Everyone is a different age, size and a different fitness background.” Renfrow said. “I want to show that our service is obtainable, from wherever your starting point is.”
Caden Richter graduated from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University earlier this year, and has since done freelance social-media management.
Richter said businesses are likely missing out on a massive advertising opportunity if they aren’t utilizing the power of a strong social media presence.
“It creates validity in a product if a brand has a social-media following.” Richter said. “It really proves that they have either followers that care about the business, or their product is good enough to where someone is going to go onto a platform and follow them. It adds to a brand’s verification.”
Leah Phillips is a journalism student at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. We would like to invite our readers to submit their civil comments, pro or con, on this issue. Email AZOpinions@iniusa.org.