Social Media is Social
Rethinking your Social Media Marketing Philosophy
Social media, in all of its various forms, has been perhaps the single greatest piece of transformative technology in the last decade. At its advent, the adoption of social media jumped from 5% of the US population to 69% in just 6 years. It’s gone from a niche way for students to meet to a daily and important part of public discourse. Social media is, for better or for worse, an essential part of our lives.
As someone who has forged brand identities from the early days of the internet, I’ve been fascinated by the rise of social media. And like many technologies in the Digital World, many companies fail to see just how different the marketing landscape is because of it. And when companies try old marketing tricks in this new interconnected world, they fall flat and miss out on opportunities.
It’s Not Just an Ad – It’s an Identity
To capitalize on the “trend” of social media, a term I disagree with, I see many companies simply buy ads. They approach social media like a magazine; buy out a few banner ads, send them off to a marketing company and hope for the best. And if by chance, your target audience sees one of your ads then it’s seen as a victory. It’s like they see themselves as fishermen, trying to put bait in crowded waters.
But this is an archaic way to view social media. Social media isn’t just a gathering place for people anymore, it’s an extension of their identity, a networking tool, or their business itself. In short, our lives are partially led in the Digital World, and it’s time for businesses to catch up to this philosophy.
I’ve advocated for years that building a brand online means building a digital identity [Link to your blog here]. Businesses need to do the same to stay relevant. Building a Facebook page, or Instagram account goes far beyond posting ads. It’s about having a conversation with your consumers. People start to judge your business as a combination of the services and products you provide, and how you represent yourself online.
Mismanaging your social media is like shooting your business in the foot. The best products and ideas falling flat because their social media identity is unwelcoming or cold.
Benefits Beyond Clicks
Being a good online citizen extends far beyond getting more business. Though, of course, that is always the primary goal. But when I work with my clients, I remind them that the way to a consumer’s heart is informed by the technology they use.
When we build brands, we build their identity from the ground up, harnessing the best parts of them in a way that engages people on multiple levels. We’re not there to annoy people on social media with things they don’t want, we’re there to cultivate relationships between brands and the people who use them. It’s a completely new frontier in digital marketing and one that ironically requires a delicate and skillful human touch.
As I mentioned before, mismanaged social media pages can hurt a brand or, even worse, get you in the news. And these incidents can have long-lasting impacts on your business, and its reputation.
The amount of people in the US alone using social media has held steady at about 70%. Social media is not a trend your business can ignore any longer.
To learn more about how a smartly managed social media platform can enhance your business, get in touch today.